Best Practices

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When using Studio, ODBC or a terminal connection to Caché or Ensemble, you may have wondered how to secure the connection. One option is to add TLS (aka SSL) to your connection. The Caché client applications - TELNET, ODBC and Studio - all understand how to add TLS to the connection. They just need to be configured to do it.

Configuring these clients is easier in 2015.1 and later. I'm going to be discussing this new method. If you're already using the old method, it will continue to work, but I would recommend you consider switching to the new one.

Last reply 2 days ago
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This article will describe and include an example of how to embed an external PDF file into an HL7 segment, specifically ADT_A01:2.3.1 OBX().  This can be useful when attempting to insert pictures or other external data into an HL7 message.  In this example, the name of the PDF file to be embedded is provided in the incoming HL7 message in OBX(1):ObservationValue field.

Last reply 9 days ago
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AnalyzeThis is a tool for getting a personalized preview of your own data inside of InterSystems BI. This allows you to get first hand experience with InterSystems BI and understand the power and value it can bring to your organization. In addition to getting a personalized preview of InterSystems BI through an import of a CSV file with your data, Classes and SQL Queries are now supported as Data Sources in v1.1.0!

Last reply 7 February 2020
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Intro

For many in today's interoperability landscape, REST reigns supreme. With the overabundance of tools and approaches to REST API development, what tools do you choose and what do you need to plan for before writing any code?
This article focuses on design patterns and considerations that allow you to build highly robust, adaptive, and consistent REST APIs. Viable approaches to challenges of CORS support and authentication management will be discussed, along with various tips and tricks and best tools for all stages of REST API development. Learn about the open-source REST APIs available for InterSystems IRIS Data Platform and how they tackle the challenge of ever-increasing API complexity.
The article is a write-up for a recent webinar on the same topic.

Last reply 24 January 2020
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In this post I show strategies for backing up Caché using External Backup with examples of integrating with snapshot based solutions. The majority of solutions I see today are deployed on Linux on VMware so a lot of the post shows how solutions integrate VMware snapshot technology as examples.

Last reply 23 January 2020
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$LIST string format and %DynamicArray and %DynamicObject classes

IRIS, and previously Cache, contain several different ways to create a sequence containing a mixture of data values.  A data sequence that has been available for many years is the $LIST string.  Another more recent data sequence is the %DynamicArray class, which along with the %DynamicObject class, is part of the IRIS support for JSON string representation.  These two sequences involve very different tradeoffs.

$LIST String Format

Last reply 10 January 2020
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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.

Last reply 30 December 2020
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The following steps show you how to display a sample list of metrics available from the /api/monitor service.

In the last post, I gave an overview of the service that exposes IRIS metrics in Prometheus format. The post shows how to set up and run IRIS preview release 2019.4 in a container and then list the metrics.


This post assumes you have Docker installed. If not, go and do that now for your platform :)

Last reply 20 December 2019
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ObjectScript has at least three ways of handling errors (status codes, exceptions, SQLCODE, etc.). Most of the system code uses statuses but exceptions are easier to handle for a number of reasons. Working with legacy code you spend some time translating between the different techniques. I use these snippets a lot for reference. Hopefully they're useful to others as well.

 

Last reply 10 December 2019
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Class Queries in InterSystems IRIS (and Cache, Ensemble, HealthShare) is a useful tool that separates SQL queries from Object Script code. Basically, it works like this: suppose that you want to use the same SQL query with different arguments in several different places.In this case you can avoid code duplication by declaring the query body as a class query and then calling this query by name. This approach is also convenient for custom queries, in which the task of obtaining the next row is defined by a developer. Sounds interesting? Then read on!

Last reply 22 November 2019
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Database systems have very specific backup requirements that in enterprise deployments require forethought and planning. For database systems, the operational goal of a backup solution is to create a copy of the data in a state that is equivalent to when application is shut down gracefully.  Application consistent backups meet these requirements and Caché provides a set of APIs that facilitate the integration with external solutions to achieve this level of backup consistency.

Last reply 19 November 2019
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Loading your IRIS Data to your Google Cloud Big Query Data Warehouse and keeping it current can be a hassle with bulky Commercial Third Party Off The Shelf ETL platforms, but made dead simple using the iris2bq utility.

Let's say IRIS is contributing to workload for a Hospital system, routing DICOM images, ingesting HL7 messages,  posting FHIR resources, or pushing CCDA's to next provider in a transition of care.  Natively, IRIS persists these objects in various stages of the pipeline via the nature of the business processes and anything you included along the way.  Lets send that up to Google Big Query to augment and compliment the rest of our Data Warehouse data and ETL (Extract Transform Load) or ELT (Extract Load Transform) to our hearts desire.

A reference architecture diagram may be worth a thousand words, but 3 bullet points may work out a little bit better:

  • It exports the data from IRIS into DataFrames
  • It saves them into GCS as .avro to keep the schema along the data: this will avoid to specify/create the BigQuery table schema beforehands.
  • It starts BigQuery jobs to import those .avro into the respective BigQuery tables you specify.

 

Last reply 15 November 2019
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There's an easy new way to add certificate authority (CA) certificates to your SSL/TLS configurations on InterSystems IRIS 2019.1 (and 2018.1.2) on Windows and Mac.  You can ask IRIS to use the operating system's certificate store by entering:

%OSCertificateStore

in the field for "File containing Trusted Certificate Authority X.509 certificate(s)".   Here's an image of how to do this in the portal:

Last reply 13 November 2019
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A few years ago, I was teaching the basics of our %UnitTest framework during Caché Foundations class (now called Developing Using InterSystems Objects and SQL). A student asked if it was possible to collect performance statistics while running unit tests. A few weeks later, I added some additional code to the %UnitTest examples to answer this question. I’m finally sharing it on the Community.

Last reply 8 November 2019
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InterSystems supports use of the InterSystems IRIS Docker images it provides on Linux only. Rather than executing containers as native processes, as on Linux platforms, Docker for Windows creates a Linux VM running under Hyper-V, the Windows virtualizer, to host containers. These additional layers add complexity that prevents InterSystems from supporting Docker for Windows at this time.

Last reply 4 November 2019
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InterSystems IRIS 2019.1 has been out for a while and I would like to cover some enhancements for handling JSON which might have gone unnoticed. Dealing with JSON as a serialization format is an important part of building modern applications, especially when you interact with REST endpoints.

Last reply 1 October 2019
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This week I am going to look at CPU, one of the primary hardware food groups :) A customer asked me to advise on the following scenario; Their production servers are approaching end of life and its time for a hardware refresh. They are also thinking of consolidating servers by virtualising and want to right-size capacity either bare-metal or virtualized. Today we will look at CPU, in later posts I will explain the approach for right-sizing other key food groups - memory and IO.

So the questions are:

Last reply 30 September 2019
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This article, and following two articles of the series, is intended as a user guide for developers or system administrators, who need to work with OAuth 2.0 framework (further referred to as OAUTH for simplicity) in their InterSystems product based applications.

Last reply 27 September 2019
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This post is dedicated to the task of monitoring a Caché instance using SNMP. Some users of Caché are probably doing it already in some way or another. Monitoring via SNMP has been supported by the standard Caché package for a long time now, but not all the necessary parameters are available “out of the box”. For example, it would be nice to monitor the number of CSP sessions, get detailed information about the use of the license, particular KPI’s of the system being used and such. After reading this article, you will know how to add your parameters to Caché monitoring using SNMP.

Last reply 20 September 2019
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Date range queries going too slow for you?  SQL Performance got you down?  I have one weird trick that might just help you out! (SQL Developers hate this!)*

If you have a class that records timestamps when the data is added, then that data will be in sequence with your IDKEY values - that is, TimeStamp< TimeStampif and only if ID1 < IDfor all IDs and TimeStamp values in table - then you can use this knowledge to increase performance for queries against TimeStamp ranges.  Consider the following table:

Last reply 6 September 2019
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Here are a few examples of conversions and operations you might need, along with links to documentation where you can learn more.

At the time I wrote this, Eastern Daylight Time was in effect for my Caché system.

How Caché keeps the time and date

Caché has a simple time format, with a longer range of recognized dates compared to some other technologies.

The current time is maintained in a special variable $HOROLOG ($H):

Last reply 23 August 2019
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The newer dynamic SQL classes (%SQL.Statement and %StatementResult) perform better than %ResultSet, but I did not adopt them for some time because I had learned how to use %ResultSet. Finally, I made a cheat sheet, which I find useful when writing new code or rewriting old code. I thought other people might find it useful.

First, here is a somewhat more verbose adaptation of my cheat sheet:

Last reply 15 August 2019
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