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Web Applications Pick Style

Documentation for build
July 11, 1998

Modular Software is pleased to announce a new set of features in the PicLan-IP Coyote Web Server that dramatically simplify the task of building multi-page web applications.  This new multi-page application toolkit allows you to build multi-page web application as a seamless combination of mv/BASIC and HTML forms.  Issues such as application persistence and passing data to and from HTML forms are handled automatically and seamlessly allowing you to concentrate on application design instead of interacting with the web batch environment.

With the mv/WEB framework, you can build web applications using the same programming style that is used to build terminal based applications. Issues such as execution location, variable persistence, and stateless server limitations are transparently handled by the underlying environment. With mv/WEB you can build web application from simple query functions to full-scale business automation applications with heavy data entry requirements.

Other Available Documents:

Major New Concepts:

There are some dramatic new concepts introduced here:

Not an Application Generator

The mv/WEB framework is not an application generator.  You are not required to build applications using a limited toolkit.  Instead, you can build real-world, complex applications using mv/BASIC source code and HTML web pages.  Your mv/BASIC source code can include the entire array of Multi-Value system supported syntax and functions (plus all of the Coyote extensions).  Web pages can include the entire array of HTML page layout and data entry constructs.  Writing mv/WEB applications can actually be easier than writing terminal applications.

Top-down Programming

mv/WEB lets you write multi-page web application top-down. This means that your mv/BASIC source code can "call" an HTML web page for display and entry purposes at any point during the applications execution. You write your application code top-down even though the underlying web environment is page at a time event driven.  mv/WEB and Coyote handle the translation from event-driven to top-down for you efficiently and transparently.

Excellent Performance and Scalability

Even though mv/WEB applications are written top-down, the run-time environment is still the fast, scalable, event-driven PicLan-IP Coyote Web Server envonment.  A handful of PicLan-IP processes still handle literally hundreds or more web users.  mv/WEB literally implements a top-down programming model within the event-driven Coyote Web Server so that you get the ease of top-down programming with the performance and scalability of event-driven run-time.

Transparent Data Entry

When your web application needs to input or edit mv/BASIC variable data, you can do so by simply calling an HTML page that has any number of input fields.  When you design this HTML form, you use the same names for the input fields as the mv/BASIC variables or dynamic array references that they manipulate.  This allows you to design HTML input forms that will bi-directionally edit mv/BASIC data without writing a single line of application code to read or write the data to the web interface. Simply place the data in mv/BASIC variables or dynamic arrays and name the input fields in the HTML forms using the same names.

Web Design Using mv/BASIC Variables

All HTML interface pages are written so that they directly reference mv/BASIC variables and dynamic array elements by name.  You can directly reference any mv/BASIC variable or dynamic array element without writing any application code by simply referencing the element in HTML.

What this means

This new set of application development tools allows you to control entire web applications without ever having to manually deal with any web server elements.  Your application consists exclusively of mv/BASIC source code that controls program flow and logic combined with HTML web page layouts that control what the user sees.  The interaction between the HTML pages and the mv/BASIC source code is handled transparently by referring to mv/BASIC variables and dynamic arrays with no special statements or processing required to move data between the two environements.

Don't let the ease of the environment lead you to believe that mv/WEB limits what you can do.  If you need to build complex, dynamic HTML in mv/BASIC, you still can.  Need a variably sized HTML table built by hand in mv/BASIC.  mv/WEB lets you do the hard things in the same top-down environment.  If you thought that you would have to limit your options with a 4GL in order to get an easy web programming environment, think again.  mv/WEB gives you the best of both worlds.  Top-down web application programming in true mv/BASIC without limits.

mv/WEB Benefits

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