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
· Oct 18, 2016 7m read
Macros in the InterSystems Caché

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.

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Container Images

In this second post on containers fundamentals, we take a look at what container images are.

What is a container image?

A container image is merely a binary representation of a container.

A running container or simply a container is the runtime state of the related container image.

Please see the first post that explains what a container is.

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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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The object and relational data models of the Caché database support three types of indexes, which are standard, bitmap, and bitslice. In addition to these three native types, developers can declare their own custom types of indexes and use them in any classes since version 2013.1. For example, iFind text indexes use that mechanism.

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While the integrity of Caché and InterSystems IRIS databases is completely protected from the consequences of system failure, physical storage devices do fail in ways that corrupt the data they store. For that reason, many sites choose to run regular database integrity checks, particularly in coordination with backups to validate that a given backup could be relied upon in a disaster.

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Updated Jan 19th, 2023.

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     : Download from https://www.openssl.org or other built OpenSSL Binary. 

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

RHEL        : $ sudo yum install openssl
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Article
· 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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Released with no formal announcement in IRIS preview release 2019.4 is the /api/monitor service exposing IRIS metrics in Prometheus format. Big news for anyone wanting to use IRIS metrics as part of their monitoring and alerting solution. The API is a component of the new IRIS System Alerting and Monitoring (SAM) solution that will be released in an upcoming version of IRIS.

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Article
· 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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Article
· 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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Hi Community!

I think everyone keeps the source code of the project in the repository nowadays: Github, GitLab, bitbucket, etc. Same for InterSystems IRIS projects check any on Open Exchange.

What do we do every time when start or continue working with a certain repository with InterSystems Data Platform?

We need a local InterSystems IRIS machine, have the environment for the project set up and the source code imported.

So every developer performs the following:

  1. Check out the code from repo
  2. Install/Run local IRIS installation
  3. Create a new namespace/database for a project
  4. Import the code into this new namespace
  5. Setup all the rest environment
  6. Start/continue coding the project

If you dockerize your repository this steps line could be shortened to this 3 steps:

  1. Check out the code from repo
  2. Run docker-compose build
  3. Start/continue coding the project

Profit - no any hands-on for 3-4-5 steps which could take minutes and bring head ache sometime.

You can dockerize (almost) any your InterSystems repo with a few following steps. Let’s go!

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Here you'll find a simple program that uses Python in an IRIS environment and another simple program that uses ObjectScript in a Python environment. Also, I'd like to share a few of the troubles I went trough while learning to implement this.

Python in IRIS environment

Let's say, for example, you're in an IRIS environment and you want to solve a problem that you find easy, or more efficient with Python.

You can simply change the environment: create your method as any other, and in the end of it's name and specifications, you add [ Language = python ]:

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Article
· Aug 2, 2022 8m read
Data models in InterSystems IRIS

Before we start talking about databases and different data models that exist, first we'd better talk about what a database is and how to use it.

A database is an organized collection of data stored and accessed electronically. It is used to store and retrieve structured, semi-structured, or raw data which is often related to a theme or activity.

At the heart of every database lies at least one model used to describe its data. And depending on the model it is based on, a database may have slightly different characteristics and store different types of data.

To write, retrieve, modify, sort, transform or print the information from the database, a software called Database Management System (DBMS) is used.

The size, capacity, and performance of databases and their respective DBMS have increased by several orders of magnitude. It has been made possible by technological advances in various areas, such as processors, computer memory, computer storage, and computer networks. In general, the development of database technology can be divided into four generations based on the data models or structure: navigational, relational, object and post-relational.

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