The DataWeb Platform
DatasheetThe DataWeb Platform is a fully hosted turnkey solution for developing, deploying and running custom applications on the web. These secure online applications employ 128 bit encryption. Only a web browser is needed to build or run DataWeb applications. The result is a low-cost, high performance secure online application built to your business requirements.
DataWeb applications run on all operating systems using standard browsers. DataWeb hosts applications in a secure, high-capacity data center.
DataWeb provides a web-based integrated development environment (IDE) based on a unified object model with integrated web and database servers. Any developer with a web browser (IE 5+ on Windows or Macintosh, and Netscape 6+) can access the DataWeb IDE. With it nothing more than a browser, developers can quickly build web applications that incorporate custom database functionality, scripting, membership services and security.
The DataWeb development environment is tightly linked to the run-time environment. There is no compile, build, install or deploy process. All applications and application updates are in effect immediately.
The DataWeb Development EnvironmentThe DataWeb Builder is a browser-based integrated development environment (IDE) that developers use to build and manage DataWeb applications.
The Builder is a hosted, browser based IDE for building and customizing every aspect of a DataWeb application. There is no client code required to run the Builder. All you need is a web browser and an Internet connection.
The DataWeb Builder uses a graphical interface and pull-down menus for creating web forms and connecting them to the database. The Builder then automatically generates SQL calls and HTML code, which frees you from having to write all the code needed to create a web application.
Drag and drop design: Move columns and other objects by simply dragging and dropping inside the Builder.
Pull-down menus: The DataWeb Builder features convenient drop-down menus, giving you easy access to all major functionality.
Template pages: Display your views in template pages, which provide a navigation menu and a set of styles to unify your application. A single template can contain multiple regions that can be displayed or hidden in multiple views.
Multiple design modes: Data table designer for building and modifying data tables, adding data events, and previewing data. View designer for graphically creating and modifying pages. Source editor with statement completion, automatic syntax checking, and indenting.
Porting: DataWeb can crawl an existing web site, import pages, and fix up links within the pages. This gives a quick start on porting web sites to the DataWeb Platform.
FTP: The Platform includes a custom FTP server that integrates with the DataWeb security model. This allows developers to publish content to DataWeb application from existing web development tools, including HomeSite and Dreamweaver.
Component library: Load reusable components from the Application Gallery or build your own. Components include a Simple Content Manager; Wireless Access Wizard; Scheduler; Calendar; Contact Manager; Full Text Search; Document Library; Discussion Board.
DataWeb is integrated with a SQL database server. The development environment provides automatic generation of tables and no SQL programming is required. Data tables are SQL tables that are presented as XML files within the application.
SQL Generation Engine
Table generation: DataWeb can create a new data table in one of four ways.
- Use the DataWeb Builder to build a table's schema.
- Import a text file.
- Import an Excel worksheet.
- Import an Access database.
Table editing and display: DataWeb provides a graphical editor for editing data-table schema and for displaying the data stored in the table.
Joins and relationships: Create joins and relationships without writing any SQL. DataWeb's data-web integration automatically creates the database functionality behind your pages.
Data types: The DataWeb Server supports common database data types, including new web types like HTML, File Attachment, and URL.
||Date values between January 1, 1753 and December 31, 9999|
||Decimal values with fixed precision and scale, permitting nineteen digits to the left of the decimal point and nine to the right|
||Integer values between -2,147,483,648 and 2,147,483,647|
||Text values containing up to approximately one billion characters|
||Text values of 255 characters or less|
||Use this type of field to store HTML pages or fragments of HTML code.|
||Use this field to store URLs for other pages on the web. The values of this field are displayed as working links.|
||Text value linked to a unique user name in the web's AddressBook table|
||Field that looks up and displays a value from another table in your web.|
||This field, displayed in insert mode, prompts the user to upload a file.|
Importing Access Databases
DataWeb can import an Access database. Each table in the Access database will become a data table in the DataWeb application. DataWeb will:
- Import all of the tables and data
- Maintain each table's primary key
- Maintain field data types
- Import relationships and automatically create lookup fields
- Import table and field captions and descriptions
DataWeb can import data in multiple formats:
- Text files in CSV format
DataWeb can export in several ways.
- Export all data tables to an Access database
- Export an individual data table to a comma-delimited text file.
- Export a snapshot of the application and the current data to a web archive.
The DataWeb IDE generates special XML files called views for fully customizable data-driven HTML with automatic form generation.
Views are XHTML files that can be bound to data tables. Each view has up to four modes-insert, update, details and browse-giving a developer multiple ways of displaying data in a single page. Views understand multi-table relationships, have full knowledge of the security and membership model and can show and hide elements based on a user's permissions.
Flexible editing: The Builder has both a graphical editing tool that allows a developer to author views through the UI, and an editable source view, for direct editing.
Script integration: Script can be used anywhere within a view to calculate and output values. In addition, script expressions can be used within many attributes on the server, to change how a page is rendered.
Template pages: Template pages are an innovative way to give a group of pages within an application a common navigation "frame" and formatting. A template contains some navigation elements, a style-sheet link, and an area where different views can be displayed. Every 'view' file in a DataWeb web can use a template. If you've specified that a particular view should use a template, then the view appears nested inside the template's framework when the view is displayed in the browser.
Data regions: Data regions are areas of a page bound to data. Data regions support filtering, sorting, and paging through data. Data regions can display data in grid, insert, update or details modes. Multiple modes allow a developer to create a single page and use it to serve different types of uses.
Auto joins: Views can include data from multiple tables without exposing SQL or the concepts of joins. Users can add related fields to the display of any record and can also display "sub-lists" of related information.
DataWeb includes a security model that is role-based, hierarchical and fully customizable. Each folder in an application, including the root-level folder that represents the web, data folders, and generic folders that aren't associated with data tables, can have different security settings.
- Secure logon: All logons to the DataWeb system occur over SSL connections. The logon is preserved over standard HTTP connections and reauthorized via HTTPs at regular intervals.
- Security and individual pages: Any element of a page can be displayed or hidden, or editable or non-editable, based on user permissions.
- Record-level security: The Author role allows groups of users to create records but limits their update privileges to the records they created.
Owner: The Owner role is always assigned to the Owner group and can't be changed. The web owner can perform any operation on the web.
Administrator: The Administrators group is assigned one and only one role, the Administrator role. The Administrator role confers on the Administrators group the ability to perform any operation on the web except for changing the owner.
Manager: The Manager role confers on a group the ability to set security (meaning that they can assign folder-level permissions), design tables and views, and create, edit, and delete records. The Staff group, and the Members group can have the Manager role.
Designer: Designers can design tables and views and create, edit, and delete records. The Staff group, and the Members group can have the Designer role.
Editor: Editors can create, edit, and delete records. The Staff group, the Members group, and the Guests group can have the Editor role.
Author: An author can create new records and can edit or delete a record where the value of the OwnedBy field is the author's user name. The Staff group, the Members group, the Guests group, and the Anonymous group can have the Author role.
Depositor: Depositors can create records but not view, edit, or delete records. The Staff, Members, Guests and Anonymous groups can have the Depositor role.
Reader: Readers can read existing records as well as browse the files of a web, but they can't create new records or edit or delete existing records. The Staff group, the Members group, the Guests group, and the Anonymous group can have the Reader role.
Data reader: Data Readers can read records but not browse the files of a web or create, edit, or delete records. Staff, Members, Guests and Anonymous groups can have the Reader role.
No access: The No Access role prevents a group from accessing the web or folder in any way. Any group except the owner and Administrators group can be assigned this role.
The security settings for a folder apply to all of the files within that folder. When you modify a folder's security settings, you also have the option to inherit security settings from the parent folder. By default each folder automatically inherits the security settings of its parent folder. In this way you can propagate security settings without having to change them for every folder.
Object-Oriented Scripting Engine
- within views
- in response to database events (triggers)
- directly from URLs.
The object model provides server-side functionality including access to user profiles, HTTP requests and responses, database operations, and secure file-system access.
Data events: Developers can write script that runs in response to actions on a table, including insert, update, and delete actions.
Web Services: The HTTP client objects offer programmatic access to the data returned by a request to any web server. These objects make it possible to share data between a DataWeb web application and any other web site or web service.
HTTP object model: The HTTP client objects offer programmatic access to the data returned by a request to any web server. These objects make it possible to share data between a DataWeb web application and any other web site on the Internet.
Web schema object model: Web schema objects offer programmatic access to the structure of your web application and tables. You can create and modify tables, fields, and indexes.
Hosting and Operations
DataWeb runs in a cluster with multiple web-servers running identical copies of the DataWeb Server. Each server can service requests for any DataWeb application and additional web and database servers can be added at any time without disruption to the operation of the Platform. This allows all hosted sites to continue to run seamlessly even through web server failures. Database servers support RAID and redundant hardware to increase reliability.
DataWeb is completely server-hosted, with no client installation. The DataWeb IDE and all applications run on a central server, eliminating the hassles of client software installation.
Data Center Topology/
Data Center Configuration
Web servers: DataWeb runs on IIS and Windows 2000.
Database servers: The database servers run Microsoft SQL server 2000.
Load balancers: The DataWeb data center uses F5 big IP load balancers.
Auxiliary servers: Mail gateways and DNS servers run Unix/Linux.
Scalability and performance
- Scalability on demand: DataWeb supports clustering with multiple web-servers running identical copies of the DataWeb software. Each server can service requests for any DataWeb application and additional web and database servers can be added at any time to handle additional load.
- C++ Runtime: The majority of the DataWeb runtime is implemented in C++, allowing for the highest level of optimization. There are no Java, ASP or COM components.
- Virtual database support: Each DataWeb application has its own custom tables and schema, but many applications can share a single physical database. This lowers the overhead for each app and allows the back-end to service many virtual databases efficiently. The DataWeb security layer guarantees that users read and update tables only if they have appropriate permissions.
- Data caching layer: In typical web applications many queries are repetitive, and the results of those queries change infrequently. The DataWeb data layer caches common query results and invalidates cached results as updates occur. The data-caching layer also includes a database connection pool to optimize the use of database resources when SQL queries are necessary.
- View and script caching: Compiled views and scripts are cached on web servers to speed request handling.
Security and reliability
- Secure systems: Industry-standard implementation based on state of the art secure Microsoft technology.
- Secure facility: Staffed, secure, guarded hosting facility.
- Data backups: Transaction logs backed up to tape every 30 minutes. Incremental daily data backups to tape. Weekly full data backups to tape.
- Archiving: DataWeb can package an entire application as a zip file for easy archiving, maintenance and restoration.
Developers can choose when to upgrade each of their applications to the new version of DataWeb's patented multi-version technology allows multiple versions of the DataWeb software to run on a single installation.