Custom Internet Applications


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[ Internet Applications ] [ C++, Perl and Java ™ ]

Most web sites are static and flat. With custom Internet components, your site can come alive. We are skilled in the development of web sites using:

We also have many pre-written Custom Internet Components that our clients utilize.  These are a less expensive option since it requires less billable hours to implement.  We can also discuss with you which technique might be best suited for your purpose.  We also will factor in your target audience, since there is always a question of compatibility.

Here are some definitions of common programming languages we use to create our Custom Internet Components:

CGI -- Common Gateway Interface

A CGI Program is a program that produces web pages or graphics 'on the fly', often using user input from a form. These pages a can contain any sort of information, the result of database searches or make use of user preferences in appearance and content.

CGI programs are written in Perl, Java™  or C/C++, languages in which we have a great deal of experience.

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JavaScript, JScript and VBScript

While CGIs are programs that run on the web server, JavaScript and others run on the client machine under the control of the web browser. Because of this, they are responsive to mouse motion and clicks and can even respond to individual keystrokes.

Unfortunately, the competition between Netscape and Microsoft has resulted in 3 incompatible languages, JavaScript, JScript and VBScript®. While JavaScript (from Netscape) and JScript (from Microsoft) are similar, they are not identical. VBScript®, also from Microsoft, is rather different from the other 2 scripting tools but has about the same capabilities.

Because of the differences between languages, it is often necessary to write code that detects the specific browser and calls code written in the appropriate language. To support both Netscape Navigator® and Microsoft Internet Explorer®, these scripts have to be written in two languages.

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Java™ technology is highly platform independent, secure for the end user and very rich for developers. Its capabilities far exceed those of JavaScript and the like. It combines the immediate feedback capabilities of the scripting languages while having the ability to talk to server side tools like databases.

But its not just for the client side any more. Java™ ``servlets" let us rapidly deploy Java™ technology to deliver CGI programs, too. And with Java™ database connectivity, JDBC, we can connect to online databases, extract information and produce dynamic pages in the blink of an eye.


ActiveX® is a technology from Microsoft that allows the Internet Explorer to run custom written code. Unlike the Java™ technology, it is not a secure tool for the client, but does add capabilities that cannot be achieved otherwise, such as embedding Excel® spreadsheets or Word® documents in web pages.

Note that ActiveX® will only run on Windows NT® Internet Explorer clients, leaving Macintosh and UNIX systems and Netscape users out in the cold.

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Compatibility Issues

You may have come across websites that do not work properly.  In many cases, it is because not all technologies are supported on all browsers. This is becoming less of a problem as advanced browsers (version 4.0 and higher) become available and are standard on new computers, but it still must be considered when adding more complex functionality to your site.  Since CGIs run on the server, they work with all clients. But because they are server-side programs, they cannot respond to mouse or keyboard events.

The combination of JavaScript and JScript will reach most, but not all browsers. Most notably, older AOL browsers support neither scripting languages nor Java™ technology.

Java™ technology is designed from the ground up for applications like the Internet. Current browsers support only the first release of Java™ technology and so the newer features are not available. However, a combination of client and server-side Java™ code can provide some remarkable capabilities. As with the scripting languages, older browsers do not support Java™.

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