· Oct 27, 2020 5m read

Virtual Summit 2020 - Recap of the first day of Data Platforms focus sessions

The second week of Virtual Summit 2020 kicked off with the first day of focus sessions. We covered a LOT of great content - 38 sessions across a wide range of subjects. I thought it would be valuable to recap and review some of the bigger announcements and talking points.

 IntegratedML  Following the announcement of global availability for IntegratedML, this week highlights IntegratedML in multiple sessions. Today Thomas Dyar spoke with Joe Cofone, a business analyst for Population Health initiatives at Baystate Health, about how InterSystems and Baystate have set up a "machine learning sandbox" to build applications that leverage the rich Health Insight data and predictive models built using IntegratedML.  If you missed it, check out "AD000 Showcasing Health Insight & Integrated ML for Healthcare Applications". Tomorrow there will be 3 separate sessions about IntegratedML: "CL006 Getting started with IntegratedML", "DA006 Working with H2O and IntegratedML", and "DA005 Machine Learning with IntegratedML and DataRobot"!

Adaptive Analytics   Last week we also announced InterSystems IRIS Adaptive Analytics, extending InterSystems IRIS and IRIS for Health to deliver greater flexibility, scalability, and efficiency to analytics end-users. Today we presented two sessions that provided more information about this offer. The first was an overview of the planned offer and its potential benefits, and the second included a demonstration and discussion about the types of problems that this offer can solve. We are looking for early adopters, so please contact Carmen Logue if you are interested. More about Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence in tomorrow's program.

Embedded Python  We provided a sneak peek into the upcoming Embedded Python feature, another major announcement from last week's keynotes. With Embedded Python, we'll be running Python and ObjectScript side-by-side inside the IRIS kernel, providing incredibly fast access to data in Python as well as intuitive, toll-free bridging between Python and ObjectScript.  We did get a sense on the experience of using Embedded Python from Objectscript – loading Python libraries, calling methods and functions, etc. We have a great session coming up on how you'll be able to use Embedded Python from SQL that I encourage you to check out.  If you're interested in helping to shape Embedded Python, please drop us a line at

Kafka  We also announced today that InterSystems will be providing built-in support for using Apache Kafka with IRIS Interoperability.  Kafka is the world's most scalable (and popular) streaming data service.  Businesses use it for everything from message queues to Change Data Capture. This integration allows for a wide variety of system architectures to interoperate easily with IRIS without requiring custom code.

Kafka integration will come up in tomorrow's focus sessions again, as the latest version of InterSystems API Manager (IAM) also adds a Kafka plugin to send your API traffic to a Kafka topic. We have seen a nice demonstration of the enhancements to the Developer Portal in IAM, making it much easier to build and customize a developer portal that truly fits into your companies brand. IAM will be covered in much more detail tomorrow.

VS Code - ObjectScript   Wow, we covered many announcements already, but we still have more to talk about. Last week in the Summit keynote we announced the release of version 1 of the InterSystems ObjectScript extension for Visual Studio Code, bringing ObjectScript development to the most popular IDE platform in the market. It runs on all operating systems, and supports client-side source control systems like GitHub and Azure DevOps. Of particular note is that this is an open source effort which originated in the community, and continues to be a truly joint effort between InterSystems and our developers.

DEE004 provided a quick overview of the project, and a short demo. A more extensive demo can be found in the demo zone here or on YouTube. In DEE007 we had a great live Q&A session where we brought the community together with several product managers and the two community members of the VS Code – ObjectScript project management committee. There is more about VS Code to see this week. Check out "DEE006 Visual Studio Code for ObjectScript: Choosing an IDE/Source Control Combination" and "DEE005 Visual Studio Code for ObjectScript: Server-Side Source Control". And don't miss the Experience Lab, which you can start on today. I shouldn't forget to mention that we also offer Experience Labs for IntegratedML and other hot topics that are in demand, which is a nice segway to the next major content block:

FHIR and API Management  FHIR continues to be a hot topic in the industry and among our partners, so it doesn't come as a surprise that we covered FHIR-related topics in many different sessions. We provided an overview over FHIR - the new standard in healthcare operability with strong support by the U.S. Government through the ONC final rule that standardizes on FHIR and prohibits information blocking. Other governments such as the UK are mandating FHIR in all new digital health initiatives.

IAM makes it much easier to build a FHIR application, by taking care of many development chores such as security, logging, monitoring, and controlling access to FHIR resources. The development portal makes it easy to get started to learn and test FHIR queries – I encourage you to check it out.

FHIR resources such as Patient, Observation, Diagnostic Report, can be queried though FHIR search. The syntax is based on REST, but the query parameters must be looked up for each FHIR resource. Advanced queries using modifiers and joins (like _include and _revinclude) sometimes have a confusing syntax, but we have built a tool to simplify these queries, boosting productivity and easing onboarding of developers new to FHIR.

NLP  In the slipstream of Virtual Summit, we've also released v1.0 of our open source NLP library iKnow, now fully available as a Python package. Aohan and Benjamin presented the what and how of that exciting journey in session DA010, with the demo also available in the Demo Zone.

Demo Zone   The Demo Zone can be launched from the main area when you launch the Virtual Summit event hub and features over 25 demos you can watch at your own pace.

Live Q&A   We wrapped up day 1 with a live Q&A and will have live Q&A sessions on day 2 and 3 as well. Make sure to take the opportunity and ask the questions that came up during the sessions or the keynotes last week. You can find out more here:

It's definitely been a busy day, with two more days packed with focus sessions to come. If you haven't registered yet, it's not too late. You can still register here for free.

What has been your highlight for today? Let us know in the comments below.



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