OpenInsight and NoSQL

As many of you will no doubt know, the NoSQL technology has been steadily gaining ground as organisations move to super fast and highly flexible technologies for their web solutions. These organisations include some huge names such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, eBay and many more.

So why do I mention this on a blog about Revelation Software?

Well, NoSQL presents OpenInsight developers (well any MultiValue developer) with a new edge to their sales pitch. NoSQL is now being referred to as ‘No’ SQL and also ‘Not Only’ SQL and most MultiValue systems, like OpenInsight, fit very nicely into the second camp. Not only do we have a flexible, scalable and fast multi-dimensional database (rather than a structured, slower relational database), but we can also play with SQL as well. In effect we bring the best of both worlds together and enable developers to do more, faster and therefore more economically.

MultiValue is not the be all and end all and neither are the Relational databases. Your MultiValue database is like your sports car hurtling along twisty country roads, whereas your relational database is like an articulated truck trundling efficiently along the highway with a large load – the truck can’t deviate easily but it is efficient at handling large loads.

In IT talk, this correlates to the sports car providing you with a system that can move and adapt with your ever changing business needs. This helps you to keep ahead of your competition and to maintain your competitive edge. Whereas the truck correlates to the data store that your business intelligence and data mining teams will work against.

Of course, both operate perfectly well in each others environments. Countless MultiValue systems have been written over the years and each efficiently and robustly handle thousands of users with millions of rows of data and likewise for the SQL based systems.

Putting an environmentally friendly slant on things, with your NoSQL based solution you can work more efficiently, benefit from the speed and sharding features and only work with the data that you ‘need’ to work with. Then, when you do need to work with the large datasets you can bring into play your SQL tools.

So back to our sports car and truck analogy. Your data will get to where it needs to get to, but the sports car will zip around and navigate the fastest route working with only the ‘NECESSARY data, whereas the truck will take the long route and lumber into the depot with everything – that depots delivery (your required data) and that of countless other deliveries (unnecessary but associates data). Smaller, refined and faster requests results in lower resource requirements, lower bandwidth use on both desktop and web systems and in most instances this correlates to a lower cost to your business.

So why compromise when you can have both? With MultiValue tools, like OpenInsight from Revelation Software, you can have the sports car with it’s small fuel tank and low running costs AND easy access to the truck when it’s needed.

For those of you who are not already benefitting from OpenInsight, please go to or to learn more about one of the leading MultiValue (NoSQL) databases. In addition, you can find out more about the NoSQL technology and what it has to offer in Prospectus’s new two part video.

OI QSG – The Grande Finale

OK – So I was not done with the OpenInsight Quick Start Guide Video Series. As a few of you have rightly pointed out, I hadn’t done anything with the table on the Consultations tab on the Patient Entry window. Well, that just happened to leave a nice topic for a finale, encore, or whatever.

The 24th lesson (could this now be ‘learn OpenInsight in 24 hours’) is a feature length lesson in which we look at creating the facility to capture consultations (appointments), hook them up to the Patient window and we create a report for our hypothetical receptionists and doctors to see appointments for any given day.

In this final video (before I look at O4W), the lesson will pretty much summarise the whole series by working with the Table Builder, Forms Designer, Indexes, User Interface Workspace, Scripts and the Report Builder.

I hope that you find the series useful and that this last lesson puts the cherry on the cake.

The final page of the final chapter is complete and the book is now closed.

For those of you that have been following my OpenInsight Quick Start Guide series of videos, the last few videos have just been completed and they are either now uploading to my YouTube Channel or rendering for then uploading. Once uploaded, I will add them to the main OI QSG playlist and also link to them from our web site.

The last few videos look at using Query By Form (QBF) within our Patient Entry window, creating reports and making them available to our users, making use of Index Lookups in OpenInsight and finally we wrap up the application. I’ve not covered wrapping up with the RDK as that is a big subject in its own right and people often choose different deployment methods to meet their own needs. I’ll therefore leave that for the official training.

I hope that you find the series useful and I will be beginning work on the O4W QSG series very, very soon.

Installing OpenInsight into Citrix and Terminal Server Environments.

From time to time I receive requests from VARs and end-users on Revelation’s recommended configuration on Citrix, Terminal Server and similar environments. Until now, there was no real recommended advice on where the various OpenInsight components should be installed and people were left to find what works best for them, their application, their environment and the users.

During my many conversations with people, I have learned that a configuration that works well for one client needed a rethink and modification for another. Putting together a recommendation for OpenInsight was therefore always going to be a tough call and Revelation would run the risk of documenting one configuration that people would follow to the letter and find that it was not the right, or even the best, solution for them, their application or their users.

However, following a typical ‘why does it work that way’ conversion about running OpenInsight and Citrix, I discussed the possibility of having a recommendation white paper with Jared (Revelation’s chief networking professional in the New Jersey office), along with the necessary this is a starting point only caveats.

I am please to announce that overnight Jared has released a white paper on the ‘Best Practices for Deploying OpenInsight on Terminal Services and Citrix Environments’.

This guide is Revelation’s best practice advice and it provides people with a welcome starting point when deploying OpenInsight based systems to these environments that are becoming more and more popular. The paper has been put together from Jared’s experience of working with OpenInsight 9.x on Terminal Services and Citrix and you can read the full article on the RevUS web site at

Finally, I’d like to extend my thanks to Jared for taking the time to put together this hugely useful document.

Removing Phantom Indexes

Whilst working on resolving a phantom index issue, John Godfrey from Carys Computing came across a useful little trick for removing the rogue index.

Faced with an unwanted phantom index on a table in his application, John turned to the database manager and diving into the Utilities -> Indexes menu, he ran the option to remove the phantom index. However, nothing happened, the phantom index remained.

John then tried to add the index so that he could then remove it. As expected, OpenInsight duly reported that the new index could not be added as one already existed – the phantom index.

John notes that, at this point, you can turn to the help system in OpenInsight. This points you towards the System Editor, in which you can change field 6 from a 1 to a 0, to indicate that no BTree index is active.

However, John has found a neat, quick resolution to the phantom index issue and one that he asked me to share with everyone through my blog. He states:

“To the errant field add an XRef Index. This magically makes the Index editable and removable. So go back in and remove the XRef and BTree Indexes as required.”

I would like to thank John for this contribution and I will welcome any more tricks like this that anyone comes across and who would like to share with my readers.