Enterprise-Level Health-Care Applications

eTransMan saves the day.
Database Connection Pooling

Database Connection Pooling is a technique that minimizes the number of connections to a database. Database connections require intensive use of database and system resources. Frequent connection and disconnection leads to overall performance degradation. In high-transaction environments, connection pooling ensures that resources are used efficiently to optimize response times and data throughput.

Today, many database vendors license their products by the number of concurrent users, connections and/or number of power units based on MHz per processor on which the database is running. eTransMan helps maintain a low cost of ownership for their transaction platform by using only those system resources that are absolutely necessary to do the job.

If we were to connect our typical daily load of 200 on-line, we would need quite a fast machine full of RAM. However, we can support those 200 users with five pooled database connections, allowing eTransMan to predictively start more connections if required.

Summary

Our system provides high uptime. By building everything in redundant, restartable small components we can provide multiple paths for the application. Business components can be run on several servers if software redundancy is inadequate, providing reliability from even total server failure. eTransMan marks those components as unavailable and routes the business to another available server. Web servers already run this way, now the applications can, too.

Application requirements come and go. Businesses change, merge, get bought, get sold—nothing stays the same. We know we'll be running different business and database components in the future than the ones we're using today. With the right architecture we also know that we can make moves such as from Web to wireless without impacting the business components. The main lesson of this process is not to get locked in to a vendor, a technology, a predefined interface, a web server or to a database.

Gary Bennett (linuxrules@vista-care.com) is the director of IT for VistaCare, a hospice health-care company. He has over 17 years experience developing software in the medical, utility industry and military fields. When he is not looking over project Gantt charts he is looking over topo maps and planning backpacking trips in and around Arizona.

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