Auckland web software firm BizSoap has developed a portal server which uses the Simple Object Access Protocol, a protocol like XML that has been put forward by Microsoft as a standard way of processing data over the internet.
The server sets up connections with back-end data and provides the platform for building applications. A web shop application is included with the server along with tools for building and maintaining applications. It uses XML and database technologies hosted on Microsoft Windows NT 4.
BizSoap has operated for six months, and was formerly the year-old application firm Keyworld. Directors Cameron Smirk and Colin Martin claim 30 years' IT experience between them, Smirk spending five years in the UK with website designer Zinc and developing the Tesco online supermarket shopping site. Martin is also a programmer and has spent four years developing the Informer accounting package.
Smirk says the server has been developed over the past six months; it is being used by one unnamed ISP. The company says it is talking to other ISPs and ASPs about them adopting the system.
Blair Geldard, operations manager at Auckland marine electronics firm Advance Trident, has used BizSoap to update the company's website, at www.AdvanceTrident.Com, for six months.
He says the system has been "fantastic" in allowing frequent updates to products and prices from its accounting package and it provides the company with essential flexibility.
The system costs $2000 per server or website licences are available. Customers can complete much of the design themselves, though BizSoap can finish off the work. “We provide a template for application design,” Smirk says.
He says the server keeps a website separate from its database services with each website having its own store of XML schemas to connect to multiple databases using OLE DB.
Databases can be maintained online, but BizSoap is to release its Client Publisher product, for publishing desktop data to online databases without FTP access, the company says. A Navigation Editor allows designers to navigate static and dynamic html pages, Active Server Pages and XML content. All BizSoap tools work within Microsoft IE5; its site, www.link.as/com/bizsoap/default.htm, will only work effectively using IE5.