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Designing and Building Enterprise Quality IT Systems with Open Source and Inexpensive Tools Texas Tech University Information Technology Division Copyright.

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Presentation on theme: "Designing and Building Enterprise Quality IT Systems with Open Source and Inexpensive Tools Texas Tech University Information Technology Division Copyright."— Presentation transcript:

1 Designing and Building Enterprise Quality IT Systems with Open Source and Inexpensive Tools Texas Tech University Information Technology Division Copyright (C) 2002 Texas Tech University Authors : Brandon LaBonte, Michael Hewett & Julian Hooker

2 Introductions Brandon LaBonte –Assistant Director, Technology Support –Oracle Certified Professional –Experience with UNIX, Linux, Windows NT/2000, PHP, ASP, Microsoft SQL Server… Michael Hewett –Chief Web Developer, Technology Support –Experience with C++, PHP, ASP, Visual Basic, RDBMS Design & Implementation, UNIX, Linux … Julian Hooker –Senior Software Engineer, Technology Support –Experience with C++, PHP, Assembly, AI, Java, PL/SQL

3 Why Use Open Source Tools? Customer Service –Choices –Quality Affordability ROI Secure Peer Review Flexibility –Power Stability Adherent to Standards

4 How Free Tools Contribute to Customer Service Reliability is non- negotiable –Our success is measured by our reliability Economic Scalability is required Customers need rapid results. Performance Provide Choices Maintainability Limitations of Technology are not an option

5 Which Free Tools? Tools –Linux –Apache –PHP –mySQL –Perl –XML/XSLT Parsers Resources – – – – –

6 Ok, What about Linux? Open Source –Kernel –Tools Stability –Multi Tasking Performance Multi-User Powerful –Open SMP Support Features –IP Tables –Networking GUI

7 Apache Number 1 Server on the Internet (Netcraft) Scalable Modular –PHP –MOD_Perl –SSL –MS FrontPage –MOD_BACKHAND

8 Web Server Architectures: Multi Process vs. Multi Threaded Multi-process (i.e. Apache) Expensive Highly Reliable Less Efficient Strong (Can withstand abuse) Multi-threaded (i.e. IIS) Fast Non-Redundant More Efficient Reliance (Cannot withstand abuse) HTTPD

9 Hybrid (Apache 2.0)!! Multi-process –Stability –Reliability Multi-threaded –Speed –Efficiency The Apache Group has decided to utilize the best of both worlds in the upcoming release of Apache 2.0, combining the strength of multi-process technology with the speed of multi- threading! HTTPD

10 Support for Apache Commercial Support Options –Covalent Technologies –Red Hat Software –IBM Corp. –Other Linux Distribution Vendors Alternative Support Resources –The Web –Usenet –Mailing Lists

11 The Open Source Answer to ASP –Fast (Fastest as measured by ZDNet) 1 –Powerful –C-Like syntax –Open Source –Lean (Compile in what you want) 1,14179,2646052,00.html

12 Native Database Connectivity Oracle mySQL Informix DB/2 Ingres Interbase Adabas SAP DB Velocis Postgres SQL Sybase iODBC Custom ODBC (Including Easysoft’s ODBC Bridge) MSSQL (Only on Windows NT) ODBC Layer DB

13 PHP Additional Features (Abridged List) Works on: –Apache –Roxen Challenger –Microsoft IIS Additional Native Support for… –Native JPEG images –Native PNG images –Native IMAP connectivity –Sockets –True Type Fonts –Kerberos –LDAP –CORBA –XML (Expat & DOM Parsers) –Verisign Payflo Pro –XSLT

14 Free Tools : Disclaimer These tools are suggestions These examples are demonstrations of technology and ideology Expand your horizons “We use the best tools for the job”

15 Examples / Case Studies GlobalAuth System Raiderlink Student Portal TTU IT Helpdesk System

16 Example : TTU IT GlobalAuth System User Based, Group Based, and Role Based Authentication System Uses Single Sign on : eRaider Account Implemented with Overloaded PHP Session Functions Also Provides Single Log On How…?

17 Example : GlobalAuth “Hardware Redundancy & Session Spanning Design” Oracle 9i Redundancy Through Dual Servers High Performance Oracle 9i (With Shadow DB) *SESSION*

18 Session Spanning in Action: TTU IT Division GlobalAuth By using a single GA Server, we route all authentication requests to a single point. The authentication data (session data) is stored in the DB, therefore; all other apps on all other servers have access to it. This is achieved by overloading built-in session functions of PHP GlobalAuth Srvr. Portal Helpdesk Other App Client DB

19 Example : GlobalAuth Remote Include Files PHP Supports URL Based Include Files This technology is used heavily within all our applications CODE include (‘’); include (‘’); include (‘’);

20 The Raiderlink Project… Phase 1 was designed and implemented in 2 months. Phase 2 : 2½ months Phase 2b : 1½ months Scalability and Modularity of design to allow anyone to write a module Completely object oriented architecture allowing high levels of flexibility

21 Raiderlink : The Quality is in the Details Customization Web Drive access to SAN Legacy System Integration eLearning Project Targeted Content & Presentation Based on Roles Module Security Tab Security

22 Example : Raiderlink Student Portal Object Oriented Development Classes are implemented inline or in separate files easily and quickly. EXAMPLE CODE class userClass extends person{ function userClass { $c = ocilogon(“user”,”pass”,”sid”); $stmt = ociparse(“select * from user”); ociexecute($stmt); ocifetch($stmt); $result = ociresult($stmt,”LNAME”); return ($result); }

23 Example: Raiderlink Student Portal Object Oriented Design User Page Modules

24 Inheritance & Scalability Super class Display() Config() Quicklinks Sub Class Addlink() Droplink() Calendar Sub Class Showcal() SelectEvents() Sub class News LoadXML() SelectSource() Sub Class Phonebook LookupStudent() LookupStaff() FormatResults() High Levels of Scalability are reached through the use of Object Oriented Design Superclass Attributes Aesthetic Options Security Customizable Code Reuse levels remain very high, as redundant code does not exist. Subclass Attributes Zip Codes for WX QuickLinks TechDrive Metadata COMPLETE OBJECT

25 Example : Raiderlink Student Portal Perl XML Expat Parser Designed to handle scheduled jobs Uses SOAP to retrieve an XML document of News & Weather Expat Parser loads data directly in to the database Runs every 15 minutes PORTAL Internet News & Weather Sources SOAP DB XML Parsed Data

26 Case Study #2 IT Helpdesk Ticket Tracking Knowledge Base Problem Resolution Statistics Gathering Customer Service Oriented Comprehensive Solution

27 Helpdesk : Quality is in the Details Easy Navigation Online Multiple Locations –Deployment Built in Image Support KB Search Algorithms Extensive Auditing Custom Ticket Routing

28 Example :TTU IT Helpdesk Built In Image Support Image Manipulation –Uploading –Storage (LOB) –Retrieval Provides: –Additional Information to Helpdesk Consultants answering the phone –Additional Information to Users who query the Knowledge Base –A more complete solution for a given problem in our Knowledge Base TTU IT Helpdesk Demo

29 Other Applications Capitalizing on Free/Open Source Tools & Technologies GlobalAuth Grad School Application POS For Rec-Center Printing Services, online ordering (in progress) Smartforce® CBT System IT Shortcourse Registration System Campus Calendaring & Management System Website

30 Ok, So Why doesn’t Everyone use these tools???? Staff Skill –Much higher than the average IT professional –Strong “Fundamental” Programming Knowledge Developers must be –Aggressive –Curious –Self Starters –Creative

31 Our Staff Varied Backgrounds –Computer Science (Eng) –Management Information Systems (Bus) –MBA –Engineering Physics (Eng) Varied Backgrounds lend themselves to good debate and multiple viewpoints

32 Finding the Best Staff 50% of our hires came from student employees Recruitment focuses on team dynamics Candidates with a natural curiosity seem to work best “Thinking outside the box…” Pushing the envelope of reason Not using history as a guide Creating Challenges

33 Management Ideology Open Forum Discussion Devil’s Advocate “Sure we can…” attitude Very high pressure environment Reward Employees Provide Training Resources and Opportunities Cooling period between projects Instant responses to staff inquires Remain open to new ideas and technologies proposed by staff And …

34 Customer Service! Customer Service –Strong Customer Service focus –Talk to customers –Listen to customers! Rethink the system Exceed Expectations Maintain Customer Relationships Challenge the current levels of customer service –What can be done better? –Faster? –Friendlier? –More Efficiently

35 Texas Tech University Better Development Through –Better Tools –Better Technology –Better Staff –Better Goals –Better Choices Any Questions? Better Results

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