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The topic of for/while loop performance in Caché ObjectScript came up in discussion recently, and I'd like to share some thoughts/best practices with the rest of the community. While this is a basic topic in itself, it's easy to overlook the performance implications of otherwise-reasonable approaches.

Last comment 5 days ago
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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 comment 4 June 2018
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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 comment 29 May 2019
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The code of %Z.obj is available on Open Exchange.

During testing your code you are are often confronted with the need to examine
the actual content of an object. Either using ZWRITE or $system.OBJ.Dump()
you get a picture of simple properties as "--- attribute values ---"
while "--- swizzled references ---" are more confusing than informative
and with "--- calculated references ---" you are just left in the lurch.

Last comment 10 June 2019
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What if you could serialize/deserialize objects in whatever format: JSON, XML, CSV,...; attending different criteria: export/import some properties and not others, transform values in this or that way before exporting/importing,...; and all of this without having to change the class definition? Wouldn't that be great??

Well, perhaps it's a goal too ambitious to reach 100% but, exploring this idea, I've developed a bunch of classes that I thought it was good to share. If you want to test, change, modify or improve the code, or just take a look at it, you can do it here. There you'll find a more detailed explanation (see Readme.md)

Be aware, this is a proof of concept for myself done in spare times, sure it's not robust enough or it can be done much better... but, I was just playing...ok, I could just wait to the new JSON Adaptor (coming soon!) that sure is going to resolve much more scenarios in a cleaner way, but... meanwhile... :-) ...

Last comment 26 April 2018
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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 comment 23 August 2017
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DTL Transformations and GetValueAt/SetValueAt calls on HL7 messages will truncate any fields longer than 32K.  To avoid this, the methods GetFieldStreamRaw and StoreFieldStreamRaw must be used when dealing with fields that might be larger than 32K.  OBX:5 is a frequent example.  These methods have some subtleties and must be used carefully.

This can't be done by simply dragging from left to right in a DTL.  It must be done with a code action.  Also, the StoreFieldStreamRaw call must be the last edit made to the segment because the segment becomes immutable after that.

Last comment 10 June 2017
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Cache tricks

Several years ago, long before Developer Community Portal was launched, I published a series of Caché tricks at one of Czech web sites. In this article, I’m posting translated version of one of them.

Capturing output of someone else’s methods or routines

Suppose you, or someone else created a useful method or routine, that was producing some computation that you’d like to benefit from, but the routine was writing output to process principal device.

You would like to use the data, but you need it not written to a device, but assigned to a variable. And, for any reason, you can’t modify the code. What can you do?

Last comment 26 July 2016
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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 comment 18 October 2017
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A feature I recently used in working on ISC internal applications is the ability to send emails on behalf of someone. This is useful when generating system notifications from an application when you want some of them to show up as being from a specific person, perhaps posting comments on a work ticket.

In my case I was updating our facilities work order system for tracking requests. Normally all notification emails are sent from the same noreply email address. I wanted to change that so comments added from the original requester would show up as being from them and stand out. 

Last comment 15 March 2017
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This article created as side effect of preparations to the longer set of articles about simple, but still handy MapReduce implementation in Caché. I was looking for relatively easy way to pass arguments to (potentially) multiple targets via remote calling facilities. And after several attempts I have realized that we do have very powerful mechanism in the Caché ObjectScript which might be of particular help here – dynamic dispatch for methods and properties.

Last comment 21 July 2016
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WebSockets as a communication technology wins increasing importance.
In the SAMPLES namespace, you find a nice example for running a WebSocket Server.
There is also a useful example for a Browser Client. But it is still in the browser. 

My point is:
How to consume the output of a WebSocket Server in your application?

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Advent of Code is a series of 25 small programming challenges, it's an ideal way for beginners to start learning a computer language, and for advanced people to sharpen their programming skills.

There are small and bigger puzzles, which you can solve typically in half an hour to a few hours. (Looking at the leaderboard, the top aces can do them in less than 10 minutes.)

Advent of Code is created by Eric Wastl, you can find all info on https://adventofcode.com/.

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This is the second part of my long post about package managers in operating systems and language distributions. Now, hopefully, we have managed to convince you that convenient package manager and rich 3rd party code repository is one key factor in establishing of a vibrant and fast growing ecosystem. (Another possible reason for ecosystem success is the consistent language design, but it will be topic for another day.)
Last comment 6 February 2017
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Two fairly common requests we receive from HL7 customers are (1) how to remove all trailing delimiters for fields and segments in HL7 messages and (2) how to "find and replace" for an entire HL7 message (as opposed to one segment/field at a time).  The code sample below shows a custom function that solves for item 1 and by extension item 2 above.  In other words the same approach can be used for finding/replacing any sequence of chars in an entire HL7 message, with some tweaks to the custom function.

Last comment 16 May 2018
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NOTE:  This content was originally presented at the InterSystems Global Summit in 2014, however related topics often come up on the Developer Community so I have decided to turn this into an article for easier reference and discussion.  However, much of the content was pulled directly from the presentation slides so the article format resembles that of a PPT deck more than paragraphs.

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Context: 

mirrored configuration with one primary member and one async member (without failover/backup member)

Purpose:

replace the CACHE.DAT of a mirrored database on the primary member.

 Steps to follow:

Last comment 21 October 2016
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There have been a few use cases recently within InterSystems where we've needed to connect to Caché-based web services from PHP. The first of these was actually the Developer Community itself, which uses web services as part of Single Sign-On with other InterSystems sites/applications. The following example demonstrates how to connect to a Caché-based web service (particularly, the web service in the SAMPLES namespace) from PHP, using password authentication.

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It's well-known that namespace global mapping helps us to write code independent on database storage details (Caché instance name, directory path). But sometimes we can face problems accessing an unsubscripted global which has subscript level mapping (SLM) defined. Most of such cases are evident and associated with administrative tasks that should be done on database level, but some of them can confuse even an experienced developer. Just to start:

Last comment 13 October 2018
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