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Browsing >>1.00 Release: Press release for WebHub 1.0

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Jesse Odell
The Ford Odell Group
707/538-9592

HREF TOOLS SHIPS WEBHUB 1.0

WebHub 1.0 to provide Delphi users with a proven, extensible framework for building scalable Internet and Intranet applications.

Santa Rosa, CA -- May 19, 1997 -- HREF Tools Corporation today announced that after 18 months of rigorous market testing and deployment by thousands of Delphi developers, WebHub 1.0 is available. WebHub takes full advantage of Borland International's new Delphi 3 Client/Server Suite, providing a comprehensive and proven framework for building scalable Internet and Intranet applications.

According to WebHub Architect Michael Ax[1], "WebHub provides additional value to Delphi 3. It simplifies the development process with complete component-based solutions to the challenges of multi-user state management, persistent database connectivity, and high level HTML page generation. Developers who choose WebHub can leverage these powerful integrated capabilities in a well-honed environment, reducing development time and costs for corporate Intranet and Internet projects."

Web Application Development Framework for Borland's VCL

WebHub is a complete development environment for Delphi 2 and 3 programmers. Its components give developers everything they need to quickly write applications for use with Windows NT web servers. The components handle the cgi interface transparently for ISAPI, NSAPI, cgi-win and cgi-bin. Included in the palette of over 30 web-specific components are tools for handling data-aware grid controls, e-mail and even interactive outline processing. Although WebHub is designed to handle extremely sophisticated, high-traffic sites, its web-enabling capabilities can be utilized by any Delphi developer for a broad range of web projects.

"WebHub's advanced Internet development capabilities take advantage of Delphi 3's powerful open architecture," said Diane Rogers, Borland group product manager. "We congratulate HREF on continuing to extend Delphi to deliver a scalable, enterprise-class solution for corporate Internet developers."

According to WebHub Architect Michael Ax, "WebHub provides additional value to Delphi 3. It simplifies the development process with complete component-based solutions to the challenges of multi-user state management, persistent database connectivity, and high level HTML page generation. Developers who choose WebHub can leverage these powerful integrated capabilities in a well-honed environment, reducing development time and costs for corporate Intranet and Internet projects."

Web Application Development Framework for Borland's VCL

WebHub is a complete development environment for Delphi 2 and 3 programmers. Its components give developers everything they need to quickly write applications for use with Windows NT web servers. The components handle the cgi interface transparently for ISAPI, NSAPI, cgi-win and cgi-bin. Included in the palette of over 30 web-specific components are tools for handling data-aware grid controls, e-mail and even interactive outline processing. Although WebHub is designed to handle extremely sophisticated, high-traffic sites, its web-enabling capabilities can be utilized by any Delphi developer for a broad range of web projects.

"WebHub's advanced Internet development capabilities take advantage of Delphi 3's powerful open architecture," said Diane Rogers, Borland group product manager. "We congratulate HREF on continuing to extend Delphi to deliver a scalable, enterprise-class solution for corporate Internet developers."

The WebHub framework offers Delphi professionals a powerful and extremely flexible architecture. WebHub's integrated, object-oriented approach to web development means extremely fast development for straightforward sites, and no-limits functionality for high-end sites.

WebHub can be used as powerful middleware for ActiveX, Java and JavaBean clients, providing functionality not found in JDBC, and leveraging legacy applications.

Architecture Ensures Extremely Fast Web Applications

Applications built with WebHub are compiled to native Wintel code and perform with exceptional speed. WebHub sites serve dynamic pages as much as 40 times faster than those using other methods. Pages are produced at a rate of 15 to 50 milliseconds per page as compared to one or more seconds per page for other solutions. WebHub implements a multi-user state machine. This architecture, combined with preloaded EXE files, eliminates program and database initialization and ensures high performance.

Unlimited Capacity for High Traffic Sites

WebHub is an affordable solution for high traffic web sites. The package includes a "Hub," a process control module inspired by the CORBA ORB. It provides extremely efficient surfer interaction while preventing system overload. The Hub may serve one or more web applications: literally, one or more EXE files built with the WebHub components. A webmaster with a high traffic site can simultaneously run multiple copies of the same EXE file to service extremely high concurrent traffic. The optimal number of concurrent EXE files will vary depending on hardware capacity and page processing time. When the first machine is saturated, WebHub is easily extended to run on multiple servers in a cluster, providing linear scalability at a competitive price.

Long-term Vision for Site Development and Maintenance

WebHub supports HTML specialists and programmers. Because HTML is kept separate from program logic, WebHub sites are easy to maintain over time. A change in one macro is instantly reflected throughout an entire site, and most changes do not require recompilation. HTML files can be shared across multiple projects, so that subroutines can be developed. An advanced macro language supports a wide range of features, all accessible without Delphi programming. Remote administration features are included for webmasters who use a remote ISP.

WebHub promotes code reuse at every level. The web action class is ideally suited for VCL component authors to create their own "actions." All web action components automatically inherit the powerful save-state mechanism and the ability to be called from HTML, saving weeks of development time and costs.

"As the frenzy over web development reaches the chasm between short-term solutions and core Internet technologies, HREF is positioned to reach web developers and corporate information systems managers looking for Internet tools with long-term payoffs," said Ax.

WebHub was recently deployed by Universal Tax Systems to build a tax preparation site which allows customers to file, prepare and compute taxes online. Said UTS President Steve Safigan, "WebHub was the key to publishing our application on the web. We needed a tool that would allow us to replace our DOS/Windows user interface with an HTML interface. WebHub is the only tool on the market with the flexibility and robustness to accomplish this. Using WebHub, we were able to adapt our tax program to run across the Web as if it was running on a local computer. WebHub gave us the head start we needed to develop a true web-centric application."

WebHub has been commercially available since October 1995. The early experience package has successfully been deployed by a number of high-profile organizations including the states of California and Massachusetts, Lockheed Martin, MCI and Universal Tax Systems. Said Ann Lynnworth, HREF's co-founder and CEO, "WebHub 1.0 is unlike typical first version releases. For more than 18 months, large organizations have successfully implemented WebHub for mission critical Internet systems. We can therefore state with absolute confidence that WebHub 1.0 is a mature, 'proven' Internet technology."

Developer Friendly

WebHub's distinct architecture enables programmers to test components and web pages while remaining in the Delphi IDE. Property editors from the IDE automatically carry forward to the run-time user interface. HREF sponsors a free listserv for active developer news and discussion.

Pricing and Availability

WebHub 1.0 for Borland's Delphi 2 and 3 is shipping May 19, 1997, from HREF Tools Corp. It is available for download via the HREF corporate web site: http://www.href.com. WebHub is also distributed through Programmer's Paradise (www.pparadise.com), EarthWeb Direct (www.developer.com), Grey Matter Ltd. (www.GreyMatter.co.uk/) and technical support centers in Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland. Pricing starts at $365 for a single developer. Hub licensing agreements range from $95 to $1,955 per server, based on the number of deployments.

Product Requirements

WebHub 1.0 requires Windows NT 3.51+ or Windows 95, Borland's Delphi 2 or 3 for custom application development, and a Windows-based web server supporting ISAPI, NSAPI, cgi-bin or cgi-win, such as Microsoft IIS, Netscape, WebSite and Purveyor.

About HREF Tools Corp.

HREF Tools Corp. is a leading provider of VCL-based web technology. HREF's approach to product development focuses on built-in extensibility and openness through component-based architectures. HREF offers consulting services through its strategic alliance with Acadia Software. Additional information about HREF and its products and services can be obtained at: http://www.href.com.

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[1] Michael Ax co-founded HREF Tools Corp., wrote WebHub version "EEP" through version 2.005, from September 1995 to July 2001; ran HREF Tools from January 2000 to July 2001; and has since moved on to a new phase of his life.

[1]


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