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Getting started with Magma
Last updated at 8:29 pm UTC on 19 April 2011

Getting Started

To use Magma, first download and install the code. Then you may decide in what mode would your magma be running and follow these steps:

If Running in Server/Client Mode

  1. create a repository
  2. start the server
  3. open a session

Creating a repository

To create a repository, you must provide two things:


Magma maintains a single directory on the filesystem for each repository. When creating or opening Magma repositories, specify a directory in which it may create its various files.

You should also provide the root object of the repository. This is the root of your domain object in the domain is referenced.

The code, thus:

  MagmaRepositoryController
    create: 'c:\myMagmaFolder'
    root: MyGrandDomainObject new

Starting the server

Magma utilizes TCP/IP for its network communications. To enable multi-user access to a Magma repository, you may start the Magma server in its own image and inspect the following:

  MagmaServerConsole new
    open: 'c:\myMagmaFolder' ;
    processOn: 51001

Be sure to inspect this so you will have access to console commands, such as #shutdown.

About MagmaLocations

Before opening a session, it is helpful to know about MagmaLocation and its two subclasses, MagmaRemoteLocation and MagmaLocalLocation.'

These are simply "bookmarks" to a Magma server. An actual MagmaSession can be instantiated from them by sending #newSession. Therefore, to create a session:
  mySession := (MagmaRemoteLocation host: 'localhost' port: 51000) newSession.
  mySession connectAs: ...


MagmaLocations are the objects recommended to be used by applications rather than hard-coded host names, ports or path names. That way the scale of Magma can be switched from local to remote with no change in the application code.


Open a MagmaSession

Once the server is running, a MagmaSession can be connected from the same or another image to gain access and change objects in the repository. Connecting a session requires the following information:


  | mySession |
  mySession := 
    (MagmaRemoteLocation
      host: 'localhost'
      port: 51001) newSession.
  mySession connectAs: 'chris'
If you run this from a Workspace, be sure to inspect the result so you will be able to properly disconnect from the server.

Once connected, changes to the persistent model are committed through transactions.

  mySession commit: 
    [ mySession root
      at: 'persons'
      put: (OrderedCollection with: (Person name: 'Paula')) ]

While your session is connected, you may force a refresh of your view of the persistent domain model with the #refresh message:

  mySession refresh

With #refresh, your own changes are kept although you may discover an object you are working on has already been changed by someone else. To refresh all objects to the repository state, including your own changes, the #abort message instead.

You can access the root of the repository later and navigate from there.

  mySession root at: 'persons'

To minimize conflicts it is recommended that transactions begin just before you make changes, and commit immediately after. A refresh just before a commit may be helpful as well. But CommitConflicts can occur nonetheless.

Once you're done using the session, you should disconnect it:

  mySession disconnect

Single-user mode

If you know will be operating in a single-user environment, starting a second image to run the server may not always be convenient. Thankfully, Magma supports a "direct-connect" single-user mode, where a single Magma session connects directly to the repository in one image. This offers a performance benefit for a single-user because requests and responses are not serialized over the network.

To run in single-user mode, you do not need to use MagmaServerConsole.

Instead, you must specify the name of the object file when opening a MagmaSession instead of the IP and port.

  myMagmaSession := MagmaSession openLocal: 'c:\myMagmaFolder\myRepository.magma'.
  myMagmaSession connectAs: 'chris'

Additionally, when you're ready to disconnect your last session, you also should use #disconnectAndClose instead of #disconnect:

  myMagmaSession disconnectAndClose

The repository can then be opened again in single or multi-user mode.



Objects are persisted by reachability

With object databases, there is no notion of, "inserting objects into the database". Instead, you merely attach new objects to persistent ones and commit. All directly or indirectly referenced objects from any persistent object are automatically detected and saved into the database.