Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Node Road show recap. When to use and not use node.

I was recently at a Node road show.  This was very much like the OTN tour just obvious focused on Node.  They had multiple big customers there to share how they used node, what worked, and what doesn't.  There were 3 things that stood out for for me about when when to use Node.

First, that node is designed for high concurrency low latency.  In case you didn't know node has 1 execution thread.  Here's a blog that explains it very well,  That means a simple loop like while(true){} will lock up the entire node server.  Now, you may think oracle's OCI is not async so it's all lost.  Node takes care of when it's waiting on I/O.  While waiting on I/O from the database, node.js will push this work to the queue until there's a response then it comes back to the main thread for more execution.

Second, Node as the Front End's Backend.  Yahoo and Rakuten was there and explained how they use node to be the buffer from the front end to the "real" backend.  This makes a place where the front end developers can use what they know , javascript, and perform server side operations.  They can use the same REST based access the browser would use to also access the backend.

Third, A lot of people probably know this but is not meant for thing like finance.  Here's a simple example that math isn't a main point when it matters.  There are plans for Javascript to add a bigdecimal eventually which would remedy this.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Publish data over REST with Node.js

Of course the best way to expose database data over REST is with Oracle REST Data Services.  If you haven't read over the Statement of Direction, it's worth the couple minutes it takes.  The auto table enablement and filtering is quite nice.

For anyone interested in node.js and oracle, this is a very quick example of publishing the emp table over REST for use by anyone that would prefer REST over sql*net.  For example from javascript,php,perl,...

The current best driver for node.js to access oracle is node-oracle which is found here:

Here's a short set of steps to get going.

1. Install node,

2. Setup the environment's oracle variables

export PATH=$PATH:.  
export ORACLE_HOME=/path/to/my/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1
export OCI_INCLUDE_DIR=$ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/public
export OCI_VERSION=11 #Integer. Optional, defaults to '11'
export NLS_LANG=.UTF8 # Optional, but required to support international characters

3. run npm install oracle

That's all there is to getting then env setup for oracle.  The other node package I use in this example is express.

4. To install that just type:  npm install express To learn more about express, it's home is here

var express = require('express');
var app = express();
// This make a uri end point for the REST call
// http://myhost/emp will return the data
app.get('/emp', function(req, res){

var oracle = require('oracle');
var conn;

var connectData = {
    hostname: "",
    port: 1521,
    database: "XE", 
    user: "klrice",
    password: "fortim"

// connect
//var conn="";
oracle.connect(connectData, function(err, connection) {
    if (err) { console.log("Error connecting to db:", err); return; }
    conn =connection;

// function registered in the /emp declaration
function empList(req,res){
     var empList = "select * from emp ";
    conn.execute(empList, [], function(err, results) {
            if (err) { console.log("Error executing query:", err); return; }

            // use the JSON function to format the results and print

// listen on port 8000

The result is that the node script is listening on port 8000 for /emp and will return this JSON.

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