We have recently completed a major fixed-price contract for BT eXact.
This project involved the analysis, design and implementation of a new J2EE web interface
for a large legacy intranet database application. Features included:
- A fully XML/XSLT styled "look and feel" to allow the application to be "re-branded"
for different corporate customers.
- Pervasive context-sensitive data cacheing to improve the apparent performance of the
underlying slow application.
- Reorganization and aggregation of input/output "screens" to provide improved workflow.
- Platform independence using a "model 2" J2EE web-application deployed as a standards-compliant
- Access to Oracle data both through direct JDBC, and to PL/SQL through legacy CGI/C++ services.
- Integrated build, test, offsite-backup, deployment and release management using Ant and JUnit.
- All code automatically tested on multiple platforms as part of the build/release process.
This one was a particular challenge because of the requirement not to touch the existing PL/SQL
code, even though the API it provided was not designed with this sort of application in mind. The
PL/SQL routines even used data types which couldn't pass over a JDBC connection! Other interesting
twists included an old and effectively unsupported version of Oracle, and having to
interface to it via a completely antique version of Netscape Enterprise Server on an unusual Unix
Initial user feedback shows it's already more popular than the old interface.
It's hard to believe that under the slick and speedy web workflow is the same old monster database.