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Overview of Specialized Tools and Utilities

Although the browser-based Management Portal is the standard tool for managing and administering your InterSystems IRIS® instance, other tools are also available. This page is a guide to the numerous specialized tools and utilities that can be used to manage, customize, and extend InterSystems IRIS but are too specialized to be of interest to a general audience. They are not documented in other books for one or more of the following reasons:

  • They would be used only by a small minority of users.

  • They are not required, and would usually be used only once.

  • They allow advanced customizations or extensions that require expert knowledge of an InterSystems IRIS system.

  • They are legacy applications, but can still occasionally be useful on current systems.

The rest of this page summarizes the tools described in this book. The remaining articles cover these tools in detail, including:

  • Customizing the InterSystems IRIS System discusses some ways to customize and extend a standard InterSystems IRIS installation.

  • Managing InterSystems IRIS Remotely discusses routines and utilities for managing InterSystems IRIS from a character-based terminal or an external program.

  • Process Management discusses methods and utilities for managing how an individual process contends for system resources with other concurrent processes.

  • Using cvendian for Byte Order Conversion discusses a tool you can use for migration between Big-endian and Little-endian platforms

As you use these tools, the following documents may be useful:


The article on “Customizing the InterSystems IRIS System” discusses several ways to customize and extend a standard InterSystems IRIS installation .The following tools are described:

  • System Classes for National Language Support — describes support for localization, referred to as National Language Support (or NLS), which allows applications to be adapted to various languages and regions without engineering changes.

  • Using the InterSystems IRIS ^%ZSTART and ^%ZSTOP Routines — describes how to create customized system routines that will be called automatically when certain system events are detected. Routines can be called when InterSystems IRIS starts or stops, when a user performs a login or logout, when a JOB begins or ends, or when an external program begins or completes a CALLIN.

  • Extending ObjectScript with %ZLang — describes how to use the %ZLANG language extension library to add custom features to ObjectScript. You can declare user-defined commands, functions, and system-wide special variables for your installation of InterSystems IRIS. These custom extensions work exactly like standard ObjectScript features.

Remote System Management

The article on “Managing InterSystems IRIS Remotely” discusses routines and utilities for managing InterSystems IRIS from a terminal or an external program. The following tools are described:

  • Using ^GBLOCKCOPY for Fast Global Copies — describes a routine that performs fast global copies between databases, and can be used to convert databases during a migration. It can be run interactively to a terminal, or be set up in a batch to run one or more global copies as background jobs. It contains a built-in monitor and several reports to track the progress of global copies. It can be restarted at the point it left off if there is a system failure.

  • Using Switches — discusses the available InterSystems IRIS switches, which are per-instance flags that can be used for a variety of purposes. They are especially useful for inhibiting various system processes when doing backups or trying to recover crashed systems.

  • Controlling InterSystems IRIS from a Windows Client — describes a DLL that allows an external application to function as a Windows client that can control an InterSystems IRIS configuration, start an InterSystems IRIS process with the desired settings, find InterSystems service name and directories paths for a given configuration name, and get the status of the InterSystems IRIS system.

  • Character-based Management Routines — describes the^LEGACYNETWORK routine, which allows you to list, add, edit, and remove COM ports.

Byte Order Conversion

The article Using cvendian for Byte Order Conversion describes a utility to convert the byte order of an InterSystems IRIS database for migration between Big-endian and Little-endian platforms. It also provides an option to report on the byte order of a given database.

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