Hi Developers!

Many of you publish your InterSystems ObjectScript libraries on Open Exchange and Github.

But what do you do to ease the usage and collaboration to your project for developers?

In this article, I want to introduce the way how to introduce an easy way to launch and contribute to any ObjectScript project just by copying a standard set of files to your repository.

Let's go!

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Article
Joyce Zhang · Jun 6, 2017 2m read
Atelier 1.1 Roadmap

It's been 6 months since InterSystems released Atelier 1.0 and we continue to roll out enhancements and new features through the beta channel (please see the Atelier Download page for details). In the meantime, we have received a lot of messages from the Developer Community with ideas for further improvements. Based on your feedback, we created a roadmap for Atelier 1.1 so you can conveniently track when specific features are going to be integrated.

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Overview

Encryption of sensitive data becomes more and more important for applications. For example patient names, SSN, address-data or credit card-numbers etc..

Cache supports different flavors of encryption. Block-level database encryption and data-element encryption. The block-level database encryption protects an entire database.  The decryption/encryption is done when a block is written/read to or from the database and has very little impact on the performance.

With data-element encryption only certain data-fields are encrypted.  Fields that contain sensitive data like patient data or credit-card numbers. Data-element encryption is also useful if a re-encryption is required periodically. With data-element encryption it is the responsibility of the application to encrypt/decrypt the data.

Both encryption methods leverage the managed key encryption infrastructure of Caché.

The following article describes a sample use-case where data-element encryption is used to encrypt person data.  

But what if you have hundreds of thousands of records with an encrypted datafield and you have the need to search that field? Decryption of the field-values prior to the search is not an option. What about indices?

This article describes a possible solution and develops step-by-step a small example how you can use SQL and indices to search encrypted fields. 

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This is a sample Ensemble/Health Connect production which demonstrates how to receive an HL7 order (ORM) inbound from a file, extract fields (in this case, basic demographic information), and insert those into a table in an external SQL database via ODBC.  

Included in the zip file:

  • Exported code
  • Sample ORM message
  • 'How to configure' doc 
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If I have defined a class query in one of my classes and I want to use that query from a method of another class, what are the pros and cons of using the %SQL.Statement interface versus the %Library.ResultSet interface?

I believe %SQL.Statement is the newer interface.

So if the old way is:

USER>s rs=##class(%Library.ResultSet).%New("%Library.File:FileSet")
 
USER>s sc=rs.Execute("c:\s\","*.txt")
 
USER>w sc
1
USER>while rs.%Next() {w !,rs.Data("Name")}

...

then the new way is:

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Article
Alexey Maslov · Nov 17, 2016 11m read
ECP and Process Management API

The technology of load balancing between several servers with relatively low capacity has been a standard feature of Caché for quite a while. It is based on the distributed cache technology called ECP (Enterprise Cache Protocol). ECP provides a host of possibilities for horizontal scaling of an application, and yet keeping the project budget fairly low. Another apparent advantage of ECP network is the possibility to conceal its architecture in the depths of Caché configuration so that applications developed for the traditional (vertical) architecture can be fairly easily migrated to a horizontal ECP environment. The ease of this process is so mesmerizing, that you start wishing it was always this way. For instance, everybody is used to having a possibility to control Caché processes: the $Job system variable and associated classes/functions work magic in skilful hands. Stop, but now processes can end up being on different Caché servers…

This article is about how to gain as much transparency in controlling processes in ECP environment as in traditional (non ECP) one.

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or "Didn't you say you would cover Persistent Objects in Part 5, Chris?"

Yes, that was the plan.  This is a pretty important topic, so it get's its own Article

Up until now, we've display widget JSON that has been created by a basic loop.  Clearly this isn't of much value.  Now we have our stack connected together, and we can see that the data is flowing to the Welcome page, it's time to complete the stack and start feeding our service from "real" data.

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Article
Sean Connelly · Apr 12, 2017 5m read
Bug killing development tips

Does anyone NOT use a debugger? I can't remember the last time I did. It's not because I don't dislike them, I just don't need to use them. The main reason for this is because I have a certain development methodology that either produces less bugs, catches them at a unit test level, or makes tracking them down much easier.

Here are my tips...

1. Write your own COS cheat-sheet.

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This is the first article of a series diving into visualization tools and analysis of time series data. Obviously we are most interested in looking at performance related data we can gather from the Caché family of products. However, as we'll see down the road, we are absolutely not limited to that. For now we are exploring python and the libraries/tools available within that ecosystem.

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Article
John Murray · Mar 4, 2016 1m read
Getting my head around a class model

There's plenty of goodness in the %-packages InterSystems supplies, and it seems that every new version of Caché brings something new. The browser-based class documentation (a.k.a. Documatic) generally provides a good level of information, but on the basis that "a picture is worth a thousand words" I sometimes want a diagram.

For example, when trying to navigate the %Dictionary package for a project that needed to find out about class definitions, here's one of the UML class diagrams I created.

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In this series of articles, I'd like to present and discuss several possible approaches toward software development with InterSystems technologies and GitLab. I will cover such topics as:

  • Git 101
  • Git flow (development process)
  • GitLab installation
  • GitLab Workflow
  • Continuous Delivery
  • GitLab installation and configuration
  • GitLab CI/CD

In the first article, we covered Git basics, why a high-level understanding of Git concepts is important for modern software development, and how Git can be used to develop software.

In the second article, we covered GitLab Workflow - a complete software life cycle process and Continuous Delivery.

I this article we'll discuss:

  • GitLab installation and configuration
  • Connecting your environments to GitLab
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For Global Summit 2016, I set out to showcase a Reference Architecture I had been working on for a National Provider Directory solution with State Level Instances and a National Instance all running HealthShare Provider Directory and all running on AWS Infrastructure.

In short, I wanted to highlight:

  • The implementation of Amazon Web Services to provision the infrastructure, including the auto-creation of the state level instances through Cloud Formation.
  • The use of the HSPD Broadcast functionality to Notify Upstream Systems Changes in Master Provider Data.
  • The implementation of a transformation of the standard Broadcast Object to HL7 MFN for interoperability.
  • The principals of Master Data Management applied to the Provider Directory.

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Whether you are accessing DeepSee for the first time ever or you are configuring DeepSee on a new instance, there are two common issues that are encountered after clicking on the “DeepSee” option in the System Management Portal.

Issue #1: Architect/Analyzer is grayed out!

Issue #2: DeepSee must be enabled before use.

Issue #1: Architect/Analyzer is grayed out!

There are two common causes for this problem.

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Preface: our small, but very ambitious company called “Black Mushroom Studio” came up with an idea for an e-commerce project and a mobile app that would let users pay for certain goods/services via a payment aggregator.

 

What we had initially: an Android app skeleton that, of course, liked communicating via HTTP and JSON, and a payment system with an API – web services with SOAP content.

 

Goal: make it all work together.

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Article
Nathan Ng · Sep 6, 2017 4m read
Polling an External REST API with Ensemble

Preface

Before we begin, I'd like to mention that I am by no means an Ensemble expert, so take this with a grain of salt and please feel free to offer any suggestions for improvement. That being said, I have enjoyed working with Ensemble and wanted to share the approach I took to poll an external REST API for patient data in the hopes that it might help others with a similar goal.

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In the first article I started discussing RESTForms - REST API for your persistent classes. We talked about basic features, now, I'd like to discuss advanced features - mainly queries capabilites:

  • Basic queries
  • Query arguments
  • Custom queries

Queries

Queries allow getting slices of data, based on arbitrary criteria. There are two query types in RESTForms:

  • Basic queries work for all RESTForms classes once defined and they differ only by the field list
  • Custom queries work only for the classes in which they are specified and available, but the developer has full access to query text
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Article
Sean Connelly · May 31, 2017 28m read
Cogs Library

Cogs Library

Over the next few months I will be releasing a number of open source libraries and tools to the Caché community.

Most of the code has evolved from previous production grade solutions over the years and I am collating it together under a single overarching library package that I am calling Cogs.

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InterSystems' iKnow technology allows you to identify the concepts in natural language texts and the relations that link them together. As that's still a fairly abstract definition, we produced this video to explain what that means in more detail. But when meeting with customers, what really counts is a compelling demonstration, on data that makes sense to them, so they understand the value in identifying these concepts over classic top-down approaches. That's why it's probably worth spending a few articles on some of the demo apps and tools we've built to work with iKnow. 

In the first article in this series, we'll start with the Knowledge Portal, a simple query interface to explore the contents of your domain.

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Last week, we announced the InterSystems IRIS Data Platform, our new and comprehensive platform for all your data endeavours, whether transactional, analytics or both. We've included many of the features our customers know and loved from Caché and Ensemble, but in this article we'll shed a little more light on one of the new capabilities of the platform: SQL Sharding, a powerful new feature in our scalability story.

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A short post for now to answer a question that came up. In post two of this series I included graphs of performance data extracted from pButtons. I was asked off-line if there is a quicker way than cut/paste to extract metrics for mgstat etc from a pButtons .html file for easy charting in Excel.

See: - Part 2 - Looking at the metrics we collected

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Over the past year or so, my team (Application Services at InterSystems - tasked with building and maintaining many of our internal applications, and providing tools and best practices for other departmental applications) has embarked on a journey toward building Angular/REST-based user interfaces to existing applications originally built using CSP and/or Zen. This has presented an interesting challenge that may be familiar to many of you - building out new REST APIs to existing data models and business logic.

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Article
Benjamin De Boe · Jul 4, 2016 8m read
Introduction to the iKnow REST APIs

After a five-part series on sample iKnow applications (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), let's turn to a new feature coming up in 2017.1: the iKnow REST APIs, allowing you to develop rich web and mobile applications. Where iKnow's core COS APIs already had 1:1 projections in SQL and SOAP, we're now making them available through a RESTful service as well, in which we're trying to offer more functionality and richer results with fewer buttons and less method calls. This article will take you through the API in detail, explaining the basic principles we used when defining them and exploring the most important ones to get started.

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Article
John Murray · Mar 3, 2016 2m read
Class Projections and Projection Classes

The purpose of this post is to raise the profile of a powerful mechanism that has long been available to us, and to open a discussion about ways in which it can be used or abused.

You can read more detail about the mechanism here. To summarize, your class definition can use the Projection keyword to reference one or more projection classes. A projection class can implement methods that get invoked at key points in the lifecycle of your class.

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