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Diary of a WebObjects Developer

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Published on: Tuesday 14th July 1998 By: Josh Sahrmann

When I'm contacted to develop a dynamic web application I normally use WebObjects. For those of you unaware of the WebObjects application you can find a number of them at http://www.webobjects.com/. The reason I use WebObjects is because it allows me to create my interface and then add functions through C, C++, Java or Webscript.

Before getting started I design a Microsoft Word document that describes every page, database, image, text, form and image. The document would look something like this:

    Human Resources- Manuals, News, Downloads, 401K Plan
    on-line Store- [FORM][Database] Office, Product(s), Total

Once I have filled out all the data I send the document to the company to look over. Once they change or add their information I get started on an interface.

The interface is the hardest part because it has to load fast and contain all the information needed in that section. Once the interface is designed I bring all the data over to NT and Rhapsody for development.

Once the interface has been installed on the machines I begin using WebObjects. This process is the hardest and easiest. The problem is that you are not creating HTML documents, you're creating a full functional application that runs HTML, Java, C, Webscript and your database.

For example I'm currently working on part of an Internet for a dental company which uses Proxy software. They had been having problems with slow downs so the network guru and I sat down and read manuals (which doesn't happen to often). We found a way to transmit data through the web site.

Once we found that out it was time to make up a beta. It was fully functional but we still need to turn that into a web application itself.

Now that I've begun the process of programming the application I link the information with forms and database with the drag of the mouse.

After the interface and functions are dseigned and installed the application is compiled and sent to a testing server. This is where it really gets hard.

The application is then tested and brought through heavy loads till we can either crash it or destroy it. If any errors or problems occur we fix and test again.

The application I'm developing for this dental company they have over 200 computers which will be accessing the internal network for their 401K plans to their software updates. Each process is designed for users which have never used the internet before. One of the features which is a really great treat to play with is an on-line store where users order software, furniture, lights or dental supplies.

So far no databases have been used besides flatside databases. Each page will have its own application which features more options then you could imagine.

Once the application is finished we install WebObjects on a web server along with the application ready to use. Currently our project has just gotten under way and we are at the WebObject phase.

Two nights ago I went to a 401k meeting to meet with members of the company. All of them showed interest in seeing a live 401k profile with their own profile attached to the live data.

As I traveled back from Denver, CO. by plane I realized how easy it was going be to do just that. Without WebObjects I don't think I would be able to do it with in one night.

The advantage of using WebObjects is that its easy to work with and can be changed without any problems. Before I made the purchase I called Adobe Software to get there input on the application. I talked for an hour or so before hanging up and buying the software.

When the application is developed I will make a version for the public to see what kind of processes WebObjects uses. Unfortunately I don't think I will be able to have a live version of WebObjects running because of the cost. But if you would like to see a working version please goto http://www.webobjects.com/.

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