Created in 1969, Science Applications International Corporation and its subsidiaries have over 21,500 employees at more than 475 locations worldwide. SAIC is owned by its employees, who perform technical services internationally. The Synetics Systems Operation is a newly formed organization under SAIC. Synetics Systems specializes in systems integration, offering expertise in information systems planning, development, outsourcing, Internet solutions, networking & telecommunications and training.
The Massachusetts Jobs Council was faced with the challenge of
providing a resource tool that would assist in decreasing the
Commonwealth's unemployed population. This tool would provide
streamlined information services to employers, job seekers and
individuals looking for career training and other educational
Synetics Systems was given the task of developing and implementing
the Internet system for the Commonwealth's workforce development
effort. The system, called One Stop Career Centers, would serve
as a single source of information for the offices of the Commonwealth.
The primary architectural challenges of the project were three-fold.
The site would have to be:
In November 1995, Matthew Kleiderman, a chief member of the technical team for the Internet project, discovered WebHub. Already a Delphi user, Kleiderman saw in WebHub a technology that would allow him to transfer his existing expertise onto the web to build advanced web applications and connect large databases to the Internet. In February, 1996 Kleiderman had completed the first operational web site which became public in April, 1996.
Using WebHub, the Synetics Systems team connected an Interbase
Server 4500 database to the new web site. WebHub components automatically
generate HTML grids and fields for data queries. When a job seeker
looks for available jobs in a particular professional field, that
information is retrieved from the database and then dynamically
displayed in standard HTML graphic formats. The information is
retrieved only once, so that subsequent drill-down requests of
the data are simply displayed using information generated in the
original request. This WebHub feature ensured speed and performance
for a system that handles and displays such a broad range of data.
One of the key features of WebHub technology is the separation
of programming logic from HTML. For the One Stop Career site this
has saved a great deal of time and money because it has allowed
HTML specialists with minimal programming experience to make changes
to the ìlook and feelî of the site without affecting
the more advanced Delphi applications it runs.
The separation of HTML from Delphi has also enabled Kleiderman
to focus on the more complex database and programming issues.
One the developer side, changes to the application can be made
by simply uploading the new information (either locally or from
a remote site) and clicking a refresh button which automatically
makes all the proper updates and ensures that the directories
and HTML files are in order.
The One Stop Career site is dynamic, database-driven and designed
to serve a high volume of users. Speed and performance were therefore
critical issues that had to be addressed for the system to operate
at the level its developers had envisioned. WebHub's highly
functional component-based architecture provided the solutions
Kleiderman and the technical team needed:
First, WebHub has a built-in process control feature which provides
an additional layer (called the ìHubî) between the
surfer and the database engine. This prevents system overload
and allows for multiple and simultaneous application requests.
The WebHub framework makes it possible for a dynamic, database-driven
site to run as many different applications or copies of the same
application as needed. The One Stop Career site currently runs
four copies, or ìinstances,î of the same application.
The process control module queues requests and distributes users
to the least busy application available so that, no matter how
busy the site is, the application(s) it supports will run smoothly
Second, WebHub's support of multiple open queries was a
performance feature with significant importance for the One Stop
site. Rather than load and reload each new query as the surfer
moves from page to page, the One Stop Career site application
remains open for the user's entire visit, regardless of
the quantity of pages that are visited. The result has been web
applications that run extremely fast. With this speed, users are
served more quickly and efficiently and the site is capable of
supporting high traffic volumes in a short period of time.
Synetics Systems Operation has taken a fragmented model and developed
a centralized Internet-enabled system for distributing job and
training information. The site now draws from seven databases
from various One Stop Career Centers in Massachusetts. Synetics
Systems Operation plans to increase that number to include all
of the Commonwealth's 30 to 40 backbone Career Center databases.
This project represents the future of government services. It
has used advanced Internet development tools to provide essential
public information in an easy-to-use platform. More than a financially
beneficial streamlined technology, the One Stop Career site has
improved the quality and efficiency of employment services for
the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
"WebHub gave us the industrial strength solution we
needed to build a broad-based site capable of drawing mountains
of database information and publishing it on the web. We could
not have achieved this level of functionality with any other tool."
--Matthew Kleiderman, The Synetics Systems Operation>
|Operating System||Windows NT Server 3.51|
|Web Server||Microsoft IIS|
|Database||Interbase Server 4500, by Borland|
|Hardware||Compaq Pro Lines 1500 WebServer|
|Tools||WebHub, by HREF Tools Corp.
Delphi 2.0, by Borland