Article
Robert Cemper · Apr 26, 2021 3m read
SSH for IRIS container

Why SSH ?

If you do not have direct access to the server that runs your IRIS Docker container
you still may require access to the container outside "iris session" or "WebTerminal".
With an SSH terminal (PuTTY, KiTTY,.. ) you get access inside Docker, and then, depending
on your needs you run "iris session iris" or display/manipulate files directly.

Note: 
This is not meant to be the default access for the average application user
but the emergency backdoor for System Management, Support, and Development.

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Like hardware hosts, virtual hosts in public and private clouds can develop resource bottlenecks as workloads increase. If you are using and managing InterSystems IRIS instances deployed in public or private clouds, you may have encountered a situation in which addressing performance or other issues requires increasing the capacity of an instance's host (that is, vertically scaling).

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Hello developers!
I present to you the project of editors in terminal mode. The full-screen editor of routines, arrays and text files in terminal mode can be useful to you when debugging your project in docker or when your web interface is unavailable or limited for some reason.
Although this project is self-sufficient, I decided to make it as an addition to the ‘zapm’ module for the convenience of calling editor commands.

If your instance does not have a ZPM, then you can install the zapm-editor module in one line:

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When you have more than ten thousand users in your database, it becomes time-consuming and inconvenient to assign group access rights through the standard IRIS interface. In this artilce I want to introduce you an application to automate this process.

I’ll show you how to assign and change the role lists for the users, selecting them by context, and I will also show you how to expand this application’s functionality. you know how to apply your work as an administrator and developer to the new features of the well-proven apptools software complex. With the addition of an adminLTE template, you can now quickly and easily create interface interactions for any entity and many functional modules.
The goal while developing this toolkit is to write as little JavaScript as possible as well as transfer and implement all the dynamics as much as possible in the ObjectScript.

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Hello, developers!

I would like to share the history of the project - the ZAPM shell.

As soon as ZPM was implemented, I immediately began to think about how best to use it.

And immediately faced with the desire to move more quickly between namespaces, especially when there are more than 20 of them.
I had to leave the ZPM, move to the desired namespace and re-enter the shell.
I suggested an improvement - a new "namespace" command for easier navigation.
I didn’t wait - I did it myself. And so it went. If you need it, get ready to do it yourself.

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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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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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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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In this post I show strategies for backing up Caché using External Backup with examples of integrating with snapshot based solutions. The majority of solutions I see today are deployed on Linux on VMware so a lot of the post shows how solutions integrate VMware snapshot technology as examples.

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Article
Anssi Kauppi · Jun 30, 2020 3m read
Replicating Audit Log Near Real Time
Many organisations implement centralised log management systems to separate and centralise the log data in order to e.g. automate threat detection (and response) and to comply with regulatory requirements. The primary systems of interest are the various user facing applications, but increasingly also other kinds of systems including integration platforms.
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Hi All,

With this article, I would like to show you how easily and dynamically System Alerting and Monitoring (or SAM for short) can be configured. The use case could be that of a fast and agile CI/CD provisioning pipeline where you want to run your unit-tests but also stress-tests and you would want to quickly be able to see if those tests are successful or how they are stressing the systems and your application (the InterSystems IRIS backend SAM API is extendable for your APM implementation). 

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When you first start working with InterSystems IRIS, it’s a common practice to install a system with only a minimum level of security. You have to enter passwords fewer times and this makes it easier to work with development services and web applications when you're first getting acquainted. And, sometimes, minimal security is more convenient for deploying a developed project or solution.
And yet there comes a moment when you need to move your project out of development, into an Internet environment that’s very likely hostile, and it needs to be tested with the maximum security settings (that is, completely locked down) before being deployed to production. And that’s what we’ll discuss in this article.
For more complete coverage of DBMS security issues in InterSystems Caché, Ensemble, and IRIS, you may want to read my other article, Recommendations on installing the InterSystems Caché DBMS for a production environment.
The security system in InterSystems IRIS is based on the concept of applying different security settings for different categories: users, roles, services, resources, privileges, and applications.

Users can be assigned roles. Users and roles can have privileges on resources — databases, services, and applications — with varying read, write, and use rights. Users and roles can also have SQL privileges on the SQL tables located in databases.

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Note (June 2019): A lot has changed, for the latest details go here

Note (Sept 2018): There have been big changes since this post first appeared, I suggest using the Docker Container version, the project and details for running as a container are still in the same place  published on GitHub so you can download, run - and modify if you need to.

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Article
Robert Cemper · May 14, 2020 2m read
IRIS-Docker-micro-Durability

During the development of a container-based demo I found the need to access a fresh docker
instance of IRIS image (e.g intersystems/iris-community:2020.2.0.199.0) over and over.
To bypass setting passwords and loading my code repeatedly I developed this workaround.

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One of the topics that comes up often when managing Ensemble productions is disk space:

The database (the CACHE.DAT file) grows in a rate that was unexpected; or the Journal files build up at a fast pace; or the database grows continuously though the system has a scheduled purge of the Ensemble runtime data.

It would have been better if these kind of phenomena would have been observed and accounted for yet at the development and testing stage rather than on a live system.

For this purpose I created a basic framework that could aid in this task.

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I wanted to write it as a comment to article of @Evgeny Shvarov . But it happens to be so long, so, decided to post it separately.

Image result for docker clean all images

I would like to add a bit of clarification about how docker uses disk space and how to clean it.  I use macOS, so, everything below, is mostly for macOS, but docker commands suit any platform.

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Suppose you have developed your own app with InterSystems technologies stack and now want to perform multiple deployments on the customers' side. During the development process you've composed a detailed installation guide for your application, because you need to not only import classes, but also fine-tune the environment according to your needs.
To address this specific task, InterSystems has created a special tool called %Installer. Read on to find out how to use it.

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The attached code package provides a simple implementation of a web service client that utilizes the USPS Shipping API to normalize  an address.

This code requires the developer to obtain a USPS Shipping API user ID which can be obtained from the USPS shipping API website.  The assigned User Id can either be passed into the web service call as a parameter or can be coded as a parameter into the Request object.

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Article
Dmitriy Maslennikov · Mar 24, 2020 2m read
BlocksExplorer map generator

I hope you already know one of my projects Cache Blocks Explorer. I've recently renamed it to Blocks Explorer.

For the recent contest, I've added a new feature, the ability to generate a static picture of any Cache or IRIS database. Like below. Where unique globals have a unique color. This is how looks like inside 9.5GB database. Where 1 pixel represents one block. By link on image you will get even bigger image, with more detalization.


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Introduction

Despite the fact that InterSystems has long recommended using external backup tools, many users have opted to use the internal Online Backup facility, which is included in all distributions of InterSystems products (IRIS Data Platform, Caché, etc.). The reasons why are quite obvious:

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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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This post provides further detail on the suggestions from the DeepSee Troubleshooting Guide about what to do if a user is not able to view a listing in a DeepSee cube, but instead sees errors like this:

ERROR #5540: SQLCODE: -99 Message: User <username> is not privileged for the operation [zfindStatement+118^%SQL.DynamicStatement.1:<namespace>] (8)

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Released with no formal announcement in IRIS preview release 2019.4 is the /api/monitor service exposing IRIS metrics in Prometheus format. Big news for anyone wanting to use IRIS metrics as part of their monitoring and alerting solution. The API is a component of the new IRIS System Alerting and Monitoring (SAM) solution that will be released in an upcoming version of IRIS.

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