: James A. Rothenberger"> My Solution: James A. Rothenberger VP, R&D
ObjectMania! ConsultingWe recommend Palm OS-based handhelds, perhaps ruggedized, rather than laptops for greater reliability and a possible $75,000 in savings. We typically recommend a Unix-based server. If hardware needs to be purchased, we suggest IBM Netfinity xSeries 240/250 for the database server and for the application/Web server. (Redundancy and survivability would be address in a full proposal.) For software, the Apache Web server and Tomcat application server provide good performance at an unbeatable price. The trade-off is ease of administration, as well as advanced features that most likely are not needed for this solution. If a commercial package is desired, we recommend IBM WebSphere. The handheld devices will require a Java Mobile Information Device Profile-compliant virtual machine, which can run on any number of wireless devices. For the database, we recommend MySQL, a low-cost alternative to commercial databases. Record synchronization via XML will handle robust handshaking between the client and server, so rollback support is not critical in this instance. If a commercial database is preferred, we recommend IBM DB2. A Java application will be used on the handheld device to allow daily sales information to be stored on the handheld and later wirelessly synchronized with the server. That application will have an intuitive GUI and will communicate with the server via an XML data stream sent and received from various Java Server Pages (JSP) running on the application/Web server. Those JSP pages will contain the JavaBeans necessary for database connectivity, connection pooling, XML translation, etc. The server-side beans will be run-time configurable via secure properties files to allow changes to the system without the need for application recompiling. Client data will be validated via a private unique key stored on each handheld device. JDBC will provide database connectivity. A Web-based administrative interface will be available to allow alternate access to Acme Treats raw inventory data, inventory reporting and application configuration. A general-purpose Web interface also will be available with a subset of administrative functionality. That Web-based interface will be implemented via JSP templates to allow quick reuse of features for general reporting and alternative data input. All Web-based access will require a log-in and password. We have recommended those technologies because we believe in open standards that provide flexibility, extendibility and maintainability, as well as support for our object-oriented software design approach.
ObjectMania, based in Oley, Pa., develops robust and secure software solutions, using nonproprietary technologies like Java, C++ and XML.