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2015, Monday April 6

Asynchronous Service - WebSockets, Callbacks and Publish-Subscribe

When publishing SOA services, most of them are defined as stateless, in a typical query/answer pattern - see Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA).
This fits exactly with the RESTful approach of Client-Server services via interfaces, as proposed by the framework.

But it may happen that a client application (or service) needs to know the state of a given service. In a pure stateless implementation, it will have to query the server for any state change, i.e. for any pending notification - this is called polling.

Polling may take place for instance:

  • When a time consuming work is to be processed on the server side. In this case, the client could not wait for it to be finished, without raising a timeout on the HTTP connection: as a workaround, the client may start the work, then ask for its progress status regularly using a timer and a dedicated method call;
  • When an unpredictable event is to be notified from the server side. In this case, the client should ask regularly (using a timer, e.g. every second), for any pending event, then react on purpose.

It may therefore sounds preferred, and in some case necessary, to have the ability to let the server notify one or several clients without any prior query, nor having the requirement of a client-side timer:

  • Polling may be pretty resource consuming on both client and server sides, and add some unwanted latency;
  • If immediate notification is needed, some kind of "long polling" algorithm may take place, i.e. the server will wait for a long time before returning the notification state if no event did happen: in this case, a dedicated connection is required, in addition to the REST one;
  • In an event-driven systems, a lot of messages are sent to the clients: a proper publish/subscribe mechanism is preferred, otherwise the complexity of polling methods may increase and become inefficient and unmaintainable;
  • Explicit push notifications may be necessary, e.g. when a lot of potential events, associated with a complex set of parameters, are likely to be sent by the client.

Our mORMot framework is therefore able to easily implement asynchronous callbacks over WebSockets, defining the callbacks as interface parameters in service method definitions - see Available types for methods parameters.

Continue reading...

Real-Time ORM Master/Slave Replication via WebSockets

In a previous article, we presented how Master/Slave replication may be easily implemented in mORMot's RESTful ORM.
Do not forget to visit the corresponding paragraphs of our online documentation, which has been updated, and is more accurate!

Sometimes, the on-demand synchronization is not enough.
So we have just introduced real-time replication via WebSockets.
For instance, you may need to:

  • Synchronize a short list of always evolving items which should be reflected as soon as possible;
  • Involve some kind of ACID-like behavior (e.g. handle money!) in your replicated data;
  • Replicate not from a GUI application, but from a service, so use of a TTimer is not an option;
  • Combine REST requests (for ORM or services) and master/slave ORM replication on the same wire, e.g. in a multi-threaded application.

In this case, the framework is able to use WebSockets and asynchronous callbacks to let the master/slave replication - see Asynchronous callbacks - take place without the need to ask explicitly for pending data.
You would need to use TSQLRestServer.RecordVersionSynchronizeMasterStart, TSQLRestServer.RecordVersionSynchronizeSlaveStart and TSQLRestServer.RecordVersionSynchronizeSlaveStop methods over the proper kind of bidirectional connection.

Continue reading...

2014, Monday August 11

Cross-Platform mORMot Clients - Smart Mobile Studio

Current version of the main framework units target only Win32 and Win64 systems.

It allows to make easy self-hosting of mORMot servers for local business applications in any corporation, or pay cheap hosting in the Cloud, since mORMot CPU and RAM expectations are much lower than a regular IIS-WCF-MSSQL-.Net stack.
But in a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), you would probably need to create clients for platforms outside the Windows world, especially mobile devices.

A set of cross-platform client units is therefore available in the CrossPlatform sub-folder of the source code repository. It allows writing any client in modern object pascal language, for:

  • Any version of Delphi, on any platform (Mac OSX, or any mobile supported devices);
  • FreePascal Compiler 2.7.1;
  • Smart Mobile Studio 2.1, to create AJAX or mobile applications (via PhoneGap, if needed).

This series of articles will introduce you to mORMot's Cross-Platform abilities:

Any feedback is welcome in our forum, as usual!

Continue reading...

Cross-Platform mORMot Clients - Delphi / FreePascal

Current version of the main framework units target only Win32 and Win64 systems.

It allows to make easy self-hosting of mORMot servers for local business applications in any corporation, or pay cheap hosting in the Cloud, since mORMot CPU and RAM expectations are much lower than a regular IIS-WCF-MSSQL-.Net stack.
But in a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), you would probably need to create clients for platforms outside the Windows world, especially mobile devices.

A set of cross-platform client units is therefore available in the CrossPlatform sub-folder of the source code repository. It allows writing any client in modern object pascal language, for:

  • Any version of Delphi, on any platform (Mac OSX, or any mobile supported devices);
  • FreePascal Compiler 2.7.1;
  • Smart Mobile Studio 2.1, to create AJAX or mobile applications (via PhoneGap, if needed).

This series of articles will introduce you to mORMot's Cross-Platform abilities:

Any feedback is welcome in our forum, as usual!

Continue reading...

Cross-Platform mORMot Clients - Generating Code Wrappers

Current version of the main framework units target only Win32 and Win64 systems.

It allows to make easy self-hosting of mORMot servers for local business applications in any corporation, or pay cheap hosting in the Cloud, since mORMot CPU and RAM expectations are much lower than a regular IIS-WCF-MSSQL-.Net stack.
But in a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), you would probably need to create clients for platforms outside the Windows world, especially mobile devices.

A set of cross-platform client units is therefore available in the CrossPlatform sub-folder of the source code repository. It allows writing any client in modern object pascal language, for:

  • Any version of Delphi, on any platform (Mac OSX, or any mobile supported devices);
  • FreePascal Compiler 2.7.1;
  • Smart Mobile Studio 2.1, to create AJAX or mobile applications (via PhoneGap, if needed).

This series of articles will introduce you to mORMot's Cross-Platform abilities:

Any feedback is welcome in our forum, as usual!

Continue reading...

Cross-Platform mORMot Clients - Units and Platforms

Current version of the main framework units target only Win32 and Win64 systems.

It allows to make easy self-hosting of mORMot servers for local business applications in any corporation, or pay cheap hosting in the Cloud, since mORMot CPU and RAM expectations are much lower than a regular IIS-WCF-MSSQL-.Net stack.
But in a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), you would probably need to create clients for platforms outside the Windows world, especially mobile devices.

A set of cross-platform client units is therefore available in the CrossPlatform sub-folder of the source code repository. It allows writing any client in modern object pascal language, for:

  • Any version of Delphi, on any platform (Mac OSX, or any mobile supported devices);
  • FreePascal Compiler 2.7.1;
  • Smart Mobile Studio 2.1, to create AJAX or mobile applications (via PhoneGap, if needed).

This series of articles will introduce you to mORMot's Cross-Platform abilities:

Any feedback is welcome in our forum, as usual!

Continue reading...

2014, Sunday June 22

Audit-trail for ORM change tracking

Since most CRUD operations are centered within the scope of our mORMot server, we implemented in the ORM an integrated mean of tracking changes (aka Audit Trail) of any TSQLRecord.
In short, our ORM is transformed into a time-machine, just like the good old DeLorean!

Keeping a track of the history of business objects is one very common need for software modeling, and a must-have for any accurate data modeling, like Domain-Driven Design.
By default, as expected by the OOP model, any change to an object will forget any previous state of this object. But thanks to mORMot's exclusive change-tracking feature, you can persist the history of your objects.

Enabling audit-trail

By default, change-tracking feature will be disabled, saving performance and disk use.
But you can enable change tracking for any class, by calling the following method, on server side:

 aServer.TrackChanges([TSQLInvoice]);

This single line will let aServer: TSQLRestServer monitor all CRUD operations, and store all changes of the TSQLInvoice table within a TSQLRecordHistory table.

Continue reading...

2014, Friday May 9

BREAKING CHANGE: TSQLRestServerStatic* classes are now renamed as TSQLRestStorage*

From the beginning, server-side storage tables which were not store in a SQLite3 database were implemented via some classes inheriting from TSQLRestServerStatic.
This TSQLRestServerStatic was inheriting from TSQLRestServer
, which did not make much sense (but was made for laziness years ago, if I remember well).

Now, a new TSQLRestStorage class, directly inheriting from TSQLRest, is used for per-table storage.
This huge code refactoring results in a much cleaner design, and will enhance code maintainability.
Documentation has been updated to reflect the changes.

Note that this won't change anything when using the framework (but the new class names): it is an implementation detail, which had to be fixed.

Continue reading...

2014, Wednesday May 7

MongoDB + mORMot benchmark

Here are some benchmark charts about MongoDB integration in mORMot's ORM.

MongoDB appears as a serious competitor to SQL databases, with the potential benefit of horizontal scaling and installation/administration ease - performance is very high, and its document-based storage fits perfectly with mORMot's advanced ORM features like Shared nothing architecture (or sharding).

Continue reading...

MongoDB + mORMot ORM = ODM

MongoDB (from "humongous") is a cross-platform document-oriented database system, and certainly the best known NoSQL database.
According to http://db-engines.com in April 2014, MongoDB is in 5th place of the most popular types of database management systems, and first place for NoSQL database management systems.
Our mORMot gives premium access to this database, featuring full NoSQL and Object-Document Mapping (ODM) abilities to the framework.

Integration is made at two levels:

  • Direct low-level access to the MongoDB server, in the SynMongoDB.pas unit;
  • Close integration with our ORM (which becomes defacto an ODM), in the mORMotMongoDB.pas unit.

MongoDB eschews the traditional table-based relational database structure in favor of JSON-like documents with dynamic schemas (MongoDB calls the format BSON), which matches perfectly mORMot's RESTful approach.

This second article will focus on integration of MongoDB with our ORM.

Continue reading...

Direct MongoDB database access

MongoDB (from "humongous") is a cross-platform document-oriented database system, and certainly the best known NoSQL database.
According to http://db-engines.com in April 2014, MongoDB is in 5th place of the most popular types of database management systems, and first place for NoSQL database management systems.
Our mORMot framework gives premium access to this database, featuring full NoSQL and Object-Document Mapping (ODM) abilities to the framework.

Integration is made at two levels:

  • Direct low-level access to the MongoDB server, in the SynMongoDB.pas unit;
  • Close integration with our ORM (which becomes defacto an ODM), in the mORMotMongoDB.pas unit.

MongoDB eschews the traditional table-based relational database structure in favor of JSON-like documents with dynamic schemas (MongoDB calls the format BSON), which matches perfectly mORMot's RESTful approach.

In this first article, we will detail direct low-level access to the MongoDB server, via the SynMongoDB.pas unit.

Continue reading...

2014, Friday April 18

Introducing mORMot's architecture and design principles

We have just released a set of slides introducing 

  • ORM, SOA, REST, JSON, MVC, MVVM, SOLID, Mocks/Stubs, Domain-Driven Design concepts with Delphi, 
  • and showing some sample code using our Open Source mORMot framework.

You can follow the public link on Google Drive!

This is a great opportunity to discovers some patterns you may not be familiar with, and find out how mORMot try to implement them.
This set of slides may be less intimidating than our huge documentation - do not be terrified by our Online Documentation!
The first set of pages (presenting architecture and design principles) is worth reading.

Feedback is welcome on our forum, as usual.

2014, Thursday March 13

ORM mapping class fields to external table columns

When working with an ORM, you have mainly two possibilites:

  1. Start from scratch, i.e. write your classes and let the ORM creates all the database structure - it is also named "code-first";
  2. From an existing database, you define in your model how your classes map the existing database structure - this is "database-first".

We have just finalized ORM external table field mapping in mORMot, using e.g.
aModel.Props[aExternalClass].ExternalDB.MapField(..)
See this last commit.

So you can write e.g.

fProperties := TSQLDBSQLite3ConnectionProperties.Create(
  SQLITE_MEMORY_DATABASE_NAME,'','','');
VirtualTableExternalRegister(fExternalModel,
  TSQLRecordPeopleExt,fProperties,'PeopleExternal');
fExternalModel.Props[TSQLRecordPeopleExt].ExternalDB.
  MapField('ID','Key').
  MapField('YearOfDeath','YOD');

Then you use your TSQLRecordPeopleExt table as usual from Delphi code, with ID and YearOfDeath fields:

  • The "internal" TSQLRecord class will be stored within the PeopleExternal external table;
  • The "internal" TSQLRecord.ID field will be an external "Key: INTEGER" column;
  • The "internal" TSQLRecord.YearOfDeath field will be an external "YOD: BIGINT" column;
  • Other internal published properties will be mapped by default with the same name to external column.

Continue reading...

2014, Friday February 28

Are NoSQL databases ACID?

One of the main features you may miss when discovering NoSQL ("Not-Only SQL"?) databases, coming from a RDBMS background, is ACID.

ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) is a set of properties that guarantee that database transactions are processed reliably. In the context of databases, a single logical operation on the data is called a transaction. For example, a transfer of funds from one bank account to another, even involving multiple changes such as debiting one account and crediting another, is a single transaction. (Wikipedia)

But are there any ACID NoSQL database?

Please ensure you read the Martin Fowler introduction about NoSQL databases.
And the corresponding video.

First of all, we can distinguish two types of NoSQL databases:

  1. Aggregate-oriented databases;
  2. Graph-oriented databases (e.g. Neo4J).

By design, most Graph-oriented databases are ACID!
This is a first good point.

Then, what about the other type?
In Aggregate-oriented databases, we can identify three sub-types:

  • Document-based NoSQL databases (e.g. MongoDB, CouchDB);
  • Key/Value NoSQL databases (e.g. Redis);
  • Column family NoSQL databases (e.g. Cassandra).
Whatever document/key/column oriented they are, they all use some kind of document storage.
It may be schema-less, blob-stored, column-driven, but it is always some set of values bound together to be persisted.
This set of values define a particular state of one entity, in a given model.
Which we may call Aggregate.

Continue reading...

2014, Saturday January 4

Domain-Driven Design: part 4

One year ago, we already made a quick presentation of Domain-Driven Design, in the context of our mORMot framework.
After one year of real-world application of those patterns, it is now time to give more light to DDD.

Let's continue with part 4, which will define Domain-Driven Design as could be implemented with our Synopse mORMot framework

Continue reading...

Domain-Driven Design: part 3

One year ago, we already made a quick presentation of Domain-Driven Design, in the context of our mORMot framework.
After one year of real-world application of those patterns, it is now time to give more light to DDD.

Let's continue with part 3, which will define Domain-Driven Design patterns and principles - this will be the main article of the whole serie!

Continue reading...

Domain-Driven Design: part 2

One year ago, we already made a quick presentation of Domain-Driven Design, in the context of our mORMot framework.
After one year of real-world application of those patterns, it is now time to give more light to DDD.

Let's continue with part 2, which will define Domain-Driven Design high-level model principles.

Continue reading...