JSON

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This post is intended to guide you through the new JSON capabilities that we introduced in Caché 2016.1. JSON has emerged to a serialization format used in many places. The web started it, but nowadays it is utilized everywhere. We've got plenty to cover, so let's get started.

Last comment 11 January 2019
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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.  


This is a parent page for the multipart series on creating a Material-Angular1x-REST-JSON-Caché application.  The current list of articles is

Last comment 13 December 2018
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Index to Articles

Hi All

I am an avid user of ZEN for over 10 years now and it works for me.
But it seems that Intersystems are no longer actively developing it (or ZEN Mojo), the only published reference to this  is here

As an aside, Intersystems makes fine products (I have been using the technology for 35 years) and has great support BUT they are not good at being open with their product road map/retirement plans.  This is very embarrassing  to me when talking with my end user clients.

Last comment 11 May 2018
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Hi All

It's been 6 weeks since my original article sad
- - - - -but I have been busy on this project smiley

I have been looking at/thinking about a replacement for ZEN for around 12 months but only really started in depth 4 months ago.
Also been in IT for long enough that I can "get a feel" for a product/technology and make decisions accordingly without going into great detail. 
Any new technology has a learning curve and I don't want to waste time and effort on something that won't fly. 
And, as always, I am looking to minimise the learning curve as I want to concentrate on delivering business benefit. 

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Recently, a partner company started to develop an Angular client for their Cache application. Together, we decided to leverage the power of Caché dynamic objects to exchange JSON encoded data between client and server parts. However, we realized that currently there is a gap in Cache JSON implementation that prevents simple use of traditional registered and persistent classes to exposed their data with the same ease as with XML. I wrote a small JSON adapter, that does the job and bridgers the gap. It's purpose is simple expose data described by a regular Cache class in a one-to-one fashion to a %DynamicObject. On the other hand, when a serialized JSON data comes in, it can be easily deserialized into dynamic object and subsequently bound to regular class by the newly created adapter.

Last comment 18 October 2018
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Introduction

The field test of Caché 2016.2 has been available for quite some time and I would like to focus on one of the substantial features that is new in this version: the document data model. This model is a natural addition to the multiple ways we support for handling data including Objects, Tables and Multidimensional arrays. It makes the platform more flexible and suitable for even more use cases.

Last comment 15 June 2016
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Cogs Library

Over the next few months I will be releasing a number of open source libraries and tools to the Caché community.

Most of the code has evolved from previous production grade solutions over the years and I am collating it together under a single overarching library package that I am calling Cogs.

Last comment 4 September 2017
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Hi All
This is the index to a series of articles I hope to create over the coming months.

ZEN and ZEN Mojo are no longer being actively developed by Intesystems - this is a great shame as it is a fine product that works so well for business applications.
However ZEN is a 15 year old product and I need a path forward to replace the ZEN UI with a supported development framework.

This article is an index of the other articles I have, or plan to write. - the articles will be subject to change as I develop my thoughts and climb the learning curve.

Last comment 12 May 2018
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Index to Articles

Published 2018-05-11 Last edit -

Hi All

I this article I detail some strategic issues that a new development UI will need to address - these are the ones that I can think of now - others may come to light during this journey.

See the webinar by Eduard Lebedyuk here from the last Global Summit describing  modern web development and Caché

And, as always, if I have missed something please comment....

Last comment 12 May 2018
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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.


This tutorial is using the JSON functionality built into 2016.2+ versions of Caché.  This functionality is partially available in 2016.1 but utilizes a different syntax which will not be forward compatible.

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As Bill has mentioned earlier in his post, we have carefully reviewed the JSON capabilities and made some adjustments to ensure they deliver the best benefit to you. In this post, I am going to describe the modifications in more detail and provide guidance for you to understand the implication for your code base.

Last comment 30 May 2017
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MonCaché — MongoDB API implementation based on InterSystems Caché

Disclaimer: This article reflects author's private opinion and has no relation to the official position of InterSystems.

IDEA

The idea of the project is to implement basic MongoDB (v2.4.9) API features for searching, saving, updating and deleting documents in a way that will allow the use of InterSystems Caché instead of MongoDB without changing the code on the client side

Last comment 13 September 2017
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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.

Last comment 21 October 2018
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What if you could serialize/deserialize objects in whatever format: JSON, XML, CSV,...; attending different criteria: export/import some properties and not others, transform values in this or that way before exporting/importing,...; and all of this without having to change the class definition? Wouldn't that be great??

Well, perhaps it's a goal too ambitious to reach 100% but, exploring this idea, I've developed a bunch of classes that I thought it was good to share. If you want to test, change, modify or improve the code, or just take a look at it, you can do it here. There you'll find a more detailed explanation (see Readme.md)

Be aware, this is a proof of concept for myself done in spare times, sure it's not robust enough or it can be done much better... but, I was just playing...ok, I could just wait to the new JSON Adaptor (coming soon!) that sure is going to resolve much more scenarios in a cleaner way, but... meanwhile... :-) ...

Last comment 26 April 2018
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Background

Caché 2016.1 introduced some very powerful JSON features.  Unfortunately, the syntax used in the 2016.1 release is going to be changed in the 2016.2 release to bring it closer to Caché ObjectScript syntax.  This will mean that code that works in 2016.1 may not be forwards compatible.   See this announcement and this article for more details about the changes.

In order to try to minimize the volume of code which would not work in future Caché versions, the following recommendations and tools are being used internally within InterSystems for internal application JSON code being written in 2016.1.

Last comment 6 October 2016
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A beginners guide to develop Ensemble RESTful web services.

Background

Before you start reading this short introduction please go through the on-line documentation of Ensemble with special attention to chapter “Creating REST services and clients with Ensemble”.

The approach in the documentation is undisputable the fastest and easiest way to create RESTful services. As a beginner I went through the documentation and I had several questions. This short article is listing those questions plus my humble answers.

When I refer to documentation I mean Ensemble 2016.2 and onwards

Last comment 22 September 2016
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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!

Last comment 8 August 2017
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One useful feature of our REST framework is the ability for a dispatch class to identify request prefixes and forward them to another dispatch class. This approach of modularizing your URL map will improve code readability, enable you to easily maintain separate versions of an interface, and provide a means to protect API calls that only certain users will be allowed to access.

Overview

To set up a REST Service on your Caché instance, you need to define a dedicated CSP application and create the associated dispatch class that handles incoming requests. The dispatch class extends %CSP.REST and will include an XData block that contains your URL map. This tells the system which method to call when a particular request is received.

For example

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ˮ This is one of my articles which was never published in English. Let's fix it!

Hello! This article is about quite a practical way of developing InterSystems solutions without using the integrated tools like Studio or Atelier. All the code of the project can be stored in the form of "traditional" source code files, edited in your favorite development environment (for example, Visual Studio Code), indexed by any version control system and arbitrarily combined with many external tools for code analysis, preprocessing, packaging and so on

Last comment 2 March 2019
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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.  For that we need to implement a UI toolkit.  We have numerous options here; the leading toolkits are BootStrap from Twitter and Angular Material from Google.  There are advantages and drawbacks to each choice.  It is well worth exploring demos of each toolkit to see which would fit your need

Last comment 25 April 2017
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If you want to dynamically serve images as a property of JSON then there is no perfect encoding solution. One method used frequently is to Base64 encode the image. Whilst there are some negatives to doing this, such as data inflation, there are some positives to working with Base64 images inside the browser.

Let's say you have an image placeholder on a web page...

<div id="image-container"><div>


And you fetch a JSON message from the Caché server containing the image as one of its properties...

var msg = JSON.parse(client.responseText);


Without needing to decode the image data you can create an img element and append it directly to the place holder..

Last comment 7 November 2017
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The Cogs.JsonClass library is now available in the Cogs project on GitHub.

https://github.com/SeanConnelly/Cogs

Please see the README and the /docs folder on how to use the class.

Overview

The Cogs.JsonClass class provides a one step serialisation and deserialisation to and from Caché registered and persistent classes. It is not dependent on any other code and should be compatible with older versions of Caché.

The unit tests have been included in the update, but until I release the dependent Touchstone unit test solution it won't be possible to run these tests.

Please report any issues on the GitHub issues log.

I will post some benchmarks later in the week.

Sean.

Last comment 8 June 2017
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Generally speaking, InterSystems products supported dynamic objects and JSON for a long while, but version 2016.2 came with a completely new implementation of these features, and the corresponding code was moved from the ObjectScript level to the kernel/C level, which made for a substantial performance boost in these areas. This article is about innovations in the new version and the migration process (including the ways of preserving backward compatibility).

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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.

Last comment 14 December 2018
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I have a Cache classes with %TimeStamp (e.g. 2016-04-18 12:29:11) and %Date (eg. 64027) properties. And I have a javascript client app, which needs full CRUD over this properties.

But in javascript date/time are defined by ISO8601 (e.g. timestamp 2016-04-18T12:29:11Z, date 2016-04-18).

Last answer 20 April 2016
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The Widgets Direct sample application highlights many aspects of how to use InterSystems technologies to build a modern web application.  Features include:

  • Angular Material + AngularJS + JSON + REST based interactive application with Step by Step instructions on how it was built
  • Example scripts for server-side source control configuration with Perforce
  • %UnitTest logic for automated regression testing
  • %Installer class for automated instance installation from source control 
  • Scripts for Continuous Integration (CI) with Jenkins
  • Docker Manifest for automated provisioning of an instance

We will be adding articles which discuss the above list of features to drill down in more detail on each topic (feel free to  comment if there is something you want to see done sooner rather than later)

Last comment 23 October 2017
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I've mentioned the QEWD project in this group before: it's a Node.js-based platform for web, Native and REST applications which tightly integrates with Cache.  It uses a somewhat different philosophy to the use of Node.js than the norm, and I've now published an article that explains this approach and the unique benefits that arise as a result.

It turns out that, integrated via QEWD, Cache is an ideal bed-fellow for Node.js.  QEWD makes the integration of Cache and Node.js exceptionally fast, simple and intuitive to use, but also extremely powerful.

Read the article here: 

https://robtweed.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/having-your-node-js-cake-and-e...

If you're interested in using Cache with Node.js, you really need to take a look at QEWD!

Last comment 25 September 2017
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We finished our last lesson with our Widgets Direct page receiving a Welcome message as a property of a JSON object, which was unpacked and displayed on the page. However, we are on Lesson 3, and we still haven't had any talk of displaying widgets yet.  

Let's change that.  Widgets Direct are a leader in widget and widget accessories, so we clearly have numerous items to display.   To transfer this, we will need to declare and return our first array.  Let's go back to our REST.Dispatch class, and add this data to our Service

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