One interesting consideration in this system is the stage at which the program is actually passed to the test or production environment. This is done with CGI scripts which execute various commands directly related to our programming environment. The system can be adapted to a totally new programming environment by replacing only those CGI scripts—it is not JAM-dependent. It was created with this independence in mind, because the bank will change its system in the near future, so this independence guarantees we can continue to use it with minor adjustments on our new system.
The method I used to pass a program to a different machine, which runs Solaris using a web application, is simply installing a web server on the Solaris, then using a URL that references a CGI script on that remote machine. This CGI script is responsible for passing the program, issuing the necessary rcp command and any commands necessary to leave the program ready to be used.
As you can see, the actual work is done by CGI scripts and all the HTML pages are used to glue the scripts in a nice-looking, easy-to-use application which stores all the program “flow” between equipment and stages in a database. I easily added report pages to view the activities by day or to search by program name.
In addition to porting all this to Informix, we are currently developing an application for the Human Resources office to retrieve information on employees. This is being done in a similar way and will be hosted on this same Linux server.
Because of the robustness shown by this architecture, we'll be making more and more web applications in the future, and Linux will be there as our web server.
I am quite impressed by PHP3—this product is incredibly flexible and powerful and can handle complex applications without problems. Its database support is getting better, supporting not only the classic freeware and shareware databases such as mSQL, MySQL and Postgres, or commercial databases such as Solid, but also the big databases such as Informix, Oracle and Sybase.
Without any doubt, Linux has a wonderful business future and is my favourite OS for Intel machines, outperforming Windows NT and SCO UNIX. In my opinion, Linux and Solaris are the best operating systems on the market at this time.
One important aspect to consider is the type of technical support available for your OS and for any other product you regularly use. On one occasion, I was stuck with a problem (it was my fault) that forced the Linux server to go down. I received help in 20 minutes from three technicians. Where did I get this kind of excellent support? Of course, it was the Internet. I posted a message, and in 20 minutes my problem was solved. I have not seen this kind of fast response on any commercial product from any company.
Pablo Trincavelli works for Banco Bisel S.A. in Rosario, Argentina as a Technical Analyst. He has been working with Linux since the early 0.99 days. Other than Linux, he has also worked with Solaris, HP-UX, SCO UNIX, WinNT, AmigaOS and many others. He likes playing with his PalmPilot and finding easy ways to do difficult things. He likes everything with chips inside and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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