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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As a developer, you have probably spent at least some time writing repetetive code. You may have even found yourself wishing you could generate the code programmatically. If this sounds familiar, this article is for you!

We'll start with an example. Note: the following examples use the %DynamicObject interface, which requires Caché 2016.2 or later. If you are unfamiliar with this class, check out the documentation here: Using JSON in Caché. It's really cool!

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One of the great availability and scaling features of Caché is Enterprise Cache Protocol (ECP). With consideration during application development distributed processing using ECP allows a scale out architecture for Caché applications. Application processing can scale to very high rates from a single application server to the processing power of up to 255 application servers with no application changes.

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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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Article
· Mar 14, 2018 10m read
REST Design and Development

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.

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Article
· May 20, 2016 12m read
Collations in Caché

Order is a necessity for everyone, but not everyone understands it in the same way
(Fausto Cercignani)

Disclaimer: This article uses Russian language and Cyrillic alphabet as examples, but is relevant for anyone who uses Caché in a non-English locale.
Please note that this article refers mostly to NLS collations, which are different than SQL collations. SQL collations (such as SQLUPPER, SQLSTRING, EXACT which means no collation, TRUNCATE, etc.) are actual functions that are explicitly applied to some values, and whose results are sometimes explicitly stored in the global subscripts. When stored in subscripts, these values would naturally follow the NLS collation in effect (“SQL and NLS Collations”).

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Myself and the other Technology Architects often have to explain to customers and vendors Caché IO requirements and the way that Caché applications will use storage systems. The following tables are useful when explaining typical Caché IO profile and requirements for a transactional database application with customers and vendors. The original tables were created by Mark Bolinsky.

In future posts I will be discussing more about storage IO so am also posting these tables now as a reference for those articles.

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Article
· Jun 12, 2023 3m read
LangChain fixed the SQL for me

This article is a simple quick starter (what I did was) with SqlDatabaseChain.

Hope this ignites some interest.

Many thanks to:

sqlalchemy-iris author @Dmitry Maslennikov

Your project made this possible today.

The article script uses openai API so caution not to share table information and records externally, that you didn't intend to.

A local model could be plugged in , instead if needed.

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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.

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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

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In this article, I would show how you can upload and download files from InterSystems products via http.

The questions about working with files over http arise fairly often on community and I'm usually linking to my FileServer project which demonstrates file upload/download but I'd like to talk a bit more on how we can serve and receive files from InterSystems products.

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In an ever-changing world, companies must innovate to stay competitive. This ensures that they’ll make decisions with agility and safety, aiming for future results with greater accuracy.
Business Intelligence (BI) tools help companies make intelligent decisions instead of relying on trial and error. These intelligent decisions can make the difference between success and failure in the marketplace.
Microsoft Power BI is one of the industry’s leading business intelligence tools. With just a few clicks, Power BI makes it easy for managers and analysts to explore a company’s data. This is important because when data is easy to access and visualize, it’s much more like it’ll be used to make business decisions.


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Some time ago I got a WRC case transferred where a customer asks for the availability of a raw DEFLATE compression/decompression function built-in Caché.

When we talk about DEFLATE we need to talk about Zlib as well, since Zlib is the de-facto standard free compression/decompression library developed in the mid-90s.

Zlib works on particular DEFLATE compression/decompression algorithm and the idea of encapsulation within a wrapper (gzip, zlib, etc.).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zlib

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Have some free text fields in your application that you wish you could search efficiently? Tried using some methods before but found out that they just cannot match the performance needs of your customers? Do I have one weird trick that will solve all your problems? Don’t you already know!? All I do is bring great solutions to your performance pitfalls!

As usual, if you want the TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) version, skip to the end. Just know you are hurting my feelings.

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Ansible helped me solve the problem of quickly deploying Caché and application components for Data Platforms benchmarks. You can use the same tools and methodology for standing up your test labs, training systems, development or other environments. If you deploy applications at customer sites you could automate much of the deployment and ensure that system, Caché and your application are configured to your applications best practice standards.

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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
  • Why containers?
  • Containers infrastructure
  • CD using containers

In the first 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.

In the second article, we covered GitLab Workflow - a complete software life cycle process and Continuous Delivery.

In the third article, we covered GitLab installation and configuration and connecting your environments to GitLab

In the fourth article, we wrote a CD configuration.

In the fifth article, we talked about containers and how (and why) they can be used.

In the sixth article let's discuss main components you'll need to run a continuous delivery pipeline with containers and how they all work together.

In this article, we'll build Continuous Delivery configuration discussed in the previous articles.

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Article
· Jan 31, 2018 3m read
Container - What is a Container?

Containers

With the launch of InterSystems IRIS Data Platform, we provide our product even in a Docker container. But what is a container?

The fundamental container definition is that of a sandbox for a process.

Containers are software-defined packages that have some similarities to virtual machines (VM) like for example they can be executed.

Containers provide isolation without a full OS emulation. Containers are therefore much lighter than a VM.

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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 Caché. 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.

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Article
· Oct 24, 2016 4m read
DeepSee Troubleshooting Guide

The goal of this “DeepSee Troubleshooting Guide” is to help you track down and fix problems in your DeepSee project.

If the problem can’t be fixed by following the guidelines, you will at least have enough information to submit a WRC issue with DeepSee Support and provide all the evidence to us, so we can continue the investigation together and resolve it faster!

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In this post I would like to talk about the syslog table. I will cover what it is, how you look at it, what the entries really are, and why it may be important to you. The syslog table can contain important diagnostic information. If your system is having any problems, it is important to understand how to look at this table and what information is contained there.

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Article
· Jul 18, 2017 2m read
Old/New Dynamic SQL Cheat Sheet

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:

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