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Technology / AI and automation

EVENT DRIVEN PROGRAMMING MADE EASY WITH ARCPLAN’S INSIGHT

Good decisions only ever come from good information. With companies becoming distributed over a wider area, and yet still wishing to retain the communication advantages of being on one site, low costs and immediate availability make the internet the obvious choice. Having off-site access to up-to-date information, whilst retaining the security of a closed system are opposite ends of the spectrum, but with higher processor speeds, better firewalls and user authentication, the usable middle ground is starting to become more of a reality.

Data extraction

Any system that gives such access must be able to interface with existing databases, comply with existing operating system security features, and provide the user with forms that are easy-to-use both for data input and data extraction. It must also be easy to program in-house, compact, and fully operable off-site, with only a minimum of extra software. Filling these requirements sounds almost impossible, but with the advent of event-driven programming, together with object placement on forms in the style of all of the visual languages (which started with Visual Basic a number of years ago) and spreadsheet style formulae to make it work, programming with arcplan Inc’s inSight could not be much easier. Open DataBase Connectivity (ODBC) makes sure that any ODBC compliant database will work properly along with other supported databases, whilst end-to-end security features using SSL, triple DES and 4096-bit RSA encryption, together with HTML and ActiveX controls, supply remote security, non-repudiation and functionality. In the last few years, the advances in Firewall technology and processor speed mean that decision making can be based upon up-to-date information – this can only help companies function more effectively in the long run. The ability to create consistent, usable interfaces for database users used to be the province of experienced programmers – not all of them did it too well either. With tools such as inSight, usable and consistent applications can now be written by anybody who has a very basic knowledge of event driven object-oriented programming, and only slightly more knowledge of databases and spreadsheets. Founded in 1988 in Dnsseldorf, arcplan Computer Management Services’ three basic divisions have remained unchanged: development of PC-based reporting and management information systems for decision support; providing software training for business customers; and software and services for the annual shareholder meetings of public companies. In 1993 arcplan Information Services was founded, also in Dnsseldorf, Germany – incorporating all decision support solution activities. Included in this was an experienced programming team which started the development of inSight. By July 1994, the first version of inSight became available, and arcplan developed the first integrated interface for ODBC-compliant database systems. Shortly afterwards arcplan became an official Development Partner with SAP AG, and began development on customized interfaces for SAP’s R/3 (EIS and CO-PA). MIKsolution and Informix MetaCube followed in the next two years – helping to establish inSight as a universal development environment for reporting and management information systems. In the autumn of 1996, arcplan became the first vendor to develop an internet solution for reporting and decision support. It also joined Informix’s solution alliance as a software tool provider for its multidimensional database solution. In 1997, the company founded arcplan Inc in order to support customers in North America. It is also a SBN level 3 partner of Microsoft, and with arcplan inSight release 2.2, it added interfaces to OLAP-engines Oracle Express and MIS ALEA. Access to ODBC compliant databases, SAP R/3, Informix MetaCube and MIKsolution makes inSight a very versatile tool for managing databases. inSight is very easy to program, and by making use of event driven programming and security features, interactive sessions can be set up over long distances resulting in up-to-date information being available securely in decision making processes. The use of HTML means that ordinary web browsers can be used to access the information that the server provides, although it must be remembered that this can be done with inSight’s OCX in order to avoid the possibility of an ActiveX vulnerability. Permitting data to leave the site over an open public network, such as the Internet, could be inviting trouble, and for the people at the other end to know that what they have received is what was sent is another matter.

Active controls

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However, HTML used in conjunction with active controls provides the two way functionality that is required. SSL, together with triple pass 112-bit DES and 4096-bit RSA, provides a tunnel through which data can pass, without any of it leaking out of the system or anything leaking in. Assuming that other security considerations have been duly exercised, such security means that: both parties are identified; the data received is what was sent; proof exists that the data has been sent; and barring other physical security breaches most likely to occur at the client-end, nobody can inspect the decrypted data. If you write down your password and leave your laptop in a taxi, you have only yourself to blame for any resulting attack. In a rather elegant manner, inSight brings together a number of features that makes programming documents easy, and gives the programmer the opportunity to make using the documents easy as well. inSight developer’s interface is very easy to work with – simply dragging and dropping controls onto the document. All appropriate parameters are available to the developer, and events are programmed with very little use of the keyboard. Only a very basic knowledge of relational databases is required, as programming is mostly like writing a spreadsheet. arcplan’s commitment to quality and its international customer list for inSight demonstrates that this is a product that is worthy of serious attention by anyone who is considering empowering their remote users in this way.

Good decisions only ever come from good information. With companies becoming distributed over a wider area, and yet still wishing to retain the communication advantages of being on one site, low costs and immediate availability make the internet the obvious choice. Having off-site access to up-to-date information, whilst retaining the security of a closed system are opposite ends of the spectrum, but with higher processor speeds, better firewalls and user authentication, the usable middle ground is starting to become more of a reality.

Data extraction

Any system that gives such access must be able to interface with existing databases, comply with existing operating system security features, and provide the user with forms that are easy-to-use both for data input and data extraction. It must also be easy to program in-house, compact, and fully operable off-site, with only a minimum of extra software. Filling these requirements sounds almost impossible, but with the advent of event-driven programming, together with object placement on forms in the style of all of the visual languages (which started with Visual Basic a number of years ago) and spreadsheet style formulae to make it work, programming with arcplan Inc’s inSight could not be much easier. Open DataBase Connectivity (ODBC) makes sure that any ODBC compliant database will work properly along with other supported databases, whilst end-to-end security features using SSL, triple DES and 4096-bit RSA encryption, together with HTML and ActiveX controls, supply remote security, non-repudiation and functionality. In the last few years, the advances in Firewall technology and processor speed mean that decision making can be based upon up-to-date information – this can only help companies function more effectively in the long run. The ability to create consistent, usable interfaces for database users used to be the province of experienced programmers – not all of them did it too well either. With tools such as inSight, usable and consistent applications can now be written by anybody who has a very basic knowledge of event driven object-oriented programming, and only slightly more knowledge of databases and spreadsheets. Founded in 1988 in Dnsseldorf, arcplan Computer Management Services’ three basic divisions have remained unchanged: development of PC-based reporting and management information systems for decision support; providing software training for business customers; and software and services for the annual shareholder meetings of public companies. In 1993 arcplan Information Services was founded, also in Dnsseldorf, Germany – incorporating all decision support solution activities. Included in this was an experienced programming team which started the development of inSight. By July 1994, the first version of inSight became available, and arcplan developed the first integrated interface for ODBC-compliant database systems. Shortly afterwards arcplan became an official Development Partner with SAP AG, and began development on customized interfaces for SAP’s R/3 (EIS and CO-PA). MIKsolution and Informix MetaCube followed in the next two years – helping to establish inSight as a universal development environment for reporting and management information systems. In the autumn of 1996, arcplan became the first vendor to develop an Internet solution for reporting and decision support. It also joined Informix’s solution alliance as a software tool provider for its multidimensional database solution. In 1997, the company founded arcplan Inc in order to support customers in North America. It is also a SBN level 3 partner of Microsoft, and with arcplan inSight release 2.2, it added interfaces to OLAP-engines Oracle Express and MIS ALEA. Access to ODBC compliant databases, SAP R/3, Informix MetaCube and MIKsolution makes inSight a very versatile tool for managing databases. inSight is very easy to program, and by making use of event driven programming and security features, interactive sessions can be set up over long distances resulting in up-to-date information being available securely in decision making processes. The use of HTML means that ordinary web browsers can be used to access the information that the server provides, although it must be remembered that this can be done with inSight’s OCX in order to avoid the possibility of an ActiveX vulnerability. Permitting data to leave the site over an open public network, such as the Internet, could be inviting trouble, and for the people at the other end to know that what they have received is what was sent is another matter.

Active controls

However, HTML used in conjunction with active controls provides the two way functionality that is required. SSL, together with triple pass 112-bit DES and 4096-bit RSA, provides a tunnel through which data can pass, without any of it leaking out of the system or anything leaking in. Assuming that other security considerations have been duly exercised, such security means that: both parties are identified; the data received is what was sent; proof exists that the data has been sent; and barring other physical security breaches most likely to occur at the client-end, nobody can inspect the decrypted data. If you write down your password and leave your laptop in a taxi, you have only yourself to blame for any resulting attack. In a rather elegant manner, inSight brings together a number of features that makes programming documents easy, and gives the programmer the opportunity to make using the documents easy as well. inSight developer’s interface is very easy to work with – simply dragging and dropping controls onto the document. All appropriate parameters are available to the developer, and events are programmed with very little use of the keyboard. Only a very basic knowledge of relational databases is required, as programming is mostly like writing a spreadsheet. arcplan’s commitment to quality and its international customer list for inSight demonstrates that this is a product that is worthy of serious attention by anyone who is considering empowering their remote users in this way.

This article is from the Data Security Tools Bulletin.
This article is from the CBROnline archive: some formatting and images may not be present.

CBR Staff Writer

CBR Online legacy content.