HOUSTON, Texas – In the past decade, the Internet has grown an estimated 30,000 percent. Nearly all American businesses, and a growing number of global businesses, now have an Internet presence. Thousands of Internet-only businesses have come online.
As the Internet has grown, so has its capacity as an Intranet service, connecting and enhancing the internal communications of businesses around the globe.
Unfortunately, the life blood of business – data – has been unable to make the same leap, at least not without considerable expense and rearchitecting of information systems, databases, and data applications. This has been especially true for enterprises with so-called “legacy” systems that predated the 32-bit world of Microsoft Windows.
The good news for legacy enterprises is that “xBase” databases and applications, such as those supported by CA-Clipper, have been given new life in the 32-bit world. As Common Gateway Interfaces have been developed for new web server platforms, these applications are not only finding their way to the Internet, but can dramatically outperform native solutions such as SQL Server. For example, Key Labs benchmarks have demonstrated that database applications on Advantage Database Server platforms outrun Microsoft SQL and Interbase by as much as 30-to-1. (reference: www.advantagedatabase.com)
Until recently, the only way to bring legacy database systems into the world of e-commerce was through Microsoft’s WinCGI interface. Software for this purpose is on the market today, and is well suited to Microsoft IIS server-based solutions.
But for the 80-percent of users NOT using IIS/WinCGI servers, there is now another way.
ClipX from Intrasys International, Inc. is designed to bring the huge legacy market to the Internet, with no conversion, no rehosting, and no need for Microsoft IIS Web Server platforms. While an IIS/WinCGI solution works well for new applications written in 32-bit languages, legacy system developers will find CGI 1.1-compliant servers have some distinct advantages. They are faster. In many cases, they are free. And with ClipX they take advantage of Standard-In/Standard-Out. Microsoft IIS doesn’t allow this, because Microsoft has chosen to pipe Standard-Out to the console, limiting IIS users to WinCGI solutions using Microsoft-defined connectivity.
ClipX is a third-party library which, when used in the compiling of 16-bit Clipper applications, allows those applications to function as a Common Gateway Interface (CGI) without WinCGI or IS2WCGI.DLL. This preserves the customers’ legacy investment, seamlessly enabling Standard In/Standard Out on any CGI 1.1-compliant server and allowing CGI programs full access to the Internet. This is inherently less disruptive than migration to IIS for the 4 out of 5 web servers in use today that are not IIS servers. With ClipX, migration is completely unnecessary. Furthermore, by avoiding WinCGI and the IS2WCGI.DLL, ClipX-enhanced applications using standard-in/standard-out consistently outperform the same applications running WinCGI.
The enhanced efficiency of Standard-In/Standard-Out rests in how data is handled. ClipX eliminates the data rewrites, parsing, reopens and re-reads required by WinCGI solutions, piping data straight through Standard-Out.
Another advantage of non-WinCGI solutions is that Standard-In/Standard-Out implementations are consistent across a spectrum of web servers. Applications written for WinCGI depend on environment variables which vary from server to server, introducing the risk of forced modifications to source code whenever the web server is changed. The ClipX approach gives the user a server-independent, vendor-independent solution.
The possibilities enabled by either technology are mind-boggling, and should excite legacy users and developers. Internally, data communications and reporting can be web-based, becoming more efficient in the process. Across the Internet, an entire enterprise can be managed, from sales to inventory to data services and administration, all through existing applications. Using ClipX, legacy CGI applications are one compile away from web-based performance rivaling real-time.
ClipX is marketed worldwide by Intrasys International. Intrasys provides free online resources for Clipper development. The ClipX Guide, the Norton Guides to Clipper, and other helpful information is accessible directly from this website at www.ousob.com. You can check out and download a number of ClipX Utilities and other utilities, and check out a series of software demonstrations, which can be viewed and executed online. Code examples are available. Frequently Asked Questions and a Members Only message board are in the works. Customer Service is accessible online, via e-mail, or by phone from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. U.S Central Time.
Microsoft, Interbase, Advantage Database Server, Norton, Clipper, Key Labs are trademarks of their respective companies, and are used herein for informational purposes only.