This post will show you an approach to size shared memory requirements for database applications running on InterSystems data platforms including global and routine buffers, gmheap, and locksize as well as some performance tips you should consider when configuring servers and when virtualizing Caché applications. As ever when I talk about Caché I mean all the data platform (Ensemble, HealthShare, iKnow and Caché).


A list of other posts in this series is here

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Hello Developers!

Have you ever had to convert HL7v2 messages to FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) and found the process complicated and confusing? InterSystems is rolling out a new cloud based SaaS offering called InterSystems FHIR Transformation Service, which makes the process easy. We are excited to announce an Early Access Preview Program for our new offering, and we would love to have you kick the tires and let us know what you think! All you need is a free AWS account, with an S3 bucket to drop in your HL7v2 messages, and another S3 bucket to get your FHIR output.

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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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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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Article
· Oct 11, 2022 2m read
ZPM Simple Implementation Cookbook

ZPM is designed to work with applications and modules for InterSystems IRIS Data Platform. It consists of two components, the ZPN Client which is a CLI to manage modules, and The Registry which is a database of modules and meta-information. We can use ZPM to search, install, upgrade, remove and publish modules. With ZPM you can install ObjectScript classes, Frontend applications, Interoperability productions, IRIS BI solutions, IRIS Datasets or any files such as Embedded Python wheels.

Today this cookbook will go through 3 sections:

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The Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud provides a broad set of infrastructure services, such as compute resources, storage options, and networking that are delivered as a utility: on-demand, available in seconds, with pay-as-you-go pricing. New services can be provisioned quickly, without upfront capital expense. This allows enterprises, start-ups, small and medium-sized businesses, and customers in the public sector to access the building blocks they need to respond quickly to changing business requirements.

Updated: 10-Jan, 2023

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Hi, this post was initially written for Caché. In June 2023, I finally updated it for IRIS. If you are revisiting the post since then, the only real change is substituting Caché for IRIS! I also updated the links for IRIS documentation and fixed a few typos and grammatical errors. Enjoy :)

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Article
· Jan 22 2m read
Getting JSON from SQL

Did you know that you can get JSON data directly from your SQL tables?

Let me introduce you to 2 useful SQL functions that are used to retrieve JSON data from SQL queries - JSON_ARRAY and JSON_OBJECT.
You can use those functions in the SELECT statement with other types of select items, and they can be specified in other locations where an SQL function can be used, such as in a WHERE clause

The JSON_ARRAY function takes a comma-separated list of expressions and returns a JSON array containing those values.

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InterSystems Official
· Nov 29, 2023
Introducing the Upgrade Impact Checklist

We are excited to announce a new part of InterSystems documentation that makes it easier to upgrade InterSystems IRIS® data platform, InterSystems IRIS® for Health™, or HealthShare® Health Connect. The Upgrade Impact Checklist at https://docs.intersystems.com/upgrade shows you all the things you need to consider – and only the things you need to consider – in an upgrade between any two versions.

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Python has become the most used programming language in the world (source: https://www.tiobe.com/tiobe-index/) and SQL continues to lead the way as a database language. Wouldn't it be great for Python and SQL to work together to deliver new functionality that SQL alone cannot? After all, Python has more than 380,000 published libraries (source: https://pypi.org/) with very interesting capabilities to extend your SQL queries within Python.

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What is Web Scraping:

In simple terms, Web scraping, web harvesting, or web data extraction is an automated process of collecting large data(unstructured) from websites. The user can extract all the data on particular sites or the specific data as per the requirement. The data collected can be stored in a structured format for further analysis.

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The following steps show you how to display a sample list of metrics available from the /api/monitor service.

In the last post, I gave an overview of the service that exposes IRIS metrics in Prometheus format. The post shows how to set up and run IRIS preview release 2019.4 in a container and then list the metrics.


This post assumes you have Docker installed. If not, go and do that now for your platform :)

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I have attached a document that describes the product I have developed called NiPaRobotica Pharmacy. This is an interface I developed that accepts Pharmacy Dispense Requests and converts the line items on the order into dispense dialogues which it sends to pharmacy robots. I deployed the interface into 3 Hospital pharmacies two of which had 6 robots that were arranged in such a way that the dispense chutes channelled medications to desks by the pharmacists sitting in windows serving 1200 patients a day. The robots cut the average waiting time from 2 hours down to one hour.

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In this article we are going to see how we can use the WhatsApp instant messaging service from InterSystems IRIS to send messages to different recipients. To do this we must create and configure an account in Meta and configure a Business Operation to send the messages we want.

Let's look at each of these steps in more detail.

Setting up an account on Meta

This is possibly the most complicated point of the entire configuration, since we will have to configure a series of accounts until we can have the messaging functionality.

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There are many ways to generate excel files using Intersystems, some of them are ZEN reports, IRIS reports ( Logi reports or formally known as JReports), or we can use third party Java libraries, the possibilities are almost endless.

But, what if you want to create a simple spreadsheet with only Caché ObjectScript? (no third party applications)

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InterSystems Official
· Aug 21, 2020
Introducing InterSystems Container Registry

I am pleased to announce the availability of InterSystems Container Registry. This provides a new distribution channel for customers to access container-based releases and previews. All Community Edition images are available in a public repository with no login required. All full released images (IRIS, IRIS for Health, Health Connect, System Alerting and Monitoring, InterSystems Cloud Manager) and utility images (such as arbiter, Web Gateway, and PasswordHash) require a login token, generated from your WRC account credentials.

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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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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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Index

This is a list of all the posts in the Data Platforms’ capacity planning and performance series in order. Also a general list of my other posts. I will update as new posts in the series are added.


You will notice that I wrote some posts before IRIS was released and refer to Caché. I will revisit the posts over time, but in the meantime, Generally, the advice for configuration is the same for Caché and IRIS. Some command names may have changed; the most obvious example is that anywhere you see the ^pButtons command, you can replace it with ^SystemPerformance.


While some posts are updated to preserve links, others will be marked as strikethrough to indicate that the post is legacy. Generally, I will say, "See: some other post" if it is appropriate.


Capacity Planning and Performance Series

Generally, posts build on previous ones, but you can also just dive into subjects that look interesting.


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Docker 20.10.14 (released March 23, 2022) changes the Linux capabilities given to containers in a manner that is incompatible with the Linux capability checker in InterSystems IRIS 2021.1 (and up) containers.

Users running Docker 20.10.14 on Linux will find that IRIS 2021.1+ containers will fail to start and the logs will incorrectly report that required Linux capabilities are missing. For example:

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The IKO documentation is robust. A single web page, that consists of about 50 actual pages of documentation. For beginners that can be a bit overwhelming. As the saying goes: how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Let's start with the first bite: helm.

What is Helm?

Helm is to Kubernetes what the InterSystems Package Manager (IPM, formerly ObjectScript Package Manager - ZPM) is to IRIS.

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