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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In this post, I am going to detail how to set up a mirror using SSL, including generating the certificates and keys via the Public Key Infrastructure built in to InterSystems IRIS Data Platform. I did a similar post in the past for Caché, so feel free to check that out here if you are not running InterSystems IRIS. Much like the original, the goal of this is to take you from new installations to a working mirror with SSL, including a primary, backup, and DR async member, along with a mirrored database. I will not go into security recommendations or restricting access to the files. This is meant to just simply get a mirror up and running. Example screenshots are taken on a 2018.1.1 version of IRIS, so yours may look slightly different.

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This post provides useful links and an overview of best practice configuration for low latency storage IO by creating LVM Physical Extent (PE) stripes for database disks on InterSystems Data Platforms; InterSystems IRIS, Caché, and Ensemble.

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I wanted to write it as a comment to article of @Evgeny Shvarov . But it happens to be so long, so, decided to post it separately.

Image result for docker clean all images

I would like to add a bit of clarification about how docker uses disk space and how to clean it.  I use macOS, so, everything below, is mostly for macOS, but docker commands suit any platform.

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Hi all,

 

I want to share a quick little method you can use to enable ssl with a self signed certificate on your local development instance of IRIS/HealthShare. This enables you to test https-specific features such as OAuth without a huge lift.

 

 

1. Install OpenSSL

Windows: https://slproweb.com/download/Win64OpenSSL_Light-1_1_1g.exe

Debian Linux: $ sudo apt-get -y install openssl

RHEL: $ sudo yum install openssl

 

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In this article, we will run an InterSystems IRIS cluster using docker and Merge CPF files - a new feature allowing you to configure servers with ease.

On UNIX® and Linux, you can modify the default iris.cpf using a declarative CPF merge file. A merge file is a partial CPF that sets the desired values for any number of parameters upon instance startup. The CPF merge operation works only once for each instance.

Our cluster architecture is very simple, it would consist of one Node1 (master node) and two Data Nodes (check all available roles). Unfortunately, docker-compose cannot deploy to several servers (although it can deploy to remote hosts), so this is useful for local development of sharding-aware data models,  tests, and such. For a productive InterSystems IRIS Cluster deployment, you should use either ICM or IKO.

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cAdvisor (short for container Advisor) analyzes and exposes resource usage and performance data from running containers. cAdvisor exposes Prometheus metrics out of the box. 

https://prometheus.io/docs/guides/cadvisor/

Prometheus is integrated in SAM. This makes it possible to leverage the cAdvisor metrics and expose them via Prometheus and Grafana.

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So, one day you're working away at WidgetsDirect, the leading supplier of widget and widget accessories, when your boss asks you to develop the new customer facing portal to allow the client base to access the next generation of Widgets..... and he wants you to use Angular 1.x to read into the department's Caché server.   

There's only one problem:  You've never used Angular, and don't know how to make it talk to Caché.

This guide is going to walk through the process of setting up a full Angular stack which communicates with a Caché backend using JSON over REST.  

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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.

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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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InterSystems SAM is a great tool to monitor your InterSystems IRIS and InterSystems IRIS For Health clusters on prem or in a cloud environment. This article describes how you can implement a customized alert handler. This is currently an undocumented and most likely an unknown feature of InterSystems SAM. With future releases it will be probably made easier to leverage this useful concept.

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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):

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In this article, I will show how you can easily containerize  .Net/Java Gateways.

For our example, we will develop an Integration with Apache Kafka.

And to interoperate with Java/.Net code we will use PEX .

 

Architecture

Our solution will run completely in docker and look like this:

 

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This time I want to talk about something not specific to InterSystems IRIS, but that I think is important if you want to work with Docker and your server at work is a PC or laptop with Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise.

As you likely know, containers technology comes basically from Linux world and, nowadays, is on Linux hosts were it shows maximum potential. Those who use Windows on a normal basis see that both, Microsoft and Docker, have done important efforts during these last years that allow us to run containers based on Linux images on our Windows system in a really easy way... but it's something not supported for production systems and, this is the big problem, is not reliable if we want to keep persistent data outside of containers, in the host system,... mostly due to the big differences between Windows and Linux file systems. In the end, Docker for Windows itself uses a small linux virtual machine (MobiLinux) to run the containers... it does it transparently for the windows user... and it works perfectly well if, as I said, you don't require that your databases survive longer than the container...

Well,...let's get to the point,... the point is that many times, to avoid issues and simplify, we need a full Linux system and, if our server is based on Windows, the only way of having it is through a virtual machine. At least till WSL2 in Windows is released, but that will be another story and sure it'll take a bit of time to become robust enough.

In this article, I'll tell you, step by step, how to install an environment where you'll be able to work, if you need it, with Docker containers on an Ubuntu system in your Windows server. Let's go...

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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, legacy method, it will continue to work, but I would recommend you consider switching to the new one.

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In this article, we’ll build a highly available IRIS configuration using Kubernetes Deployments with distributed persistent storage instead of the “traditional” IRIS mirror pair. This deployment would be able to tolerate infrastructure-related failures, such as node, storage and Availability Zone failures. The described approach greatly reduces the complexity of the deployment at the expense of slightly extended RTO.

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Article
Timothy Leavitt · Mar 17 3m read
Making the most of $Query

I ran into an interesting ObjectScript use case today with a general solution that I wanted to share.

Use case:

I have a JSON array (specifically, in my case, an array of issues from Jira) that I want to aggregate over a few fields - say, category, priority, and issue type. I then want to flatten the aggregates into a simple list with the total for each of the groups. Of course, for the aggregation, it makes sense to use a local array in the form:

agg(category, priority, type) = total

Such that for each record in the input array I can just:

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Article
Timothy Leavitt · Jul 8, 2020 7m read
Tips for debugging with %Status

Introduction

If you're solving complex problems in ObjectScript, you probably have a lot of code that works with %Status values. If you have interacted with persistent classes from an object perspective (%Save, %OpenId, etc.), you have almost certainly seen them. A %Status provides a wrapper around a localizable error message in InterSystems' platforms. An OK status ($$$OK) is just equal to 1, whereas a bad status ($$$ERROR(errorcode,arguments...)) is represented as a 0 followed by a space followed by a $ListBuild list with structured information about the error. $System.Status (see class reference) provides several handy APIs for working with %Status values; the class reference is helpful and I won't bother duplicating it here. There have been a few other useful articles/questions on the topic as well (see links at the end). My focus in this article will be on a few debugging tricks techniques rather than coding best practices (again, if you're looking for those, see links at the end).

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Over the last couple of weeks the Solution Architecture team has been working to finish off our 2019 workload: this included open-sourcing the Readmission Demo that was brought to HIMSS last year, so we could make it available to anyone looking for an interactive-way of exploring the tooling provided by IRIS.

 

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Like hardware hosts, virtual hosts in public and private clouds can develop resource bottlenecks as workloads increase. If you are using and managing InterSystems IRIS instances deployed in public or private clouds, you may have encountered a situation in which addressing performance or other issues requires increasing the capacity of an instance's host (that is, vertically scaling).

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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
Eduard Lebedyuk · May 21, 2018 10m read
Adding your own provider to MFT

Managed File Transfer (MFT) feature of InterSystems IRIS enables easy inclusion of a third-party file transfer service directly into an InterSystems IRIS production. Currently, DropBox, Box, and Kiteworks cloud disks are available.

In this article, I'd like to describe how to add more cloud storage platforms.

Here's what we're going to talk about:

  • What is MFT
  • Reference: Dropbox
    • Connection
    • Interoperability
    • Direct access
  • Interfaces you need to implement
    • Connection
    • Logic
  • Installation
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In my previous article, we reviewed possible use-cases for macros, so let’s now proceed to a more comprehensive example of macros usability. In this article we will design and build a logging system.

Logging system

Logging system is a useful tool for monitoring the work of an application that saves a lot of time during debugging and monitoring. Our system would consist of two parts:

  • Storage class (for log records)
  • Set of macros that automatically add a new record to the log

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In this article, I would like to talk about the spec-first approach to REST API development.

While traditional code-first REST API development goes like this:

  • Writing code
  • REST-enabling it
  • Documenting it (as a REST API)

Spec-first follows the same steps but reverse. We start with a spec, also doubling as documentation, generate a boilerplate REST app from that and finally write some business logic.

This is advantageous because:

  • You always have relevant and useful documentation for external or frontend developers who want to use your REST API
  • Specification created in OAS (Swagger) can be imported into a variety of tools allowing editing, client generation, API Management, Unit Testing and automation or simplification of many other tasks
  • Improved API architecture.  In code-first approach, API is developed method by method so a developer can easily lose track of the overall API  architecture, however with the spec-first developer is forced to interact with an API from the position if API consumer which usually helps with designing cleaner API architecture
  • Faster development - as all boilerplate code is automatically generated you won't have to write it, all that's left is developing business logic.
  • Faster feedback loops - consumers can get a view of the API immediately and they can easier offer suggestions simply by modifying the spec

Let's develop our API in a spec-first approach!

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Article
Tony Pepper · May 25, 2016 5m read
Random Read IO Storage Performance Tool

Purpose

This tool is used to generate random read Input/Output (IO) from within the database. The goal of this tool is to drive as many jobs as possible to achieve target IOPS and ensure acceptable disk response times are sustained. Results gathered from the IO tests will vary from configuration to configuration based on the IO sub-system. Before running these tests ensure corresponding operating system and storage level monitoring are configured to capture IO performance metrics for later analysis.

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Article
Lily Taub · Mar 19, 2019 9m read
A Tutorial On WebSockets

Intro

Most server-client communication on the web is based on a request and response structure. The client sends a request to the server and the server responds to this request. The WebSocket protocol provides a two-way channel of communication between a server and client, allowing servers to send messages to clients without first receiving a request. For more information on the WebSocket protocol and its implementation in InterSystems IRIS, see the links below.

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