Skyve persistence

Skyve persistence

The Skyve Enterprise Platform mandates support for a number of best-practice Web design features on every logical table within the application persistence model including:

  • Generic naming conventions for generic mechanisms,
  • UUID enterprise-level guaranteed key uniqueness,
  • Optimistic Lock concurrency controls,
  • Document scoping - declarative row-level security & source identification,
  • Multi-tenancy,
  • Enterprise-wide consistent reference representation, and
  • Collaborative record flagging.

Generic naming conventions

As a general principle Skyve adopts generic naming conventions wherever possible particularly with respect to mandated persistence mechanisms.

To reduce the potential for generic mechanism names to clash with instance-specific business concepts, Skyve specific mechanisms are prefixed “biz”.

Skyve mandates the existence of the following named columns on all primary data rows in a Skyve managed database:

Column name Purpose Comments
bizId Enterprise wide unique identifier The use of UUID guarantees consistency and means no performance costs for assigning IDs, also means that IDs can be generated in external source applications without the need for re-keying when importing into a Skyve application store.
bizVersion Optimistic lock concurrency control Skyve compares the persisted version number at the time the bean is loaded with the version number when attempting to save. If the numbers are different, the bean has been changed by another conversation.
bizLock Optimistic lock concurrency control Skyve keeps the timestamp and user principal of the last successful transaction. For example (Skyve does this automatically), to generate a bizLock value in T-SQL would be as follows: DECLARE @bizLock varchar(271) = CONCAT(FORMAT(getdate(), 'yyyyMMddhhmmss000'), '<username>')
bizKey Enterprise-wide consistent reference representation bizKey is an enterprise wide way of representing an list of connected forms as a string - similar to the “.toString” concept available for most Object-Oriented classes and suitable for displaying relationships, particularly where multi-column display is not possible in the UI.
bizCustomer Multi-tenancy Skyve supports multi-tenant security. Each row is owned by a customer.
bizFlagComment Collaborative record flagging Used in the generic list capability allows collaboration between users to flag issues or reminders on specific rows.
bizDataGroupId Document scoping - declarative row level security For sub-organisational row-level security, bizDataGroupId records the data group context in which the record was created.
bizUserId Document scoping - source identification For individual user security, bizUserId maintains the user context in which the record was created.

Relationship naming convention

In Skyve, relationships are declared as attributes within the document declaration. To make clear the special nature of the attribute within the persistence context, relationship attributes are suffixed _id.

For example, if a Contact document declared an attribute called “address” which represented a one-many or one-one relationship to the Address document, the persisted attribute name will be address_id and an index will be created for this key.

Similarly, all child entities have a generic reference to their parent and the persisted name for this attribute called parent_id.

For many-many relationships a separate joining table is used which will always have columns owner_id and entity_id where these represent the semantic nature of each relationship.

Ordering and bizOrdinal

Column name Purpose Comments
bizOrdinal Generic collection ordinal position bizOrdinal is used for implicit ordering where collections are declared “ordered”.

Where collections are declared to be ordered, Skyve maintains the ordinal position of each record in the collection with a persisted column named bizOrdinal.

The bizOrdinal field is used where implicit ordering is required (for example in an orderable drag-drop datagrid) but is also available to developers for other tasks.

bizOrdinal starts at position 0.

Skyve will cope if legacy data has bizOrdinal values that are incomplete, null or non-consecutive. Next time the collection is saved, Skyve will update bizOrdinals and make them consecutive. So if legacy data has bizOrdinals of 2,5,5 and 11 and there are only 4 rows, Skyve will still order them for presentation, but the next time the collection is saved, they will be reset to 0,1,2 and 3.

UUID enterprise-level guaranteed uniqueness

To guarantee enterprise-wide uniqueness, Skyve generally uses Universally Unique Identifier (UUID) for all key identifiers named generically bizId.

A universally unique identifier (UUID) is an identifier standard used in software construction, standardized by the Open Software Foundation (OSF) as part of the Distributed Computing Environment (DCE).

The intent of UUIDs is to enable distributed systems to uniquely identify information without significant central coordination. Information labelled with UUIDs can therefore be later combined into a single database without needing to resolve identifier (ID) conflicts.

The use of UUIDs means minimal architectural considerations are necessary to support distributed key management and persistence level performance is not challenged by the need for central key coordination.

However, because the Skyve mandated bizId field is a String field, any ID up to the column size of 36 characters can be used, provided it is unique within the context of the database table.

For example, if data originates in another system, the originating system ID can be placed into the bizId field, provided it will be unique in the table context under all circumstances and provided it is up to 36 characters.

Optimistic lock concurrency controls

Skyve supports multi-conversation interactions allowing each user to maintain multiple conversational interactions with the application, either with multiple windows/tabs in the same browser or interacting via several browsers and devices concurrently.

To guarantee best-practice optimistic concurrency control, Skyve persists bizVersion and bizLock values.

Skyve compares the persisted version number (bizVersion) at the time the bean is loaded with the version number when attempting to save. If the numbers are different, the bean has been changed by another conversation.

Skyve keeps the timestamp and user principal of the last successful transaction as the bizLock column. This is useful for a range of auditing and process inspection requirements.

OptimisticLock is implemented as a domain type in Skyve.

OptimisticLock lock = new OptimisticLock(CORE.getUser().getName(), new Date());

Enterprise-wide consistent reference representation

In Object Oriented applications, most classes will implement a .toString() method as a consistent scalar representation of complex objects.

While natural keys are useful in an application context they are often of limited use in the user experience, where more information is generally required to uniquely and correctly identify the record being referred to.

Skyve mandates the existence of a bizKey attribute for all entities to support enterprise-wide consistency and this is especially useful where relationships are represented by single-column selects or static text type controls.

The bizKey is persisted to allow performant scaling of large data sets so that the more complex key representation can be used in common ad-hoc searching, filtering and sorting.

Multi-tenant Support

Skyve supports multi-tenant security. Each row is owned by a customer and created within a customer context.

Skyve enforces multi-tenant specific security implicitly including via data interactions at the API level - however Skyve also allows the use of insecure SQL where required for performance reasons and where vendor-specific persistence layer functionality is required.

In a simple standalone application the bizCustomer column is technically unnecessary, but to enforce the portability principle is still mandated by the platform in case requirements change.

Collaborative record flagging

To support ad-hoc collaboration of data users, Skyve provides a text-based flag for every entity/record within the application. bizFlagComment will be represented in the list by a flag icon with the hover gesture displaying the persisted comment.

Hover over the flag icon

### Document scoping row-level security and source identification

Skyve supports declarative row-level security which is enforced pervasively and implicitly across all development contexts. Documents are declared with a scope for each application role.

Four scope levels are supported – User, Data group, Customer and Global. To ensure the correct scope is respected in a multi-role, multi-conversation environment, Skyve persists the owning context of each record at the customer level (bizCustomer column), data group (bizDataGroupId column) or user (bizUserId) level. These values are then inspected as required to resolve whether the record can be accessed legitimately.

The data group concept is for sub-organisational, departmental or business unit specific security contexts. When user accounts are created a data group may be specified. If specified, any data interactions for that user-role combination will occur and be interpreted by Skyve as within that data group context. User-role combinations without a specified data group are interpreted as having authority to interact across data group contexts.

Configuring Skyve for a specific DBMS

(e.g. mysql, mssql, oracle, postgres, h2 etc)

Before you start

  1. Install the preferred DBMS and management tools (e.g. mysql and mysql workbench)
    • there are some specific options to avoid depending on vendor, for example with mysql, choose the option to ignore case sensitivity to save yourself some hassle
    • create a new database, schema or (for oracle) user - you do not need to create any tables at this stage - Skyve will create these for you (provide DDL Sync is enabled in the ‘.json’ properties file)
  2. Ensure you have a valid jdbc driver that can connect to your DBMS
  3. Load the driver into your app server configuration (e.g. if you’re using mysql and jboss wildfly, the driver jar and associated xml needs to be loaded into /wildfly.../system/layers/base/com/mysql/main/) - the exact path will vary according the your wildfly distribution and the provider of the driver
    • this should just be a file copy of the jar and xml into place, if the specific vendor folder doesn’t exist in your wildfly distribution, create it
    • for jboss wildfly, you also need to make a declaration that the driver exists in the <drivers/> section of the /wildfly.../standalone/configuration/standalone.xml file
    • for example, if you run multiple projects with different DBMS, your drivers stanza may look something like this:
                    <driver name="h2" module="com.h2database.h2">
                    <driver name="mysql" module="com.mysql"/>
                    <driver name="sqlserver" module="">
                    <driver name="oracle" module="">

Changing the Skyve configuration

  1. Update the connection string and credentials in the datasource xml file (e.g. /wildfly/standalone/deployments/skyve-ds.xml)
    • Example connection strings
    • for mysql
  • for sqlserver
  • for h2
  1. Update the ‘.json’ instance settings dataStores section (i.e. in /wildfly/standalone/deployments/skyve.json) with the corresponding hibernate dialect class for your database version
    • for h2 dialect: "org.skyve.impl.persistence.hibernate.dialect.H2SpatialDialect"
    • for mysql dialect: "org.skyve.impl.persistence.hibernate.dialect.MySQL5InnoDBSpatialDialect"
    • for mssql dialect: "org.skyve.impl.persistence.hibernate.dialect.SQLServer2008SpatialDialect"
  2. Start your app server and ensure your project deploys. If you receive messages that a valid connection can’t be obtained, check connection details, credentials, firewall and port settings.
  3. Set the setup user in the bootstrap section of the project .json file to log in the first time.

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