The Coyote Web Server

The crown jewel of PicLan-IP is the Coyote Web Server.  The idea here is simple:
Provide the easiest, fastest, most efficient means to run your MultiValue BASIC applications on the web.
The first thing that you should understand is that the Coyote Web Server is a full featured HTTP server that supports all of the expected web server functions:
  • The full HTTP/1.1 specification
  • Virtual servers (multiple IP addresses)
  • Virtual directories
  • User defined content (MIME) types
  • User controlled logging functions

The Universal Client

One of the main ideas behind web applications is the "universal client".  Simply put, the universal client is a web browser.  This does not imply NetScape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer, or any other specific client software, but any web browser.  If you write a web application carefully, it should run well with any modern browser package ranging from the latest from Microsoft and NetScape to web/TV and everything else in between.

Why is the universal client so important.  Because you can assume that everyone already has one.  The responsibility for the client's installation, configuration, management, and maintenance is no longer your responsibility.  If the user has a browser they can run your application.  Client/server issues such as updating VB programs on the client's systems simply do not exist with browser-based solutions.  In fact, many consider the browser to be the ideal replacement for the green-screen terminal.

Across the Hall or Across the Ocean

The second aspect of a web application is that it will run efficiently over a very wide array of network connections with widely varying levels of performance.  Terminal stream appliations rely on the fast turnaround of real-time networks or serial cables.  This is fine within your local office but can make operation over public switched networks like the internet maddening.  Because web applications are page-at-a-time batch in nature, operation over high-latency connections like the public internet are still efficient.  This allows you to use a single application both within your organizations intranet and on the public internet.

A Development Environment for BASIC Programmers

The Coyote application development environment is plain and simple BASIC with a twist of HTML to handle user interface pages.  MultiValue applications that run on terminals are top-down, flow-of-control applications that consist of a main-line program, internal and external subroutines, local variables, and common variables.  This is very different from the "traditional" nature of writing web applications.  Most solutions require that you write web applications as "event-driven" applications where the application is scattered across an ocean of pages that can run in any sequence.  If you really want to do this, Coyote supports this model as well.  More importantly, Coyote also lets you write web applications that are top-down, flow-of-control applications that consist of a main-line program, internal and external subroutines, local variables, and common variables.  This top-down programming model allows you to quickly retrofit a web interface to existing terminal applications without having to rethink the application flow.

As important as the top-down concept is for web development, Coyote does not stop there.  The next hurdle for web development is how to deal with data entry forms.  HTML supports entry forms that include text input fields, radio buttons, and a number of other input controls.  Coyote lets you use these HTML form elements directly from BASIC by building HTML input "pages" that your BASIC appliation code can directly invoke.  This allows you to build HTML input pages using any HTML editor like FrontPage, DreamWeaver, AOL Press, etc. and simply name the input fields with names that match the BASIC variables or dynamic array references that they refer to.  The result is a best-of-breed development environment that lets you write BASIC within the MultiValue environment and HTML using any HTML editor that you choose.

Many users are reporting that developing web applications with Coyote is actually easier than developing the same applications for green-screen terminals. If you want more detailed information on how this is possible, read the tutorial, or look at one of our on-line demo applications.

Best Performance

The performance of Coyote is simply stunning.  Because Coyote is not built using layer upon layer of external servers and middle-ware, Coyote outperforms every other MultiValue web integration solution hands down when serving dynamic web applications.  Coyote is as much as 10 to 100 times as fast as some other solutions.  The result is that your current MultiValue server can host applications with large numbers of concurrent users with ease.  Even modern single-processor PCs running native Pick can easily saturate full T-1 internet connections.

Lowest Cost

And finally, Coyote is affordable.  With value pricing based on bandwidth, Coyote can be as low as $40 per active use.  This cost is also all-inclusive.  There are no external servers to buy or middle-ware layers to license.  In addition, all Coyote processing takes place on MultiValue phantom processes and meter as zero MV seats.