Chapter 17. Interfacing Mathematica
I want somebody to share Share the rest of my life Share my innermost thoughts Know my intimate details Someone who’ll stand by my side And give me support And in return She’ll get my support She will listen to me When I want to speak
—Depeche Mode, “Somebody”
As wonderful as Mathematica is, there are many practical reasons for needing to interact with other languages and data sources. Luckily, Mathematica is designed to interoperate well with third-party tools. The foundation of much of this interoperability is MathLink. The MathLink protocol is central to Mathematica because it is how the frontend communicates with the kernel. A link (LinkObject) is a communications channel that allows Mathematica expressions and data values to be transmitted between the kernel and programs written in C, Java, .NET, and even scripting languages like Python. 17.5 Using Mathematica with Java, 17.6 Using Mathematica to Interact with Microsoft’s .NET Framework, 17.7 Using the Mathematica Kernel from a .NET Application, and 17.8 Querying a Database solve some of the most common language interoperability problems.
Equally important to programming language interoperability is database interoperability. A powerful language like Mathematica would be far less useful if it did not allow full access to enterprise data. In the past, the ability to read in data from flat files would suffice, but today most enterprises keep data in some form of relational ...