Article
· Mar 19, 2019 9m read
A Tutorial On WebSockets

Intro

Most server-client communication on the web is based on a request and response structure. The client sends a request to the server and the server responds to this request. The WebSocket protocol provides a two-way channel of communication between a server and client, allowing servers to send messages to clients without first receiving a request. For more information on the WebSocket protocol and its implementation in InterSystems IRIS, see the links below.

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Developing a Full-Stack JavaScript web app with Caché requires you to bring together the right building blocks. Previously, I outlined the basic steps to install and connect Node.js to Caché and make it's powerful multi-model database capabilites available for use with Node.js. You can use Caché as a NoSQL-, document- (with unique key-level access!), SQL- and object-database with Node.js. When developing JavaScript applications, you'll see how powerful this combination is and makes Caché a perfect fit for Node.js.

In the first part of this article series I will show how to get started with the React framework, one of the most popular frameworks currently taking over front-end development. In the next parts you'll learn how to connect a basic web app to a Caché back-end.

You'll see, it's very easy to get started with this technology - you can even compare the amount of basic knowledge you need to COS because you only need to know a few basic concepts to start!

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So, one day you're working away at WidgetsDirect, the leading supplier of widget and widget accessories, when your boss asks you to develop the new customer facing portal to allow the client base to access the next generation of Widgets..... and he wants you to use Angular 1.x to read into the department's Caché server.

There's only one problem: You've never used Angular, and don't know how to make it talk to Caché.

This guide is going to walk through the process of setting up a full Angular stack which communicates with a Caché backend using JSON over REST.

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Developing a Full-Stack JavaScript web app with Caché requires you to bring together the right building blocks. In the previous part, we created a basic front-end React application. In the second part of this article series I will show how to choose the right back-end technology for your application. You will see Caché allows you to use many different approaches to link your front-end to your Caché server, depending on your application's needs. In this part we will set up a back-end with Node.js/QEWD and CSP/REST. In the next part we will enhance our basic web app and connect it to Caché using these technologies.

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Full-Stack JavaScript development allows you to create state-of-the-art applications with Caché. With any (web) app you build nowadays, one has to make a lot of architectural decisions and you want to make the right ones. With the Node.js connector available for Caché, you can create a very powerful server side application server, allowing you to use the latest JavaScript technology and frameworks client- and server-side.

With all these new technologies, the most important is to integrate them in the most efficient way and to create a very productive development experience. This article willl get you started step-by-step with Node.js technology.

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Some time ago I got a WRC case transferred where a customer asks for the availability of a raw DEFLATE compression/decompression function built-in Caché.

When we talk about DEFLATE we need to talk about Zlib as well, since Zlib is the de-facto standard free compression/decompression library developed in the mid-90s.

Zlib works on particular DEFLATE compression/decompression algorithm and the idea of encapsulation within a wrapper (gzip, zlib, etc.).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zlib

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or "So you just got yelled at by your boss, for sending him an unformatted Hello World webpage"

Our previous lesson ended with us serving a Message value obtained from a Caché REST service to the client, using Angular as a runtime. While there is a lot of moving parts involved in this process, the page is not especially exciting at the moment. Before we can start adding new features, we should take a step back and review our tools.

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One of the most important features during application development is the ability to debug your code easily. Because of the asynchrnous nature, a standard Node.js application server works single-threaded by default. When you are developing applications using an IDE like Visual Studio Code, you can very easily debug your Node.js process:

First, download the free Visual Studio Code IDE (@code) and install it on your development machine.

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We finished our last lesson with our Widgets Direct page iterating over a list of widgets, displaying an ID and a Name value. While we have been able to achieve this with only a small amount of coding, the page itself is not the most visually appealing place to be. The AngularJS framework is providing a powerful Model-View-Controller framework for our structure and logic, but it does not implement anything that will provide a nice UI experience.

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or "Didn't you say you would cover Persistent Objects in Part 5, Chris?"

Yes, that was the plan. This is a pretty important topic, so it get's its own Article

Up until now, we've display widget JSON that has been created by a basic loop. Clearly this isn't of much value. Now we have our stack connected together, and we can see that the data is flowing to the Welcome page, it's time to complete the stack and start feeding our service from "real" data.

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or "Things are going to break"

We left our application over the weekend, secure in the knowledge that it was returning data from our primary persistent class, User.Widget. However, Widgets Direct are the premier supplier of both Widgets AND Widget Accessories, so we should really start working on adding these Accessories to our application.

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Something that shot up the popularity stakes last week was this article on a very interesting initiative: RealWorld:

https://medium.com/@ericsimons/introducing-realworld-6016654d36b5

I decided it would be a good idea to use this as a way of creating an exemplar implementation of a RESTful back-end using QEWD against their published API (https://github.com/gothinkster/realworld/tree/master/api)

The results are here:

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At the end of our last lesson, we ended with our page displaying a nice (but garish) Angular Material Toolbar, and our Widget data displaying in a list of Material cards. Our page feels a bit static, and we already know that the large number of Widgets that we will be dealing with will not be especially usable on a static list. What can we do to help?

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Hi Community,

This article is a continuation of my article about Getting to know Python Flask Web Framework

In this article, we will cover the basics of topics listed below:

1. Routing in Flask Framework
2. Folder structure for a Flask app (Static and Template)
3. Getting and displaying data in the Flask application from IRIS.

So, let's begin.

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or "Bonus Breakage"

In our last lesson, we added a relationship between 2 persistent classes. We are clearly going to need to start creating REST Services to expose CRUD operations for each of these classes, but before we do that, we should really finish defining our linkages. We added code to our Widget toJSON to spool off related Accessory data, so we should really do the reciprocal and allow Accessories to return all Widgets that are compatible.

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I wrote a step by step tutorial in the qewd-howtos repository how you can write state of the art multi-page web apps with Node.js using a QEWD-Up WebSocket/REST api back-end integrated with a mainstream web framework like NuxtJS & Vue.js.

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Now available on Open Exchange is a library of third party charts available to use within DeepSee/InterSystems IRIS BI dashboards. To start, simply download and install, select the new portlet as the widget type, then select the chart type that you desire. If you don't find the type of chart you are looking for, you can easily extend the portlet to implement your desired chart type. These new chart types can be used within existing dashboards or you can create new dashboards using them.

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There's a new and exciting enhancement to QEWD that has just been released - it's an additional layer of abstraction known as QEWD-Up. QEWD-Up hides away all the mechanics of QEWD itself, allowing you to focus on just your REST APIs and the code that implements them.

Additionally, and importantly, QEWD-Up simplifies the maintenance of your REST APIs, allowing you (and others) to quickly and easily understand their life-cycle and implementation.

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