Timothy Leavitt · Mar 17, 2021 3m read
Making the most of $Query

I ran into an interesting ObjectScript use case today with a general solution that I wanted to share.

Use case:

I have a JSON array (specifically, in my case, an array of issues from Jira) that I want to aggregate over a few fields - say, category, priority, and issue type. I then want to flatten the aggregates into a simple list with the total for each of the groups. Of course, for the aggregation, it makes sense to use a local array in the form:

agg(category, priority, type) = total

Such that for each record in the input array I can just:

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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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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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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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Timothy Leavitt · Jul 8, 2020 7m read
Tips for debugging with %Status


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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Robert Cemper · Feb 16, 2018 4m read
The adopted Bitmap

No doubt bitmap indexing, if used with a suitable property, performs just impressive!
But there is a major limit: ID key has to be a positive integer.
For modern class definitions working with CacheStorage this is a default.

BUT: There are hundreds (thousands ?) old applications out in the field that
are still using composite ID keys.
Or - to name the origin - work on Globals with 2 subscript levels (or more).
They are by construction excluded from our "Bitmap Wonderland".

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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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Robert Cemper · Jun 25, 2020 12m read
Backport %JSON.* to Caché


This is a coding example working on Caché 2018.1.3
It will not be kept in sync with new versions 
It is also NOT serviced by InterSystems Support !

Full backport from IRIS for Windows (x86-64) 2020.1 (Build 215U) Mon Mar 30 2020 20:14:33 EDT

IRIS brought us an excellent %JSON.Package
It is an essential component of the Project Manager (ZPM)
This backport makes it available also in Caché and builds a base to eventually backport also ZPM.

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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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If a picture is worth a thousand words, what's a video worth? Certainly more than typing a post.

Please check out my "Coding talks" on InterSystems Developers YouTube:

1. Analysing InterSystems IRIS System Performance with Yape. Part 1: Installing Yape

Running Yape in a container.

2. Yape Container SQLite iostat InterSystems

Extracting and plotting pButtons data including timeframes and iostat.

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Hello everyone!

We are Longevica ( Healthtech, a Boston-based healthy aging digital health startup. Longevica was born as a research company back in 2009; we pioneered the screening of chemicals, which would drastically extend the life span. With 1000 screened pharmaceuticals and 20 000 mice experiments, we have identified specific compounds that, if taken daily, could extend life by years. This discovery leads to two questions: how to measure the effect of aging progress in real-time and how to make this a lifelong habit. This led us to the digital health market to create a new company Longevica HealthTech.

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Robert Cemper · Aug 17, 2017 2m read
Repairing your Index

If you have to fill or change your class data other than by standard object filer or SQL filer
you also have to get your indexes in line with your data.
Rebuild Index might be time consuming exercise eventually blocking access at all.

I just detected ##class(%Library.Storage).%ValidateIndices()

Not really new, but in 2015.1.1 , 2016.2.1 there was not a single character of documentation to it.
Now I see on latest

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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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InterSystems IRIS 2020.1 brings a broad set of improved and new capabilities to help build important applications. In addition to the many significant performance improvements accrued through 2019.1 and 2020.1, we are introducing one of our biggest changes in recent SQL history: the Universal Query Cache. This article provides more context on its impact to SQL-based applications at a technical level.

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The 2021.2 release of the InterSystems IRIS Data Platform includes many exciting new features for fast, flexible and secure development of your mission-critical applications. Embedded Python definitely takes the limelight (and for good reason!), but in SQL we've also made a massive step forward towards a more adaptive engine that gathers detailed statistical information about your table data and exploits it to deliver the best query plans. In this brief series of articles, we'll take a closer at three elements that are new in 2021.2 and work together towards this goal, starting with Run Time Plan Choice.

It's hard to figure out the right order to talk about these (you can't imagine how often I've reshuffled them in writing this article!) because they fit together in such a nice way. As such, feel free to go on a limb and read these in random order smiley.

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The InterSystems Iris Fhirserver running on a Raspberry Pi Raspberry running as a FHIRserver

Raspberry running as FHIRserver

About a year ago I wrote some articles about the installation of the HAPI FHIRserver on a Raspberry Pi. At that time, I only knew the basics of the FHIR standard, little about the technology behind FHIR-servers and not much more about the Raspberry. By trying, failing, giving up and trying again I learned a lot.

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Last week, we announced the InterSystems IRIS Data Platform, our new and comprehensive platform for all your data endeavours, whether transactional, analytics or both. We've included many of the features our customers know and loved from Caché and Ensemble, but in this article we'll shed a little more light on one of the new capabilities of the platform: SQL Sharding, a powerful new feature in our scalability story.

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