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Part 2: Setting up a PicLan-IP Developement Environment

The easiest way of getting an idea of what it is like developing a web application with PicLan-IP is to first look at typical development environments. This may seem a bit backward, but by first looking at the components your developers will need, this highlights the simplicity of developing web solutions with the MultiValue database environment at the core.

The Minimal Setup

The smallest practical setup is a PicLan-IP supported MultiValue host system that is connected via a local area network (probably Ethernet) to a Windows workstation. The host system has PicLan-IP loaded and the workstation has a Pick terminal emulator like PicLan, AccuTerm, Windows Telnet, or other running along with a web browser like Internet Explorer or NetScape Navigator. In this environment, the programmer can work completely at a single system and both author web content and view web results. If the underlying MV host system resides on a Windows NT or Windows 95 system, then the host and client systems can actually reside on a single computer system.

This minimal setup is quite easy to configure and uses very little hardware. The main advantage of this type of configuration is simplicity. The disadvantage is the lack of appropriate tools to make the job of building HTML pages easier.

Adding an HTML Editor

The next step in enhancing the development environment is adding an HTML editor to the equation. An HTML editor is a word-processor (of sorts) that allows you to build HTML pages in a WYSIWYG environment. HTML editor software programs are available both as commercial and as shareware/freeware software packages to run on Windows, the Macintosh, various versions of Unix, etc. In our example, you would obtain a Windows HTML editor and load it onto the system with the web browser.

By adding an HTML editor, you allow your developers to concentrate on program development and page design instead of on HTML markup tags and syntax. Which HTML editor you use is largly a matter of personal taste. HTML editors include:

The only requirement is that the HTML editor be able to store it's HTML data files in a location that is reachable to the MultiValue host system. If the host is running Windows 95 or Windows NT, this means the HTML editor can simply save it's files to the local hard disk and the MultiValue host can access it with a host file system read function. If the MultiValue host is a native system, the PicLan-IP web server can access these files using a PicLan DOS Services Gateway. In either case, once the environment is configured, you developer can simply save the file to a local directory on their workstation and the PicLan-IP web server can just "reach out" and grap it without a seperate upload step.

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