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Importance and Collection of Exact Version Information ($zv / $zversion)
 
The explanation of:
- why collecting $zv is important (The WHY),
- what the components of $zv mean (The WHAT),
- and how to collect $zv (The HOW). 
(The Ultimate $zv Guide to the ISC Galaxy in large, friendly letters)
Last comment 15 November 2016
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Globals, these magic swords for storing data, have been around for a while, but not many people can use them efficiently or know about this super-weapon altogether.

If you use globals for tasks where they truly shine, the results may be amazing, either in terms of increased performance or dramatic simplification of the overall solution (1, 2).

Globals offer a special way of storing and processing data, which is completely different from SQL tables. They were first introduced in 1966 in the M(UMPS) programming language, which was initially used in medical databases. It is still used in the same way, but has also been adopted by some other industries where reliability and high performance are top priorities: finance, trading, etc.

Later M(UMPS) evolved into Caché ObjectScript (COS). COS was developed by InterSystems as a superset of M. The original language is still accepted by developers' community and alive in a few implementations. There are several signs of activity around the web: MUMPS Google group, Mumps User's group), effective ISO Standard, etc.

Modern global based DBMS supports transactions, journaling, replication, partitioning. It means that they can be used for building modern, reliable and fast distributed systems.

Globals do not restrict you to the boundaries of the relational model. They give you the freedom of creating data structures optimized for particular tasks. For many applications reasonable use of globals can be a real silver bullet offering speeds that developers of conventional relational applications can only dream of.

Globals as a method of storing data can be used in many modern programming languages, both high- and low-level. Therefore, this article will focus specifically on globals and not the language they once came from.

Last comment 31 July 2017
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Everybody has a testing environment.

Some people are lucky enough to have a totally separate environment to run production in.

-- Unknown

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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
  • GitLab CI/CD
  • CI/CD with containers

This first part deals with the cornerstone of modern software development - Git version control system and various Git flows.

Last comment 22 November 2018
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InterSystems Data Platform includes utilities and tools for system monitoring and alerting, however System Administrators new to solutions built on the InterSystems Data Platform (a.k.a Caché) need to know where to start and what to configure.

This guide shows the path to a minimum monitoring and alerting solution using references from online documentation and developer community posts to show you how to enable and configure the following;

  1. Caché Monitor: Scans the console log and sends emails alerts.

  2. System Monitor: Monitors system status and resources, generating notifications (alerts and warnings) based on fixed parameters and also tracks overall system health.

  3. Health Monitor: Samples key system and user-defined metrics and compares them to user-configurable parameters and established normal values, generating notifications when samples exceed applicable or learned thresholds.

  4. History Monitor: Maintains a historical database of performance and system usage metrics.

  5. pButtons: Operating system and Caché metrics collection scheduled daily.

Remember this guide is a minimum configuration, the included tools are flexible and extensible so more functionality is available when needed. This guide skips through the documentation to get you up and going. You will need to dive deeper into the documentation to get the most out of the monitoring tools, in the meantime, think of this as a set of cheat sheets to get up and running.

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In this article I would like to tell you about macros in InterSystems Caché. A macro is a symbolic name that is replaced with a set of instructions during compilation. A macro can “unfold” in various instruction sets each time it is called, depending on the parameters passed to it and activated scenarios. This can be both static code and the result of ObjectScript execution. Let's take a look at how you can use them in your application.

Last comment 24 July 2017
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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:

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In the previous parts (1, 2) we talked about globals as trees. In this article, we will look at them as sparse arrays.

A sparse array - is a type of array where most values assume an identical value.

In practice, you will often see sparse arrays so huge that there is no point in occupying memory with identical elements. Therefore, it makes sense to organize sparse arrays in such a way that memory is not wasted on storing duplicate values.

In some programming languages, sparse arrays are part of the language - for example, in J, MATLAB. In other languages, there are special libraries that let you use them. For C++, those would be Eigen and the like.

Globals are good candidates for implementing sparse arrays for the following reasons:

Last comment 17 July 2017
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Beginning - see Part 1.

 

3. Variants of structures when using globals

 

A structure, such as an ordered tree, has various special cases. Let's take a look at those that have practical value for working with globals.

 

 

 

 

3.1 Special case 1. One node without branches

 

Last comment 8 July 2017
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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 previous 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. Still, our focus was on the implementation part of software development, but this part presents:

  • GitLab Workflow - a complete software life cycle process - from idea to user feedback
  • Continuous Delivery - software engineering approach in which teams produce software in short cycles, ensuring that the software can be reliably released at any time. It aims at building, testing, and releasing software faster and more frequently.

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Some weeks ago, I was reading a book by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design. At a certain point, trying to define why do we exist? , why do we use the models we use in physics?, ...those kind of things you know... they pointed at the Game of Life example invented by the mathematician John Coward in 1970... Basically he wanted to show that a system with really basic fundamental laws (Physics) could evolve and "live" to become a more complex system (Chemistry) in which "something" (humans) could work out its own model and complex rules to explain its reality… the rules for this deterministic model that he exposed were so basic that I thought it could be funny to implement them in ObjectScript when I had some spare time... there are others implementations in JavaScript and other languages... but not in ObjectScript... and that had to be corrected!!… so here you are!

Last comment 25 December 2018
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Generally speaking, InterSystems products supported dynamic objects and JSON for a long while, but version 2016.2 came with a completely new implementation of these features, and the corresponding code was moved from the ObjectScript level to the kernel/C level, which made for a substantial performance boost in these areas. This article is about innovations in the new version and the migration process (including the ways of preserving backward compatibility).

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The article makes an attempt to demonstrate that Atelier is not just repeating the functionality of Caché Studio on a new IDE platform (Eclipse) but goes far beyond. Due to my personal experience, and challenges in former projects I picked first XSLT Debugging. Is it an ordinary task? Not at all. Who is doing XSLT every day? Probably none of us. Than why XSLT Debugging? Simply because there are solutions in our product portfolio which are using XSLT inside and those solutions require customization. Customizing XSLT without some sort of toolkit is more than challenging. The examples of such solutions starts with HealthShare IHE message, CDA vs. SDA transformations, goes through ZEN Reports, and ends by HealthShare CDA document viewer. Is that enough reason to spend time reading the whole article through not just the teaser?

Last comment 1 February 2017
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