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ajt (2546)

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UK based. Perl, XML/HTTP, SAP, Debian hacker.

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Journal of ajt (2546)

Friday September 10, 2004
03:15 PM

Perl/SAP Project nearly complete

[ #20823 ]

For the past two months we've been working on a project to refactor an Intranet application at work.

The original system used our SAP backend on an AIX/Linux cluster, a Java Based middleware system on NT Server, and a Perl/Apache front-end on Linux. Last year we moved the Java layer off the awkward to administer NT system onto the front end Linux system, and fixed some code, but found that the Java/XML middleware system was so hideously broken it was going to be easier to write a new AppServer from scratch than to fix it.

So in two weeks, I wrote from scratch, a Perl/SAP middleware framework (with a little help from CPAN), and for the last 6 weeks we have been configuring it up to replaced the whole of the earlier Java middleware system. This week it's had some testing in our QA environment, and other than a few xhtml/css glitches it's proved to be very robust, and seems to be passing the tests okay.

I think I've been working on this project on and off for about 50% of the past three years. It's amazing to think that the new bespoke Perl/Apache front end has replaced months and months of work with the commercial Java/XML/XSLT monstrosity.

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  • Don't suppose you have the time (and permission of your employer) to write up a case study of how and why you switched - it would be interesting to see how problematic Java can really be compared to perl for this kind of scenario.

    It doesn't surprise me that there is a lot of crufty Java out there that is supposed to be 'enterprise' applications just because its written in Java using hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of software and written by a couple of inexperienced java programmers who can take hom


    @JAPH = qw(Hacker Perl Another Just);
    print reverse @JAPH;
    • It has already been suggested by others... I've contacted both and The Perl Review, both are open the idea of an article, I've just got to find the time to write it now!

      It's not 100% fair to blame the Java application, though there are many things that are really terrible about it. A deeper fault of the company was to use a Buzzword compliant technology that we had little experience with, instead of a non-buzzword compliant technology that we did know a lot about.

      For some perverse reason w

      -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
      • I was talking about this at work the other day. We decided that it's basically all down to oracle consultants looking to make money. If there's a shitty in house application somewhere there is probably also some nasty java to go with it and the whole lot is festooned with highly "decorative" (but expensive) consultants.

        Bitter? Moi?


        • I'm not fundamentaly opposed to Java, it's just most of the time when I see it, it smells bad, it looks bad and it leaves a bad taste... I'm sure you can write good code and applications with it, just like I'm sure you can do a good web site with ASP or PHP, it's just a shame that they resembles poo most of the time...

          I just wish the PHBs of this world would stop asking for opionion from their own highly skilled staff, and then ignore it. If we hadn't used this particular Java thing, then the project woul

          -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
  • You will, I hope, talk about this at some future tech meet?
    • If we ever fix the niggles.... The technology is working fine, it's all the micro details in the implementation that's eating up the time at the moment. But the underlying code has run pretty much okay since day one.

      I shall have to see what I can do.

      -- "It's not magic, it's work..."