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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, 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 1400 pages Software Architecture Design pdf!

Feedback is welcome on our forum, as usual.

2014, Saturday March 29

Enhanced and fixed late-binding of variants for Delphi XE2 and up

For several units of our framework, we allow late-binding of data values, using a variant and direct named access to properties:
- In SynCommons, we defined our TDocVariant custom variant type, able to store any JSON/BSON document-based content;
- In SynBigTable, we use the TSynTableVariantType custom variant type, as defined in SynCommons;
- In SynDB, we defined a TSQLDBRowVariantType, ready to access any column of a RDBMS data result set row;
- In mORMot, we allow access to TSQLTableRowVariantType column values.

It's a very convenient way of accessing result rows values. Code is still very readable, and safe at the same time.

For instance, we can write:

var V: variant;
 ...
  TDocVariant.New(V); // or slightly slower V := TDocVariant.New;
  V.name := 'John';
  V.year := 1972;
  // now V contains {"name":"john","year":1982}

This is just another implementation of KISS design in our framework.

Since Delphi XE2, some modifications were introduced to the official DispInvoke() RTL implementation:

  1. A new varUStrArg kind of parameter has been defined, which will allow to transmit UnicodeString property values;
  2. All text property values would be transmitted as BSTR / WideString / varOleStr variants to the invoked variant type;
  3. All textual property names were normalized to be in UPPERCASE.

Those modifications are worth considering...
And we may have discovered two regressions: one about speed, and the other about an unexpected logic bug...

Continue reading...

2014, Friday March 7

Support of MySQL, DB2 and PostgreSQL

We just tested, benchmarked and validated Oracle MySQL, IBM DB2 and PostgreSQL support for our SynDB database classes and the mORMot's ORM core.
This article will also show all updated results, including our newly introduced multi-value INSERT statement generations, which speed up a lot BATCH insertion.

Stay tuned!

Purpose here is not to say that one library or database is better or faster than another, but publish a snapshot of mORMot persistence layer abilities, depending on each access library.

In this timing, we do not benchmark only the "pure" SQL/DB layer access (SynDB units), but the whole Client-Server ORM of our framework.

Process below includes all aspects of our ORM:

  • Access via high level CRUD methods (Add/Update/Delete/Retrieve, either per-object or in BATCH mode);
  • Read and write access of TSQLRecord instances, via optimized RTTI;
  • JSON marshaling of all values (ready to be transmitted over a network);
  • REST routing, with security, logging and statistic;
  • Virtual cross-database layer using its SQLite3 kernel;
  • SQL on-the-fly generation and translation (in virtual mode);
  • Access to the database engines via several libraries or providers.

In those tests, we just bypassed the communication layer, since TSQLRestClient and TSQLRestServer are run in-process, in the same thread - as a TSQLRestServerDB instance. So you have here some raw performance testimony of our framework's ORM and RESTful core, and may expect good scaling abilities when running on high-end hardware, over a network.

On a recent notebook computer (Core i7 and SSD drive), depending on the back-end database interfaced, mORMot excels in speed, as will show the following benchmark:

  • You can persist up to 570,000 objects per second, or retrieve 870,000 objects per second (for our pure Delphi in-memory engine);
  • When data is retrieved from server or client 38, you can read more than 900,000 objects per second, whatever the database back-end is;
  • With a high-performance database like Oracle, and our direct access classes, you can write 70,000 (via array binding) and read 160,000 objects per second, over a 100 MB network;
  • When using alternate database access libraries (e.g. Zeos, or DB.pas based classes), speed is lower (even if comparable for DB2, MS SQL, PostgreSQL, MySQL) but still enough for most work, due to some optimizations in the mORMot code (e.g. caching of prepared statements, SQL multi-values insertion, direct export to/from JSON, SQlite3 virtual mode design, avoid most temporary memory allocation...).

Difficult to find a faster ORM, I suspect.

Continue reading...

2014, Monday March 3

ORM enhanced for BATCH insert

We just committed some nice features to the ORM kernel, and SynDB* classes of our mORMot framework.

During BATCH insertion, the ORM is able to generate some optimized SQL statements, depending on the target database, to send several rows of data at once.
It induces a noticeable speed increase when saving several objects into an external database.

This feature is available for SQlite3 (3.7.11 and later), MySQL, PostgreSQL, MS SQL Server (2008 and up), Oracle, Firebird and NexusDB.
Since it is working at SQL level, it is available for all supported access libraries, e.g. ODBC, OleDB, Zeos/ZDBC, UniDAC, FireDAC.
It means that even properties not implementing array binding (like OleDB, Zeos or UniDAC) are able to have a huge boost at data insertion, ready to compete with the (until now) more optimized libraries.

Continue reading...

2013, Monday November 4

Updated mORMot database benchmark - including MS SQL and PostgreSQL

On an recent notebook computer (Core i7 and SSD drive), depending on the back-end database interfaced, mORMot excels in speed:

  • You can persist up to 570,000 objects per second, or retrieve more than 900,000 objects per second (for our pure Delphi in-memory engine);
  • When data is retrieved from server or client cache, you can read more than 900,000 objects per second, whatever the database back-end is;
  • With a high-performance database like Oracle and our direct access classes, you can write 65,000 (via array binding) and read 160,000 objects per second, over a 100 MB network;
  • When using alternate database access libraries (e.g. Zeos, or DB.pas based classes), speed is lower, but still enough for most work.

Difficult to find a faster ORM, I suspect.

The following tables try to sum up all available possibilities, and give some benchmark (average objects/second for writing or read).

In these tables:

  • 'SQLite3 (file full/off/exc)' indicates use of the internal SQLite3 engine, with or without Synchronous := smOff and/or DB.LockingMode := lmExclusive;
  • 'SQLite3 (mem)' stands for the internal SQLite3 engine running in memory;
  • 'SQLite3 (ext ...)' is about access to a SQLite3 engine as external database - either as file or memory;
  • 'TObjectList' indicates a TSQLRestServerStaticInMemory instance, either static (with no SQL support) or virtual (i.e. SQL featured via SQLite3 virtual table mechanism) which may persist the data on disk as JSON or compressed binary;
  • 'Oracle' shows the results of our direct OCI access layer (SynDBOracle.pas);
  • 'NexusDB' is the free embedded edition, available from official site;
  • 'Zeos *' indicates that the database was accessed directly via the ZDBC layer;
  • 'FireDAC *' stands for FireDAC library;
  • 'UniDAC *' stands for UniDAC library;
  • 'BDE *' when using a BDE connection;
  • 'ODBC *' for a direct access to ODBC;
  • 'Jet' stands for a MSAccess database engine, accessed via OleDB;
  • 'MSSQL local' for a local connection to a MS SQL Express 2008 R2 running instance (this was the version installed with Visual Studio 2010), accessed via OleDB.

This list of database providers is to be extended in the future. Any feedback is welcome!

Numbers are expressed in rows/second (or objects/second). This benchmark was compiled with Delphi 7, so newer compilers may give even better results, with in-lining and advanced optimizations.

Note that these tests are not about the relative speed of each database engine, but reflect the current status of the integration of several DB libraries within the mORMot database access.

Purpose here is not to say that one library or database is better or faster than another, but publish a snapshot of current mORMot persistence layer abilities.

In this timing, we do not benchmark only the "pure" SQL/DB layer access (SynDB units), but the whole Client-Server ORM of our framework: process below includes read and write RTTI access of a TSQLRecord, JSON marshaling, CRUD/REST routing, virtual cross-database layer, SQL on-the-fly translation. We just bypass the communication layer, since TSQLRestClient and TSQLRestServer are run in-process, in the same thread - as a TSQLRestServerDB instance. So you have here some raw performance testimony of our framework's ORM and RESTful core.

You can compile the "15 - External DB performance" supplied sample code, and run the very same benchmark on your own configuration.

Continue reading...

2013, Sunday June 16

FireDAC / AnyDAC support for mORMot

Our SynDB classes feature now FireDAC / AnyDAC access, with full speed!

Up to now, only UniDAC, BDE or ZEOS components were available as source, but we just added FireDAC / AnyDAC.

FireDAC is an unique set of Universal Data Access Components for developing cross platform database applications on Delphi. This was in fact a third-party component set, bought by Embarcadero to DA-SOFT Technologies (formerly known as AnyDAC), and included with several editions of Delphi XE3 and up. This is the new official platform for high-speed database development in Delphi, in favor to the now deprecated DBExpress.

Our integration within SynDB.pas units and the mORMot persistence layer has been tuned. For instance, you can have direct access to high-speed FireDAC Array DML feature, via the ORM batch process, via so-called array binding.

Continue reading...

2013, Sunday February 17

Interface-based service sample: remote SQL access

You will find in the SQLite3\Sample\16 - Execute SQL via services folder of mORMot source code a Client-Server sample able to access any external database via JSON and HTTP.
It is a good demonstration of how to use an interface-based service between a client and a server.
It will also show how our SynDB classes have a quite abstract design, and are easy to work with, whatever database provider you need to use.

The corresponding service contract has been defined:

  TRemoteSQLEngine = (rseOleDB, rseODBC, rseOracle, rseSQlite3, rseJet, rseMSSQL);

IRemoteSQL = interface(IInvokable) ['{9A60C8ED-CEB2-4E09-87D4-4A16F496E5FE}'] procedure Connect(aEngine: TRemoteSQLEngine; const aServerName, aDatabaseName, aUserID, aPassWord: RawUTF8); function GetTableNames: TRawUTF8DynArray; function Execute(const aSQL: RawUTF8; aExpectResults, aExpanded: Boolean): RawJSON; end;

Purpose of this service is:
- To Connect() to external databases, given the parameters of a standard TSQLDBConnectionProperties. Create() constructor;
- Retrieve all table names of this external database as a list;
- Execute any SQL statement, returning the content as JSON array, ready to be consumed by AJAX applications (if aExpanded is true), or a Delphi client (e.g. via a TSQLTableJSON and the mORMotUI unit).

Of course, this service will be define as sicClientDriven mode, that is, the framework will be able to manage a client-driven TSQLDBProperties instance life time.

Benefit of this service is that no database connection is required on the client side: a regular HTTP connection is enough.
No need to install nor configure any database provider, and full SQL access to the remote databases.

Due to our optimized JSON serialization, it will probably be faster to work with such plain HTTP / JSON services, instead of a database connection through a VPN. In fact, database connections are made to work on a local network, and do not like high-latency connections, which are typical on the Internet.

Continue reading...

2013, Tuesday February 12

Introducing ZEOS, UniDAC, NexusDB, BDE, any TDataset to SynDB and mORMot's ORM

Up to now, our SynDB database classes were handling ODBC, OleDB providers and direct Oracle or SQLite3 connection.

We have added a DB.pas based layer, ready to be used with UniDAC, NexusDB, or the BDE.
Any other TDataset based component is ready to be interfaced, including UIB, AnyDAC or DBExpress.

The ZEOS library (in its latest 7.0.3 stable version, which works from Delphi 7 up to XE3) has also been interfaced, but without the TDataset/DB.pas layer: our SynDBZEOS.pas unit calls the ZDBC layer, which is not tied to DB.pas nor its RAD components, and is therefore faster. By the way, it will work also with the Starter edition of Delphi (which does not include the DB components) - just like the other "regular" SynDB classes.

This is a work in progress, any testing and feedback is welcome!
We had to circumvent some particularities of the libraries, but I guess we have something interesting.

A dedicated "SynDBDataset" sub-folder has been created in the repository, to contain all SynDBDataset.pas-based database providers.
SynDBNexusDB.pas unit has been moved within this sub-folder, as SynDBUniDAC.pas + SynDBBDE.pas units have been added.
SynDBZeos.pas has a direct access to the ZDBC layer, so is not part of the "SynDBDataset" sub-folder.

Here is some benchmark, mainly about Oracle and SQlite3 database access.
Of course, our direct SynDBOracle / SynDBSQLite3 layers are the fastest around, and we can see that ZDBC layer is sometimes more efficient than the TDataset components.

Continue reading...

2013, Monday January 28

External database speed improvements

Some major speed improvements have been made to our SynDB* units, and how they are used within the mORMot persistence layer.
It results in an amazing speed increase, in some cases.

Here are some of the optimizations how took place in the source code trunk:

Overall, I observed from x2 to x10 performance boost with simple Add() operations, using ODBC, OleDB and direct Oracle access, when compare to previous benchmarks (which were already impressive).
BATCH mode performance is less impacted, since it by-passed some of those limitations, but even in this operation mode, there is some benefits (especially with ODBC and OleDB).

Here are some results, directly generated by the supplied "15 - External DB performance" sample.

Continue reading...

2012, Monday December 31

Enhance existing projects with mORMot

Even if mORMot will be more easily used in a project designed from scratch, it fits very well the purpose of evolving any existing Delphi project, or even creating the server side part of an AJAX application. 

One benefit of such a framework is to facilitate the transition from a Client-Server architecture to a N-Tier layered pattern.

Continue reading...

2012, Sunday October 28

SynDBOracle: Open Source native Oracle access

(this is an update of the article published in 2011/07)

For our mORMot framework, and in completion to our SynOleDB unit, we added a new Open Source unit, named SynDBOracle. It allows direct access to any remote Oracle server, using the Oracle Call Interface.

Oracle Call Interface (OCI) is the most comprehensive, high performance, native unmanaged interface to the Oracle Database that exposes the full power of the Oracle Database. We wrote a direct call of the oci.dll library, using our DB abstraction classes introduced for SynOleDB.

We tried to implement all best-practice patterns detailed in the official Building High Performance Drivers for Oracle document

Resulting speed is quite impressive: for all requests, SynDBOracle is 3 to 5 times faster than a SynOleDB connection using the native OleDB Provider supplied by Oracle. We noted also that our implementation is 10 times faster than the one provided with ZEOS/ZDBC, which is far from optimized.

You can use the latest version of the Oracle Instant Client provided by Oracle - see this link - which allows you to run your applications without installing the standard (huge) Oracle client or having an ORACLE_HOME. Just deliver the dll files in the same directory than your application, and it will work.

Continue reading...

2012, Friday September 14

Updated mORMot benchmarks on another HW configuration

With a refreshed hardware, and the latest code modifications of the framework code, I run again the benchmark sample.

The new PC has an Intel Core i7-2600 CPU, running on Windows Seven 64-bit, with anti-virus (Norton) fully enabled.
Oracle 11g database is remotely accessed over a corporate network, so latency and bandwidth is not optimal.
Still no SSD, but a standard 7200 rpm hard drive of 500 GB.

The results are impressive, when compared to the previous run using a Core 2 Duo CPU - mORMot's optimized code achieves amazing speed on this platform.
And I guess the 8MB of L3 cache of the Core i7 does wonders with our code.

Continue reading...

2012, Sunday September 9

Synopse mORMot framework 1.17

Our Open Source mORMot framework is now available in revision 1.17.

The main new features are the following:

We have some very exciting features on the road-map for the next 1.18 release, like direct Event/CallBacks handling.
Stay tuned!

Continue reading...

2012, Friday August 10

Microsoft states: OleDB out - enjoy ODBC!

For our native connection to any DB, we developed a set of classes and several units.

We implemented at first OleDB, then native Oracle direct access and SQlite3 static engine.

Now, Microsoft is officially deprecating OleDB, and urge all developers to switch to the open and cross-platform ODBC API for native connection.

Continue reading...

2012, Thursday July 26

ACID and speed

As stated during our recent benchmarks, the default SQlite3 write speed is quite slow, when running on a normal hard drive. By default, the engine will pause after issuing a OS-level write command. This guarantees that the data is written to the disk, and features the ACID properties of the database engine.

ACID is an acronym for "Atomicity Consistency Isolation Durability" properties, which guarantee that database transactions are processed reliably: for instance, in case of a power loss or hardware failure, the data will be saved on disk in a consistent way, with no potential loss of data.

You can overwrite this default behavior by setting the TSQLDataBase.Synchronous property to smOff instead of the default smFull setting. When Synchronous is set to smOff, SQLite continues without syncing as soon as it has handed data off to the operating system. If the application running SQLite crashes, the data will be safe, but the database might become corrupted if the operating system crashes or the computer loses power before that data has been written to the disk surface. On the other hand, some operations are as much as 50 or more times faster with this setting.

When the same tests are performed with Synchronous := smOff, "Write one" speed is enhanced from 8-9 rows per second into about 400 rows per second, on a physical hard drive (SSD or NAS drives may not suffer from this delay). We'll show below the detailed benchmark results.

So depending on your application requirements, you may switch Synchronous setting to off, to enhance server-side responsiveness.

Continue reading...

2012, Wednesday July 25

Synopse mORMot benchmark

After having tested and enhanced the external database speed (including BATCH mode), we are now able to benchmark all database engines available in mORMot.

In fact, the ORM part of our framework has several potential database backends, in addition to the default SQLite3 file-based engine.
Each engine may have its own purpose, according to the application expectation.

The following tables try to sum up all available possibilities, and give some benchmark (average rows/seconds for writing or read). 

In these tables:

  • 'internal' means use of the internal SQLite3 engine;
  • 'external' stands for an external access via SynDB;
  • 'TObjectList' indicates a TSQLRestServerStaticInMemory instance either static (with no SQL support) or virtual (i.e. SQL featured via SQLite3 virtual table mechanism) which may persist the data on disk as JSON or compressed binary;
  • 'trans' stands for Transaction, i.e. when the write process is nested within BeginTransaction / Commit calls;
  • 'batch' mode will be described in this article;
  • 'read one' states that one object is read per call (ORM generates a SELECT * FROM table WHERE ID=?);
  • 'read all' is when all 5000 objects are read in a single call (i.e. running SELECT * FROM table);
  • ACID is an acronym for "Atomicity Consistency Isolation Durability" properties, which guarantee that database transactions are processed reliably: for instance, in case of a power loss or hardware failure, the data will be saved on disk in a consistent way, with no potential loss of data.
In short: depending on the database you can persist up to 150,000 objects per second, or retrieve  240,000 objects per second.
With a high-performance database like Oracle and our direct access classes, you write 53,000 and read 72,000 objects per second.
Difficult to find a faster ORM, I suspect. :)

Continue reading...

2012, Tuesday July 24

SQLite3-powered, not SQLite3-limited

Our downloadable documentation has been enhanced, and contains now a description about the main feature of 1.15 version, i.e. "database agnosticism".

The core database of our mORMot framework uses the SQLite3 library, which is a Free, Secure, Zero-Configuration, Server-less, Single Stable Cross-Platform Database File database engine.

As stated below, you can use any other database access layer, if you wish.
A fast in-memory engine (TObjectList-based) is included, and can be used instead or together with the SQLite3 engine.
Or you may be able to access any remote database, and use one or more OleDB, ODBC, ZDBCTDataSet, (or direct Oracle) connections to store your precious ORM objects.
The SQlite3 will be used as the main SQL engine, able to JOIN all those tables, thanks to its Virtual Table unique feature.

(article updated after removal of the TSQLRecordExternal class type for revision 1.17 - note also that BATCH process is now directly supported by the framework and converted to bound array parameters if available)

Continue reading...

2012, Thursday July 19

Oracle Array Binding and BATCH performance

A common issue with Client-Server databases is the latency introduced for each query.

For example, suppose you have a requirement to first collect some information from your application’s users and then insert that information into a table in Oracle Database.

The first obvious option is to insert these multiple rows into the table through a loop in your program. This loop iterates over the data to be inserted and does what is known as a single-row insert , because the application sends one single row of data to the database at a time. Due to the network latency (typically around 1 ms over a corporate network), it would achieve not more than 500-600 requests per second to let the work done, since for each INSERT, a so-called round-trip occurs: a message is sent to Oracle, then a response is sent back to the client.

You have another option for inserting multiple rows of data into the table— that reduces the number of round-trips and improves application performance, database performance, and network resource use. Rather than having the application send a single row of data to the database at a time, it can use array binding to send the data in batches of rows. Therefore, you reduce a lot the number of round-trips to be processed, and enhance performance by a factor of about 100.

Our SynDB unit has been enhanced to introduce new TSQLDBStatement.BindArray() methods, introducing array binding for faster database batch modifications (only implemented in SynDBOracle by now - but MS SQL has a similar feature called OleDB bulk insert).
It is available from the ORM side or mORMot, when working with external tables, in BATCH mode.

Thanks to this enhancement, inserting records within Oracle comes from 400-500 rows per second to more than 50000 rows per second!
It was also a good opportunity to speed up the BATCH process globally, and to benchmark our Oracle back-end against existing external databases, i.e. SQLite3 (as file or in-memory), and Jet / MS Access / .mdb engine.

Note that this article scope is only about virtual tables linked to external databases (i.e. TSQLRecordExternal). Plain TSQLRecord classes will access directly to the SQLite3 engine or in-memory TList, so speed will be even higher than the below values.

Featuring benchmark source code and nice performance charts.

Continue reading...

2012, Thursday July 12

One ORM to rule them all

If you discovered the mORMot framework, you may have found out that its implementation may sound restricted, in comparison to other ORMs, due to its design. It would be easy to answer that "it is not a bug, it is a feature", but I suspect it is worth a dedicated article.

Some common (and founded) criticisms are the following (quoting from our forum - see e.g. this question):
- "One of the things I don't like so much about your approach to the ORM is the mis-use of existing Delphi constructs like "index n" attribute for the maximum length of a string-property. Other ORMs solve this i.e. with official Class-attributes";
- "You have to inherit from TSQLRecord, and can't persist any plain class";
- "There is no way to easily map an existing complex database".

I understand very well those concerns.
Our mORMot framework is not meant to fit any purpose, but it is worth understanding why it has been implemented as such, and why it may be quite unique within the family of ORMs - which almost all are following the Hibernate way of doing.

Continue reading...

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