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No Brainer Database Publishing, Part 6

Everyware Development's Tango Enterprise claims to eliminate the need to know SQL and offers a friendly GUI interface. In wide use on the Macintosh platform, it recently became available for Windows 95 and NT, Sun Solaris, and AIX platforms. It supports direct access to Oracle, as well as access to ODBC-compliant databases.

Like Tango for FileMaker, the Tango Enterprise user interface uses the drag-and-drop Tango Editor for non-programmers, which generates complete HTML and SQL code. Tango Editor uses Query Builders (wizard-like templates) that create an icon-based application that in turn allows users to search, insert, update and delete data. You can stick with simple search and update commands, or if you're ambitious, use if-then-else logic, track user-state throughout sessions, and call DLLs (with the Windows versions). It also includes a JavaScript library for optional data-validation functions. Using on-screen forms, the icon-based program processes user queries and converts them into SQL commands, which are passed via the product's back-end Tango Application Server to the SQL database. The database then returns tables to the Tango Application Server, which constructs on-the-fly HTML pages. Tango Application Server, included with the product, is a Windows NT or Macintosh service that interfaces your Web server to the SQL database. Pre-processing is delayed until the CGI executes, so generated SQL statements are optimized for the target database. The Tango Application Server features asynchronous and threaded architecture, which allows for fast processing of multiple CGI scripts, multi-user access, re-use of database connections, caching of Tango applications, and tracking of session data for each user. Tango Enterprise is available in three versions, with licenses for five, ten, and unlimited concurrent user accesses, priced at $995, $1,495, and $2,295 respectively. It works with popular Web servers, including Netscape's Communications and Commerce servers, Microsoft's Internet Information Server, and Quarterdeck's WebSTAR server operating on Windows NT, Solaris, and Macintosh platforms.

What About Real Legacy Data?

There's still no perfect way to access legacy data via the Web. Available applications are a compromise between ease of use and power. Of course, we haven't dealt here with the real challenge: where can you find a good GUI Web interface to all those mainframe COBOL databases slowly crumbling away on nine-track tapes?



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