Limited-capability Java-oriented application server
Intertop has won a lot of attention thanks to its innovative approach to developing and positioning application development on the Internet and intranets. And while the focus of this section is on application servers, it's impossible to separate Intertop's development environment from its server environment (much the same as our approach in evaluating the SilverStream application server). A comprehensive review includes a look at both the development and server sides of Intertop.
Like all application-server environments, the point of the Intertop Application Server is to run applications that provide access to a disparate group of Internet-accessible JDBC/ODBC-compliant databases and legacy data and to deliver this data to users on the Internet and/or intranets. To support legacy databases, however, you'll need to write your own Intertop applets, as none are provided with the basic Intertop Application Server package. And while the focus of this section is on application servers, it's impossible to separate Intertop's development environment from its server environment (much the same as our approach in evaluating the Netscape Enterprise Server 3.x or Microsoft Internet Information Server 3.x or later, Sun Solaris with the Netscape Enterprise Edition Web server, or Hewlett-Packard HP-UX with Netscape Enterprise Edition. You can't use Intertop Application Server with the Apache Web Server or O'Reilly's WebSite Professional.
The Intertop Application Server is part of Intertop's Application Platform, a total solution for developing and deploying Internet applications. Two other parts of the platform worth noting are the Intertop Application Builder (formerly known as i-Xpresso) for creating browser-based Java applications and the Intertop CE Application Builder for creating Internet-enabled applications for handheld devices running Windows CE.
Interestingly, Intertop Application Builder uses Basic-like scripting, which is then converted to Java, with the rationale being that any developer familiar with Visual Basic will have no problems using Intertop Application Builder. In addition, the Intertop Application Builder supports the Java Component Library, a set of standard Java classes, with the promise that applications developed in Intertop Application Builder will run on any version of the Java Virtual Machine (i.e. both the Sun and Microsoft versions).
The Intertop Application Platform is a powerful tool for creating and deploying applications. While there's little reason to consider Intertop Application Server if you're not looking at using the Intertop Application Platform as well, the combination is definitely worth a look if you're in the market for an application server and have needs that fall somewhat short of the enterprise level.
Pros: 7 Browser-based management, 7 Tightly integrated with the Intertop Application Platform, 7 Supports load balancing
Cons: 7 No advanced security features, 7 No support for Enterprise JavaBeans
New in v2.1: JDBC connectivity to any JDBC/ODBC-compliant database, Administration Console for configuring client access to critical or restricted server applications, enhanced session/state management, improved load balancing; Release Notes
Upgrade Meter: 4
Version Reviewed: 2.1
Reviewed by: Kevin Reichard
Last Updated: 1/8/99
Date of Original Review: 1/8/99
Windows NT - Intel (NT Server 4.0 SP3 or SP4). Unix - Sun Solaris and HP-UX