Web Application Development
Database Administration
Technical References

Web Application Development

With the growth of the Internet many companies have already created a Web Site and now are looking to take their web presence to the next level. You may already have several disparate databases from in-house systems and are wondering how you can

  • Bring those databases together.
  • Make those systems more widely available over your company network or Intranet.
  • Provide some or all of the functionality of existing systems/databases to external clients via the Internet.

Engage Technology can build web applications for use on your Intranet or the Internet. We specialise in the creation of Web Applications which interact with a back-end database with all the features you have come to expect from corporate computer applications.

Once we have built your applications we can create a reporting structure which is both flexible and secure for you. This will allow you to access all that database information you have been gathering for years.

In all cases Engage Technology works with you to ascertain your requirements and then designs a solution to meet your needs. The solution will enable customers to add new facilities as their business grows or if their customers require access to more information.

All of this is possible through the use of some of the latest technology. For more details on the technical resources available to you through Engage Technology please see our Technical References section.

Database Administration

Applications developed today, whether in-house or packaged solution, use databases as a repository for their data, used to apply business rules (constraints, primary keys, etc) and as a location for the application code (stored procedures).

The design, set up and performance of the database can impact initially the cost of development, and subsequently the cost of maintenance, as well as the applications ongoing performance.

Engage Technology is able to provide the necessary expertise to

  • Design the database
  • Write stored procedures
  • Implement backup and recovery strategies
  • Performance tuning
  • Database to database conversion
We can provide the above services for the following database systems.
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Oracle
  • CA-Ingres

Technical References

Active Server Pages (ASP)

What is ASP?

    The word from Microsoft (the creators of ASP!) is :

      "Active Server Pages is an open, compile-free application environment in which you can combine HTML, scripts, and reusable ActiveX server components to create dynamic and powerful Web-based business solutions. Active Server Pages enables server-side scripting for IIS with native support for both VBScript and Jscript."

    Well at least we cleared that up.

    To make it more clear ASP gives you the ability to perform actions on the web server (Server Based Scripting) prior to presenting the web page to the end user. These actions can include things like accessing a database, performing some conditional statements (such as if x do y etc.) or looping.

How do I use it?

    Microsoft have made the ASP engine available through their IIS Web Server which is available on NT Server 4.0 through the NT4.0 Option Pack. This means that if you have an NT Server (version 4.0) then you can run IIS and ASP. This is great if you are using NT as your platform and IIS as your web server (not so great if you are not using those platforms).

How do I create ASP applications?

    Once you have the IIS and ASP services installed and running on an NT Server then you can start writing ASP code. Microsoft have created Visual Interdev which is part of the Visual Studio suite for the creation of ASP code. Many people prefer to use other editing tools (even notepad) due to some stability issues with the Interdev platform although Interdev does provide a comprehensive (if somewhat confusing) interface. Once you have the ASP code you can publish it to your web server and begin to access it through a browser.

    Thats the easy part. Before you write the code you need to design your application so thats its easy to use but maintains integrity of data and all the other good things you expect in an application. Thats where Engage Technology come in! We will design, build, test and implement your web application. We also maintain and support your running application.

What is the future of ASP?

    With the move to Windows 2000, Microsoft has released the concept of the .Net Framework of which ASP.Net is a part. Essentially it involves a complete redesign of the ASP platform although they do claim that all existing ASP code will still run through the ASP.Net environment. For a more comprehensive explanation of where .Net is going click here.

Cold Fusion

What is Cold Fusion?

    Well that's a good question. For the word from Allaire you can check out their product information. In short Cold Fusion provides Server Based scripting to deliver a lot more than just HTML through a web interface. Having said that there is so much more to it including Rapid Development, Scalable Deployment, Open Integration, Complete Security.
Why would I use Cold Fusion when ASP is free?
    Again - another good question. Depending upon who you talk to there are many differences between Cold Fusion and ASP. The main difference can be summed up in two words - Rapid Development. Cold Fusion allows you to develop database applications quicker. Anyone who has been involved in Application Development will tell you that the greatest cost of any development project is the people. Even a small saving in human time will result in a large net cost saving. So when someone says that ASP is free you have to argue that point.
Where can I find out more information about Cold Fusion?