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2011, Sunday July 3

"Sharding" or "Share nothing" architecture

Here is what wikipedia states at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shared_nothing_architecture:

A shared nothing architecture (SN) is a distributed computing architecture in which each node is independent and self-sufficient, and there is no single point of contention across the system. People typically contrast SN with systems that keep a large amount of centrally-stored state information, whether in a database, an application server, or any other similar single point of contention.

This is just one approach of "sharding". Sharding is indeed related to a shared nothing architecture - once sharded, each shard can live in a totally separate logical schema instance.
"I sharded, therefore it scales"...

You can do this in Delphi... and opens a new world of scaling opportunities... Just as Google, Facebook, or eBay do... 

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2011, Thursday June 2

Custom SQL functions

The SQLite3 engine defines some standard SQL functions, like abs() min() max() or upper().
A complete list is available at http://www.sqlite.org/lang_corefunc.html

One of the greatest SQLite3 feature is the ability to define custom SQL functions in high-level language. In fact, its C API allows to implement new functions which may be called within a SQL query. In other database engine, such functions are usually named UDF (for User Defined Functions).

Our framework allows you to add easily such custom functions, directly from Delphi classes.

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2011, Friday May 20

How to write fast multi-thread Delphi applications

How to make your software run fast, especially in a multi-threaded architecture?

We tried to remove the Memory Manager scaling problems in our SynScaleMM. It worked as expected in a multi-threaded server environment. Scaling is much better than FastMM4, for some critical tests. But it's not ready for production yet...

To be honest, the Memory Manager is perhaps not the bigger bottleneck in Multi-Threaded applications.

Here are some (not dogmatic, just from experiment and knowledge of low-level Delphi RTL) advice if you want to write FAST multi-threaded application in Delphi.

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2011, Saturday March 12

TDynArray and Record compare/load/save using fast RTTI

The SynCommons unit has been enhanced:
- new BinToBase64 and Base64ToBin conversion functions;
- new low-level RTTI functions for handling record types: RecordEquals, RecordSave, RecordSaveLength, RecordLoad;
- new TDynArray object, which is a wrapper around any dynamic array.

With TDynArray, you can access any dynamic array (like TIntegerDynArray = array of integer) using TList-like properties and methods, e.g. Count, Add, Insert, Delete, Clear, IndexOf, Find, Sort and some new methods like LoadFromStream, SaveToStream, LoadFrom and SaveTo which allow fast binary serialization of any dynamic array, even containing strings or records - a CreateOrderedIndex method is also available to create individual index according to the dynamic array content. You can also serialize the array content into JSON, if you wish.

What I like with dynamic arrays is that they are reference-counted, don't need any Create/try..finally...Free code, and are well handled by the Delphi compiler.
They are no replacement to a TCollection nor a TList (which are the standard and efficient way of storing class instances), but they are very handy way of having a list of content or a dictionary at hand, with no class nor properties definition.
You can look at them like Python's list, tuples (via records handling) and dictionaries (via Find method), in pure Delphi. Our new methods (about searching and serialization) allow most usage of those script-level structures in your Delphi code.

Continue reading...

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