DataDirect Helps Varian Deliver the Security and Reliability its Customers Expect
Varian Medical Systems is an $875MM global supplier of integrated radiotherapy systems for treating cancer. Varian has 40+ years of experience in the industry, and their oncology solutions are used to treat over a million patients worldwide each year.
The company’s VARiS Vision™ Information System is a complete oncology information management system that manages patient data and images. A typical customer deployment includes dozens of desktops and a series of large servers and databases. VARiS Vision is used to ensure that patient information and images are literally at the fingertips of healthcare professionals that need them.
To meet the latest medical business user requirements, Varian redesigned VARiS as .NET components and objects. This contributes to faster, more flexible client deployments and simplified retargeting to server components in the future. The new version was designed and implemented completely in C# with Visual Studio .NET, including many key C/C++ components ported over to .NET.
While product performance was a driving issue, to Varian, security was paramount. Varian needed to keep their .NET VARiS environment a completely managed code environment – including access to the data stored in Sybase. This meant finding an ADO.NET provider written specifically with that in mind: a managed code data provider running entirely within the .NET common language runtime (CLR).
Only 100% managed providers work entirely within the .NET framework and communicate with the databases at the lowest level possible – the wire protocol. Other data providers speak to the databases through the database client libraries. .NET applications using these unmanaged providers have to reach outside of the .NET environment to access the client library.
Doing so opens up security risks and drags down performance. It also means users must have the large database client libraries installed on their systems. “People don't want “dot com” technology for critical cancer care, they want reliable and proven technologies,” says Keith La Plain, Business Unit Manager for Varian Medical Systems.
Varian selected Microsoft Visual Studio .NET for development and DataDirect Connect for .NET for fast, reliable data access with out-of-box portability. The overall VARiS application is designed as fully managed code for security, reliability and ease of deployment and management. DataDirect Connect for .NET completes the solution by providing the richest data access functionality implemented in 100% managed code.
What about performance? “We b ought for reliability and performance,” says La Plain. “In fact, the performance with DataDirect Technologies’ ADO.NET providers was much faster. It improves the overall performance of our application so we can bring this benefit to our customers as well. "
By developing with DataDirect Connect for .NET and Visual Studio .NET, Varian was able to deliver improved, innovative functionality and features to please their customers.
Varian enjoyed a substantial improvement in internal development productivity and the ability to rapidly extend their products with new features.
Ultimately, security and reliability is critical in the healthcare treatment environment. DataDirect Connect for .NET delivered this – plus faster performance.
A footnote: This was the first package within the overall VARiS application suite to be re-architected to Microsoft .NET and DataDirect Connect for .NET. Varian is pleased with the flexible foundation and ease of use, and now expects to re-architect the other applications in the VARiS suite using DataDirect Connect for .NET and Visual Studio .NET.