In this article I would like to present the RESTForms project - generic REST API backend for modern web applications.

The idea behind the project is simple -after I wrote several REST APIs I realized that generally, REST API consists of two parts:

  • Work with persistent classes
  • Custom business logic

And, while you'll have to write your own custom business logic, RESTForms provides all things related to working with persistent classes right out of the box.
Use cases

  • You already have a data model in Caché and you want to expose some (or all) of the information in a form of REST API
  • You are developing a new Caché application and you want to provide a REST API
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Created by Daniel Kutac, Sales Engineer, InterSystems

Warning: if you get confused by URLs used: the original series used screens from machine called dk-gs2016. The new screenshots are taken from a different machine. You can safely treat url WIN-U9J96QBJSAG as if it was dk-gs2016.

Part 2. Authorization server, OpenID Connect server

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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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** Revised Feb-12, 2018

While this article is about InterSystems IRIS, it also applies to Caché, Ensemble, and HealthShare distributions.

Introduction

Memory is managed in pages. The default page size is 4KB on Linux systems. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, and Oracle Linux 6 introduced a method to provide an increased page size in 2MB or 1GB sizes depending on system configuration know as HugePages.

At first HugePages required to be assigned at boot time, and if not managed or calculated appropriately could result in wasted resources. As a result various Linux distributions introduced Transparent HugePages with the 2.6.38 kernel as enabled by default. This was meant as a means to automate creating, managing, and using HugePages. Prior kernel versions may have this feature as well however may not be marked as [always] and potentially set to [madvise].

Transparent Huge Pages (THP) is a Linux memory management system that reduces the overhead of Translation Lookaside Buffer (TLB) lookups on machines with large amounts of memory by using larger memory pages. However in current Linux releases THP can only map individual process heap and stack space.

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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:

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Your application is deployed and everything is running fine. Great, hi-five! Then out of the blue the phone starts to ring off the hook – it’s users complaining that the application is sometimes ‘slow’. But what does that mean? Sometimes? What tools do you have and what statistics should you be looking at to find and resolve this slowness? Is your system infrastructure up to the task of the user load? What infrastructure design questions should you have asked before you went into production? How can you capacity plan for new hardware with confidence and without over-spec'ing? How can you stop the phone ringing? How could you have stopped it ringing in the first place?

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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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Everybody has a testing environment.

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

-- Unknown

.

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.

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Article
· Nov 14, 2016 14m read
Mastering the JDBC SQL Gateway

As we all know, Caché is a great database that accomplishes lots of tasks within itself. However, what do you do when you need to access an external database? One way is to use the Caché SQL Gateway via JDBC. In this article, my goal is to answer the following questions to help you familiarize yourself with the technology and debug some common problems.

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In the last post we scheduled 24-hour collections of performance metrics using pButtons. In this post we are going to be looking at a few of the key metrics that are being collected and how they relate to the underlying system hardware. We will also start to explore the relationship between Caché (or any of the InterSystems Data Platforms) metrics and system metrics. And how you can use these metrics to understand the daily beat rate of your systems and diagnose performance problems.

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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.

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

New Tool Available

Please see PerfTools IO Test Suite for a later version of the Random Read IO 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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Google Cloud Platform (GCP) provides a feature rich environment for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) as a cloud offering fully capable of supporting all of InterSystems products including the latest InterSystems IRIS Data Platform. Care must be taken, as with any platform or deployment model, to ensure all aspects of an environment are considered such as performance, availability, operations, and management procedures. Specifics of each of those areas will be covered in this article.

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Article
· Oct 7, 2016 4m read
Forwarding Requests in a REST Service

One useful feature of our REST framework is the ability for a dispatch class to identify request prefixes and forward them to another dispatch class. This approach of modularizing your URL map will improve code readability, enable you to easily maintain separate versions of an interface, and provide a means to protect API calls that only certain users will be allowed to access.

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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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Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) solutions have been gaining traction for the last few years with the number of deployments now increasing rapidly. IT decision makers are considering HCI when scoping new deployments or hardware refreshes especially for applications already virtualised on VMware. Reasons for choosing HCI include; dealing with a single vendor, validated interoperability between all hardware and software components, high performance especially IO, simple scalability by addition of hosts, simplified deployment and simplified management.

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Article
· Apr 17, 2017 4m read
Debugging Web

In this article I'll cover testing and debugging Caché web applications (mainly REST) with external tools. Second part covers Caché tools.

You wrote server-side code and want to test it from a client or already have a web application and it doesn't work. Here comes debugging. In this article I'll go from the easiest to use tools (browser) to the most comprehensive (packet analyzer), but first let's talk a little about most common errors and how they can be resolved.

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Article
· Mar 28, 2019 2m read
ObjectScript error handling snippets

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.

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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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