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The Base One Internet Server (BIS) enables programmers to create highly graphical business or e-commerce sites that perform extremely well even over regular, slow phone connections to the Internet. What makes this possible is Base One's unique (U.S. Patent 6,738,775) architecture that completely bypasses conventional web browsers - by going directly to the standard communication functions built into the Microsoft Windows operating system. The result is unprecedented speed, more like that of a corporate client/server application than the drastically reduced level of performance people have come to expect of today's Internet e-commerce web sites.
Base One's Internet Server supports databases from Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, Sybase, and MySQL, the top vendors of high-performance DBMS software. Windows programs built using Base One's tools have their data requests across the Internet handled automatically, just as if it were being made on a local network, so programming is easy and familiar. Programmers can add custom-tailored security features to the users' programs on the "client" side of the Internet, as well as to the Internet Servers sitting on the organization's network (the "server" side), making it a snap to build secure BIS applications.
Conventional e-commerce web sites are slow, error-prone and have low quality graphics. As fast as Internet bandwidth and infrastructure are growing, they are lagging behind the rapidly rising demands, which are growing exponentially. Since businesses must cater to the lowest common denominator, regular telephone-based modems, it will be years before e-commerce web sites can freely serve up high resolution graphics, audio, and video clips. Moving large files around the Internet will continue to be slow because of traffic bottlenecks coming from the rising number of users and the increasing sophistication and graphical richness essential to e-commerce sites.
The expansion of the Internet is being severely limited by the inability to custom-tailor reliable security systems for the special needs of banking, securities, law enforcement and defense contractors. Right now, organizations with security concerns must choose between using clearly inadequate web protection or continuing to rely on the more secure and much more expensive private networks.
Developing e-commerce Internet sites is expensive and error prone, requires frequent tricky upgrades, and yields not-so-user-friendly results. The problem is that writing complex programs for use within a web browser is a new, rapidly changing technology. Programming must be done in the volatile context of the browser war between Microsoft, Netscape and the U.S. government and the Java war between Microsoft, Sun and IBM. Tools for developing applications for use within a web browser are still primitive, and unlike more established Windows programming tools, do not have the kind of stability and ease-of-use that takes years to develop.
Unlike browser-based applications, there is no compromise in the quality of images, the number of images or the amount of data with the Base One Internet Server. With BIS, you build a Windows-based application that uses the standard communication functions of Microsoft Windows. In addition, BIS puts most of the data and programming closer to the user, rather than relying on Internet servers where bottlenecks occur as the number of users increase.
Just about any business that requires a visually impressive web site will benefit from BIS, especially if there is a database or an e-commerce component. Catalog retailers who wish to pictorially display all their wares across the Internet are prime users. Access to their site would be almost as quick as accessing a local users hard drive. The use of BIS is not confined to Internet users; it is just as effective for those who rely on corporate intranets to communicate with their own personnel, customers or vendors.
We call it our Rich Client architecture. Essentially, a vast majority of the data available on a business site is static. A small percentage of the information or database is dynamic or needs to be regularly updated. For example, a retail clothing Web site may picture various articles of clothing in different styles and colors. Static information like category names, descriptions, sizes, and reference numbers do not have to be changed. Pricing and inventory status, however, are dynamic data and may be updated more frequently. With Rich Client architecture, both sets of data are on display when the user clicks onto the Internet site. The key is that most of the static data (plus the application program itself) were loaded into the users computer via CD (or Internet download), and only the dynamic data need be accessed via a remote Internet Server. By transparently merging the static and dynamic data, which keeps the bulk of the data available at the desktop, an Internet site created using the Base One Internet Server is able to deliver high-resolution photographs, video clips and other complex data sets without sacrificing speed.
It couldn't be easier, because there is no installation procedure in the usual sense. All that's required is to copy some files into a single directory, and you're ready to run as an Internet Server client, using the conventional Windows operating system facilities that are already installed on your machine. If you're in a networked corporate environment, you may not even have to do that much, because you can immediately run as a BIS client directly from a centralized copy shared by hundreds of your co-workers.
Unlike other typical Windows programs, a BIS application does not require you to run a "setup" procedure that modifies your machine's Windows operating system files, such as the Registry, System DLLs, ODBC settings, and so on; there are no browser compatibility issues, because no browser is required. This not only simplifies installation, but it also greatly reduces the chances of conflicts with other applications that may already be installed.
A novel feature of BIS is its ability to transparently combine a massive body of fairly static, locally-cached data with dynamic updates across the Internet. This means you have the option of including a large amount of data along with your BIS application programs on a single CD. Your company might send a CD packaged with a customers first purchase from their Web site, just as they do with catalogs. With Base One's Rich Client architecture, the CD installation would simply copy selected files to a single directory on the user's hard drive and set a maximum amount of space to be used for local caching. An initial load of data would be put on the hard drive in compressed format, with the option of keeping the CD (or DVD) mounted. Your customers are minimally imposed upon, while obtaining vastly superior graphics, user interface, and performance over any conventional browser-based Internet site.
There is much talk and much movement toward the Thin Client model. Thin Client is a browser-based approach that expects all the processing and heavy lifting to be done by Internet servers at corporate locations remote from users. For this to be practical, the Thin Client approach must rely on rapid improvements to browsers and Web servers, and new programming languages and methods. Right now, vendors like Microsoft, Netscape, Sun, and IBM are in tremendous competition to develop generations of products that are not necessarily compatible. The new tools may come, but it will be years before programmers and end users can depend upon them to be reliable or simple to use. The Base One (Rich Client) Internet Server, which requires only stable Windows technology, is available now.
Building a high-end Internet database application is much less expensive than a typical Web e-commerce site. This is because data requests across the Internet are handled automatically by the Internet Server. The application programming involved can all be done with standard Microsoft tools (Visual C++ and MFC, the Microsoft Foundation Class Library) plus Base Ones proven, easy-to-use class libraries. No new languages or methods have to be learned. Base One International Corporation has alliance partnerships with Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, Sybase, and MySQL, and the Internet Server can access database systems from any of these vendors.
Base One's Rich Client tools are well adapted to constructing combined Internet applications consisting of a database-driven web site plus high efficiency back office facilities for bulk data processing and user administration. Thin Client applications, such as web sites, benefit greatly from building on the Rich Client data model. Immediately, the web sites get the services of the most basic Rich Client application, Base One's Foundation Application.
Base One's database-centric, Rich Client architecture provides a straightforward interface and data model for building secure, large-scale, transaction processing database applications and web sites. The Foundation Application, along with Base One's Internet Server, speeds up development of commercial web sites and simplifies their maintenance by providing:
Besides supporting web sites with back office processing, Rich Client Architecture makes possible adding advanced forms of Internet applications that run against the web site's database. Rich Client development tools offer advanced database management and secure remote administration, for rapid creation of special-purpose, high performance, Internet-enabled Windows applications that run alongside the web site.
Rich Client tools support both web server applications and custom Windows database applications that are easy-to-use, reliable and provide secure remote access. Since these custom Windows applications store and retrieve information through the Rich Client database interface, they can operate across the Internet, after being developed on a LAN or laptop, for example, as easily as flipping a switch, without reprogramming.
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