Tony Pepper · 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.


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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Robert Cemper · Mar 26, 2019 2m read
Synchronize Data with DSTIME

For Data Synchronization inside Caché you have a range of ways to synchronize objects and tables.
At DB level you can use Shadowing or Mirroring

This works excellent and if you need just a part of your data to be synchronized you may split your
data into smaller pieces using Global mapping
Or if you need bi-directional synchronization on Class/Table level you can use the Object Synchronization Feature

The limit of all these excellent features:
They just work from Caché/IRIS to Caché/IRIS.

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This formation, accessible on my GitHub, will cover, in half a hour, how to read and write in csv and txt files, insert and get inside the IRIS database and a distant database using Postgres or how to use a FLASK API, all of that using the Interoperability framework using ONLY Python following the PEP8 convention.

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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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Iryna Mykhailova · 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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Astronomers’ tools

5 years ago, on December 19, 2013, the ESA launched an orbital telescope called Gaia. Learn more about the Gaia mission on the official website of the European Space Agency or in the article by Vitaly Egorov (Billion pixels for a billion stars).

However, few people know what technology the agency chose for storing and processing the data collected by Gaia. Two years before the launch, in 2011, the developers were considering a number of candidates (see “Astrostatistics and Data Mining” by Luis Manuel Sarro, Laurent Eyer, William O’Mullane, Joris De Ridder, pp. 111-112):

Comparing the technologies side-by-side produced the following results (source):

Technology Time
DB2 13min55s
PostgreSQL 8 14min50s
PostgreSQL 9 6min50s
Hadoop 3min37s
Cassandra 3min37s
Caché 2min25s

The first four will probably sound familiar even to schoolchildren. But what is Caché XEP?

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Rob Tweed · Dec 20, 2021 1m read
Holiday Reading: What Lies Beneath!

For those of you who might be new to IRIS, and even those who have used Cache or IRIS for some time but want to explore beyond its usually-assumed boundaries and practices, you might want to dive into this detailed exploration of the database engine that is at its heart, and discover just what you can really do with it, going way beyond what InterSystems have done with it for you.

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Eduardo Anglada · May 11, 2021 8m read
IRIS in Astronomy

In this article we are going to show the results of the comparision between IRIS and Postgress when handling Astronomy data.


Since the earliest days of human civilization we have been fascinated by the sky at night. There are so many stars! Everybody has dreamed about them and fantasized about life in other planets.

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Mirroring 101

Caché mirroring is a reliable, inexpensive, and easy to implement high availability and disaster recovery solution for Caché and Ensemble-based applications. Mirroring provides automatic failover under a broad range of planned and unplanned outage scenarios, with application recovery time typically limited to seconds. Logical data replication eliminates storage as a single point of failure and a source of data corruption. Upgrades can be executed with little or no downtime.

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At the heart of IRIS and Cache is a very interesting database architecture that we, at M/Gateway Developments, refer to as "Global Storage". If you ever wanted to know more about the fundamentals and capabilities of this underlying database, you might want to read a major analysis we've put together:

Amongst other things you'll discover that:

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This text is a continuation of my article where I explained the structure a Caché database. In this article, I described the types of blocks, connections between them and their relation to globals. The article was purely theoretical. I made a project that helps visualize the block tree - and this article will explain how it works in great detail.

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Jorma Sinnamo · Nov 8, 2016 4m read
Returning Disk Space to File Systems

This is the first article in a series discussing how to regain disk space from Caché databases at the operating system level. This introductory article discusses Caché database growth and gives an overview of various methods you can use to return unused disk space that is allocated to database files back to the file system. But before we talk about returning space to the file system, let’s first review how does it get allocated in the first place.

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David Underhill · Jul 12, 2019 2m read
Basic Database Metrics example

This is a self contained class that can be run from the Intersystems Task Scheduler which records peak usage details for databases and licenses built up throughout the day and retaining 30 days history.

To schedule the task to run every hour:

d ##class(Metrics.Task).Schedule()

You can also specify your own start time, stop time, and run interval:

d ##class(Metrics.Task).Schedule(startTime, stopTime, intervalMins)

Metrics are stored in ^Metrics in the namespace that the class resides in/is run from.

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Sergey Kamenev · Nov 11, 2019 11m read
Transactions in Global InterSystems IRIS

InterSystems IRIS supports a unique data structure, called globals, for information storage. Essentially, globals are persistent arrays with multi-level indices, having several extra capabilities—transactions, quick traversal of tree structures, and a programming language known as ObjectScript.

I'd note that for the remainder of the article, or at least the code samples, we'll assume you have familiarised yourself with the basics of globals:

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Nikolay Soloviev · Aug 1, 2019 3m read
Nested set model for ObjectScript

In many projects I was faced with storing hierarchical data (tree) in classes.
By tree, I mean such data, where each node has a parent node — an object of the same class.
Many examples of such data can be given. For example, a catalog in the online store. Suppose that this online store sells books, in this case, the category tree might look like this:

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