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2014-01-07

Some enhancements to REST routing of interface-based services

We have just committed some enhancements to interface-based service process.

TSQLRestRoutingREST will now recognize several URI schemes, like new  root/Calculator/Add?n1=1&n2=2 alternative could be pretty convenient to be consumed from some REST clients.

Please find here a documentation update.

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2013-12-10

JSON record serialization

In Delphi, the record has some nice advantages:

  • record are value objects, i.e. accessed by value, not by reference - this can be very convenient, e.g. when defining a Domain-Driven Design
  • record can contain any other record or dynamic array, so are very convenient to work with (no need to define sub-classes or lists); 
  • record variables can be allocated on stack, so won't solicit the global heap; 
  • record instances automatically freed by the compiler when they come out of scope, so you won't need to write any try..finally Free; end block.

Serialization of record values are therefore a must-have for a framework like mORMot.

In recent commits, this JSON serialization of record has been enhanced.
In particular, we introduced JSON serialization via a new text-based record definition.

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2013-12-05

New Open Source Multi-Thread ready Memory Manager: SAPMM

Do you remember this former article about scalability of the Delphi memory manager, in multi-thread execution context?

Our SynScaleMM is still experimental.
But did pretty well, for an experiment!

At first, you can take a look at ScaleMM2, which is more stable, and based on the same ground.

But a new multi-thread friendly memory manager for Delphi just came out.
It is in fact the anonymous (and already famous) "NN memory manager" Primož talked about in his article about string building and memory managers.


(Note that in this article, our SynScaleMM was found to be scaling very well, but on the other hand, Primož did compile its benchmark program in Debug mode, so our TTextWriter was not in good shape: when you compile in Release mode, optimizations and inlining are ON, and our good TTextWriter just flies... See the note at the beginning of the article - this is why I never find those benchmarks very informative. I always prefer profiling from the real world with real useful process… and was never convinced by any such naive benchmark.)

OK, back to our business!

SapMM is an interesting beast.
https://code.google.com/p/sapmm

Sounds like if Alexei (the initial coder) has a C coding background. But that's fine when you have to deal with low-level structures and algorithms, as required by a memory manager. :)
It features everything we may ask for such a piece of code: clear design, optimized code (mostly by inlining process), memory leak reporting, some parameters for tuning.

It is only for Delphi XE (and up) under Win32 by now, but contributors are welcome!
It is used in production since more than half a year, and it passed all FastcodeMM benchmark tests.

If you want a direct link of the today's source code, without SVN, you may try this direct link from our site.
(but it probably will never be updated - you are warned)

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2013-09-19

FreePascal Lazarus and Android Native Controls

We all know that the first Delphi for Android was just released...

I just found out an amazing alternative, using native Android controls, and FPC/Lazarus as compiler and IDE.

It creates small .apk file: only 180 KB, from my tests!

It makes use of direct LCL access of Android native controls, so it is a great sample.

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2013-09-10

Thread-safety of mORMot

We tried to make mORMot at the same time fast and safe, and able to scale with the best possible performance on the hardware it runs on.
Multi-threading is the key to better usage of modern multi-core CPUs, and also client responsiveness.

As a result, on the Server side, our framework was designed to be thread-safe.

On typical production use, the mORMot HTTP server will run on its own optimized thread pool, then call the TSQLRestServer.URI method. This method is therefore expected to be thread-safe, e.g. from the TSQLHttpServer. Request method. Thanks to the RESTful approach of our framework, this method is the only one which is expected to be thread-safe, since it is the single entry point of the whole server. This KISS design ensure better test coverage.

Let us see now how this works, and publish some benchmarks to test how efficient it has been implemented.

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2013-09-04

HTTPS communication in mORMot

In mORMot, the http.sys kernel mode server can be defined to serve HTTPS secure content.

Yes, mORMots do like sophistication:

When the aUseSSL boolean parameter is set for TSQLHttpServer.Create() constructor, the SSL layer will be enabled within http.sys.
Note that useHttpSocket kind of server does not offer SSL encryption yet.

We will now define the steps needed to set up a HTTPS server in mORMot.

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2013-06-16

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.

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2013-06-07

Authentication and Authorization

Our mORMot framework tries to implement security via:
- Process safety;
- Authentication;
- Authorization.

Process safety is implemented at every n-Tier level:
- Atomicity of the SQLite3 database core;
- RESTful architecture to avoid most synchronization issues;
- ORM associated to the Object pascal strong type syntax;
- Extended test coverage of the framework core.

Authentication allows user identification:
- Build-in optional authentication mechanism, implementing both per-user sessions and individual REST Query Authentication;
- Authentication groups are used for proper authorization;
- Several authentication schemes, from very secure SHA-256 based challenging to weak but simple authentication;
- Class-based architecture, allowing custom extension.

Authorization of a given process is based on the group policy, after proper authentication:
- Per-table access right functionalities built-in at lowest level of the framework;
- Per-method execution policy for interface-based services;
- General high-level security attributes, for SQL or Service remote execution.

We will now give general information about both authentication and authorization in the framework.

In particular, authentication is now implemented via a set of classes.

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2013-05-11

Delphi XE4 NextGen compiler: using byte instead of ansichar?

When I first read the technical white paper covering all of the language changes in XE4 for mobile development (tied to the new ARM LLVM-based Delphi compiler), I have to confess I was pretty much confused.

Two great mORMot users just asked for XE4/iOS support of mORMot.

Win32/Win64 support for XE4 will be done as soon as we got a copy of it.
I suspect the code already works, since it was working as expected with XE3, and we rely on our own set of low-level functions for most internal work.

But iOS-targetting is more complex, due to the NextGen compiler, mainly.

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2013-04-02

Two videos about EXTjs client of mORMot server

Two nice videos, posted by a framework user. The first one presents a remote RESTful access of a SQLite3 database, hosted by a mORMot server: After one post in the forum, warleyalex was able to easily add remote filtering of the request: In addition to the previous video about security (by which the  […]

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2013-03-28

Adding some generic-based methods to mORMot

We have just added a TSQLTable.ToObjectList<T: class>() method. I want to add some generics-based methods to mORMot, for newer versions of Delphi. What do you think of it? Have you some method prototypes to propose? My first concern is that FreePascal does not offer the same syntax. I suppose  […]

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2013-03-27

Introducing TSQLTable.Step() method

We have just added TSQLTable.Step(), FieldBuffer() and Field() methods, handling a cursor at TSQLTable level, with optional late-binding column access.

It allows to retrieve results from a TSQLTable / TSQLTableJSON result sets within a "cursor-like" orientation.
That is, no need to specify the row number, but write a simple while aList.Step do ... loop.

Of course, you should better use TSQLRecord.FillPrepare most of the time, and access the data from a TSQLRecord instance.
But it can be very useful, e.g. when working on a custom JOINed SQL statement.

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2013-03-25

SynProject tool 1.18

We have uploaded an updatetd compiled version of our Open Source SynProject tool in SynProject.zip. Synopse SynProject is an open source application for code source versioning and automated documentation of software projects. Licensed under a GPL license. Main feature is a new (better-looking?)  […]

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2013-03-23

Download latest version of sqlite3.dll for Windows 64 bit

Update: We now build the amalgamation file with mingw and release the latest version of SQLite3, from this direct SQLite3-64.7z link, as soon as it is published on the SQLite3 site. Up to now, there is no official Win64 version of the SQlite3 library released in http://sqlite.org.. It is in fact  […]

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2013-03-13

x64 optimized asm of FillChar() and Move() for Win64

We have included x64 optimized asm of FillChar() and Move() for Win64 - for corresponding compiler targets, i.e. Delphi XE2 and XE3. It will handle properly cache prefetch and appropriate SSE2 move instructions.  The System.pas unit of Delphi RTL will be patched at startup, unless the NOX64PATCHRTL  […]

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2013-03-07

64 bit compatibility of mORMot units

I'm happy to announce that mORMot units are now compiling and working great in 64 bit mode, under Windows.
Need a Delphi XE2/XE3 compiler, of course!

ORM and services are now available in Win64, on both client and server sides.
Low-level x64 assembler stubs have been created, tested and optimized.
UI part is also available... that is grid display, reporting (with pdf export and display anti-aliasing), ribbon auto-generation, SynTaskDialog, i18n... the main SynFile demo just works great!

Overall impression is very positive, and speed is comparable to 32 bit version (only 10-15% slower).

Speed decrease seems to be mostly due to doubled pointer size, and some less optimized part of the official Delphi RTL.
But since mORMot core uses its own set of functions (e.g. for JSON serialization, RTTI support or interface calls or stubbing), we were able to release the whole 64 bit power of your hardware.

Delphi 64 bit compiler sounds stable and efficient. Even when working at low level, with assembler stubs.
Generated code sounds more optimized than the one emitted by FreePascalCompiler - and RTL is very close to 32 bit mode.
Overall, VCL conversion worked as easily than a simple re-build.
Embarcadero's people did a great job for VCL Win64 support, here!

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2013-02-25

Using external MinGW/VisualC++ sqlite3.dll - including benchmark

With upcoming revision 1.18 of the framework, our SynSQlite3.pas unit is able to access the SQLite3 engine in two ways:

  • Either statically linked within the project executable;
  • Or from an external sqlite3.dll library file.

The SQLite3 APIs and constants are defined in SynSQlite3.pas, and accessible via a TSQLite3Library class definition. It defines a global sqlite3 variable as such:

var
  sqlite3: TSQLite3Library;

To use the SQLite3 engine, an instance of TSQLite3Library class shall be assigned to this global variable. Then all mORMot's calls will be made through it, calling e.g. sqlite3.open() instead of sqlite3_open().

There are two implementation classes:

Class Unit Purpose
TSQLite3LibraryStatic SynSQLite3Static.pas Statically linked engine (.obj within the .exe)
TSQLite3LibraryDynamic SynSQLite3.pas Instantiate an external sqlite3.dll instance

Referring to SynSQLite3Static.pas in the uses clause of your project is enough to link the .obj engine into your executable.

Warning - breaking change: before version 1.18 of the framework, link of static .obj was forced - so you must add a reference to SynSQLite3Static in your project uses clause to work as expected.

In order to use an external sqlite3.dll library, you have to set the global sqlite3 variable as such:

 FreeAndNil(sqlite3); // release any previous instance (e.g. static)
 sqlite3 := TSQLite3LibraryDynamic.Create;

Of course, FreeAndNil(sqlite3) is not mandatory, and should be necessary only to avoid any memory leak if another SQLite3 engine instance was allocated (may be the case if SynSQLite3Static is referred somewhere in your project's units).

Here are some benchmarks, compiled with Delphi XE3, run in a 32 bit project, using either the static bcc-compiled engine, or an external sqlite3.dll, compiled via MinGW or Microsoft Visual C++.

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2013-02-17

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.

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2013-02-12

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.

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2013-02-03

Log to the console

Our framework features an integrated logging class, ready to be enabled for support and statistics.

For debugging purposes, it could be very handy to output the logging content to a console window.
It enables interactive debugging of a Client-Server process, for instance: you can interact with the Client, then look in real time at the server console window, and inspect which requests are processed, without the need to open the log file.

Depending on the events, colors will be used to write the corresponding information. Errors will be displayed as light red, for instance.

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