RE: Caché Database System Integration With Squeak

Ron Teitelbaum Ron at
Tue Nov 29 14:34:34 UTC 2005


I will talk to them about the specs about their interface too.  I’ll let you
know what happens.  By the way incase you missed it, Caché is the newest
consolidated version of the 4GL language MUMPS, or some call it M now.  It
does look very powerful and massively scalable.  I’ve been asking myself why
this language and DB didn’t take off more then it has, and I’m guessing the
answer is that it was originally developed for medicine, and it’s OO which
may have put it out of reach for some SQL developers?  In general because of
its structure I’m pretty sure an interface from Squeak would be a nice fit.
It appears to be an OODB with some history and experience.  

In my previous position as Principal Software Engineer for a pretty big
health care company I used Versant.  We were way out front with it.  We
looked at Gemstone but found that Versant was much closer to what we needed.
We ended up having a lot of problems with Versant.  We were already a few
years into developing on Versant when during deployment things went wrong.
We may have been pushing the envelope on their product, but when we started
getting mixed results back without changing data we finally decided to
switch to Oracle.  (After some time working with support, to their credit,
Versant was able to get us a patch for the problem, but by then we, our
owners and financial backers were shell shocked, and needed to find
something that was actually, and was considered by others, production
quality DBMS)

I’ve been leery of OODBMS since then and found that Oracle and Toplink was a
pretty good fit for large scale production apps.  (Although we did make a
lot of modifications to Toplink :) )

My interest like I said is mostly interfacing to existing systems.  I’ll let
you know what intersystems says about the specs.

Ron Teitelbaum
Ron at 

-----Original Message-----
From: squeak-dev-bounces at
[mailto:squeak-dev-bounces at] On Behalf Of Simon
Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2005 7:28 AM
To: The general-purpose Squeak developers list
Subject: Re: Caché Database System Integration With Squeak

Hi again Ron.

Ron Teitelbaum wrote:

>Thanks for the response.  The VA (US Veterans Administration) uses Caché
>their medical record system and I would like to attach squeak to that
Nice to know that there's a large-scale organisation like that using 
Caché - you guys will carry considerable clout for getting them to 
change things if needed :)

>It really concerns me that you are having this problem with ODBC on Linux.
>Have you considered their XML interface, or do you think that would be way
>to slow?  
I must confess I didn't know there was an XML interface. However, I 
suspect that it may be a reasonable way to go given a fast enough link 
between the client and server machines, and fast enough client and 
server hardware. Of course I have no quantifiable metrics for this, but 
now you've mentioned this interface I'll probably take a look at it.

>I was hoping to add support by extending their projection classes to
>generate Smalltalk objects, and to connect up using ODBC.  I’m glad you
>mentioned this problem, since I’m running on windows, and I wouldn’t have
>discovered this problem until later while trying to run this on linux.  
Glad to have been of help :)

>I would love to see squeak drivers, have you contacted them about the
I haven't yet asked them about their specs directly. I've dropped a few 
hints in support emails but they've either missed them or ignored them - 
hopefully not the latter as that would indicate that they don't want to 
give them up. Still, that's nothing but guesswork and I just hadn't got 
around to asking them properly yet - so many other things on the go at 
the moment. However if there are two clients asking for the same thing, 
it would hopefully mean they'd be willing to cooperate; I can't really 
see why they wouldn't want us to add to the range of interfaces to Caché.


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