Article
Robert Cemper · Jul 4, 2020 4m read
Editor Archaeology

During the development of the Terminal Multi-Line Command Editor I discovered in my IRIS installation
a piece of software that I just can classify as a historic artifact. And it is still fully operational !!!

As it dates back to times before InterSystems was founded in 1978 you may understand my surprise.
I personally stepped into that environment in 1978 and used it then for daily work.

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Article
Robert Cemper · May 22 1m read
Debugging Trick with SQL

I'm sure you have met this situation:

  • There is a bug in a System that you can't reproduce yourself locally
  • You need to run a few lines in the affected instance
  • You get full access to System Management Portal
  • But there is just  no terminal, nor console, nor access with Studio, Atelier or VSCode
  • How to run your few lines for testing ???

 

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Article
Robert Cemper · Jun 10, 2019 1m read
A more useFull Object Dump

During testing your code you 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.

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Article
Stefan Wittmann · Aug 14, 2019 9m read
Introducing InterSystems API Manager

As you might have heard, we just introduced the InterSystems API Manager (IAM); a new feature of the InterSystems IRIS Data Platform™, enabling you to monitor, control and govern traffic to and from web-based APIs within your IT infrastructure. In case you missed it, here is the link to the announcement.

In this article, I will show you how to set up IAM and highlight some of the many capabilities IAM allows you to leverage.

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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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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
Robert Cemper · Sep 22, 2018 3m read
Sharding evaluation #1

IRIS brought us a new  WOW feature - SHARDING !
Definitely a great thing!
But how can I find out if it suits my actual applications?
Is there a practical advantage to go for it with my well cooked transactional application?
Or is it just for new still to be designed applications?

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Article
Dmitry Maslennikov · Aug 20, 2021 6m read
GitHub Codespaces with IRIS

Some time ago GitHub, has announced the new feature, GitHub Codespaces. It gives an ability to run VSCode in the browser, with almost the same power as it would run locally on your machine, but also with a power of clouds, so, you are able to choose the machine type with up to 32 CPU cores and 64 GB of RAM.

Looks impressive, is not it? But how it could help us, to work with projects driven by InterSystems IRIS? Let's have a look, how to configure it for us.

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GraphQL is a standard for declaring data structures and methods of data access that serves as a middleware layer between the client and the server. If you’ve never heard about GraphQL, here is a couple of useful online resources: here, here and here.

In this article, I will tell you how you can use GraphQL in your projects based on InterSystems technologies.

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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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"Telegram" is a well-known instant messenger, which provides an API for creating bots. The features of this API allow you to create bots with a wide range of functionality including receiving payments. 
With the help of the telegram bot, I solved a simple task - sending Alerts from Ensemble to Telegram.

Advantages: Alerts come to the mobile phone, a notification appears, so there is no need to install any additional applications (in contrast to the solution https://community.intersystems.com/post/sending-alerts-mobile-phone-using-pushover- httpoutboundadapter).

The bot can be extended by adding new commands, for example, for managing the Production or for solving other tasks in Iris, Ensemble or Cache.

 

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Article
Robert Cemper · Feb 8, 2019 2m read
Client for WebSockets based on Node.js

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. JavaScript does most of the work. 

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

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I'd like to share with you some storage features that also exist in Caché but are almost 
unknown and mostly not used. They are of course available in IRIS and gain importance
with large and distributed storage architectures.

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Article
Timothy Leavitt · 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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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: 2-Apr, 2021 

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Globals, these magic swords for storing data, have been around for a while, but not many people can use them efficiently or know about this super-weapon altogether.

If you use globals for tasks where they truly shine, the results may be amazing, either in terms of increased performance or dramatic simplification of the overall solution (1, 2).

Globals offer a special way of storing and processing data, which is completely different from SQL tables. They were first introduced in 1966 in the M(UMPS) programming language, which was initially used in medical databases. It is still used in the same way, but has also been adopted by some other industries where reliability and high performance are top priorities: finance, trading, etc.

Later M(UMPS) evolved into Caché ObjectScript (COS). COS was developed by InterSystems as a superset of M. The original language is still accepted by developers' community and alive in a few implementations. There are several signs of activity around the web: MUMPS Google group, Mumps User's group), effective ISO Standard, etc.

Modern global based DBMS supports transactions, journaling, replication, partitioning. It means that they can be used for building modern, reliable and fast distributed systems.

Globals do not restrict you to the boundaries of the relational model. They give you the freedom of creating data structures optimized for particular tasks. For many applications reasonable use of globals can be a real silver bullet offering speeds that developers of conventional relational applications can only dream of.

Globals as a method of storing data can be used in many modern programming languages, both high- and low-level. Therefore, this article will focus specifically on globals and not the language they once came from.

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Article
Robert Cemper · Nov 11, 2017 3m read
Summary on Local Variable Scoping

This should be an overview over a subject that pops up over several places in online documentation mostly as remarks and never as dedicated chapter.

Once upon a time ...  No it's not a fairy tale.
In the beginning of Caché (and before) you had your partition to run your code. Part of that partition was a space with all your local variables nicely sorted by %,A,..Z,a,...z

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The question has come up several times and I saw mixed answers and no quick example

My personal preference is using CPIPE device as you get back exactly the output you will get at the command line interface of your OS .
The tricky thing is to stop reading in time.
The example just displays what you normally see in your console.
it becomes useful if you look for things that you can't get from any $system.whatever()

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This time I want to talk about something not specific to InterSystems IRIS, but that I think is important if you want to work with Docker and your server at work is a PC or laptop with Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise.

As you likely know, containers technology comes basically from Linux world and, nowadays, is on Linux hosts were it shows maximum potential. Those who use Windows on a normal basis see that both, Microsoft and Docker, have done important efforts during these last years that allow us to run containers based on Linux images on our Windows system in a really easy way... but it's something not supported for production systems and, this is the big problem, is not reliable if we want to keep persistent data outside of containers, in the host system,... mostly due to the big differences between Windows and Linux file systems. In the end, Docker for Windows itself uses a small linux virtual machine (MobiLinux) to run the containers... it does it transparently for the windows user... and it works perfectly well if, as I said, you don't require that your databases survive longer than the container...

Well,...let's get to the point,... the point is that many times, to avoid issues and simplify, we need a full Linux system and, if our server is based on Windows, the only way of having it is through a virtual machine. At least till WSL2 in Windows is released, but that will be another story and sure it'll take a bit of time to become robust enough.

In this article, I'll tell you, step by step, how to install an environment where you'll be able to work, if you need it, with Docker containers on an Ubuntu system in your Windows server. Let's go...

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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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