An application development stack that is really fast to develop and deploy

marzo 12, 2009


There is a hard question to solve: ¿what is the best technology stack for developing business applications? Many people had before answered that, on a pair basis: Visual Basic and SQL Server, Delphi and Interbase, PHP and MySQL, Ruby and Rails, C++ or C# and Sybase or perhaps IBM DB2, Python and GTK on Postgress or even MySQL aswell, ASP and .Net, and more.

If we set our goal clearly we could test each pair against the objective, and this could be: “DEVELOP A MASTER/DETAIL DATA ENTRY FORM TO INSERT DATA AS FAST AS POSIBLE, USING SQL SYNTAX, DEPLOY THE SOLUTION, AND WHEN FINISHED, ADD ONE COLUMN TO THE DETAIL TABLE, AND DEPLOY AGAIN”.

a) First Step: Get the two tables, master and detail, created and ready to be populated. I used Interbase through IBConsole, SQL Server Express through Management Console Express, MySQL through PHPMyAdmin, Postgress, IBM DB2, and all of them took place nearly same time to get up. It could be done in 1 hour.

b) Second Step: Develop the form. We could choose a .EXE solution, like Delphi, Visual Basic, C++, etc, or a web server scripting solution, like .PHP, .ASP, etc. The time to be finished depends on our selection, from just 2 hours to nearly 6 hours.

c) Deploy or install. Depending on our choice we have to administer each pc to install the .exe or perhaps only once access to our web server. Just one hour or nearly two days depending the number of PC’s to access.

d) Modify the data structure. We added one column to a table and our web server script is ready to run, but what about with .exe, we need to transfer it to each PC.

e) Deploy or install modifications. The question is to choice beetween web server technology, to deploy from a web server, using PHP, .ASP or similar, and then we have to sacrifice .exe desktop and shell access technology, fast grid data entry forms, and much more. On the other hand, .exe technology give us more control about the system it runs on and more job to deploy, install modifications.

What about join that two ways: server scripting and .exe grid forms capabilities. Why not use .PHP, .ASP or similar for the reporting and master data entry of our application and leave ActiveX Form tecnology served though web server fast deploy to get control over massive data input forms, like invoices, orders?

Try this application stack:applicationstack

1. Debian 4.0r6., for system. http://www.debian.org

2. Oracle 10g Express Edition, for database, http://www.oracle.com/lang/es/database/express_edition.html

3. SQL, PL/SQL., for server data control, http://www.oracle.com/technology/tech/pl_sql/index.html

4. Oracle APEX, for web 2.0 application development, http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/database/application_express/index.html

5. Jasper Server for reporting, http://jasperforge.org/plugins/project/project_home.php?group_id=112

5b. Oracle BI Publisher, not free, but you can test on development environment,  http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/xml-publisher/index.html

6. Delphi ActiveX Forms, served directly from Apache web server from Oracle APEX, and installed automatically setting internet explorer options, for massive data entry forms, http://edn.embarcadero.com/delphi

All together solid as a rock and free. It runs for me at my company. Sure.

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