Vision for Apache: Put on a Happy Face

By Jim Jagielski (Send Email)
Posted Feb 7, 2000

The Apache Web server currently powers more than 58 percent of all the Web sites surveyed by Netcraft, with a significant portion of those installations occurring on Linux and BSD-based systems. It's an incredibly popular and powerful server, used by more Webmasters that all others combined. But there is one perceived weakness in Apache, which greatly limits its use and acceptance in corporate headquarters: an administrative front-end graphical interface (GUI).

This missing link--at least according to reviews in various Wintel magazines--makes Microsoft IIS the server of choice in the corporation, no matter how popular or robust Apache is.

Been wanting to use Apache but struggling because the world's most popular Web server lacks a graphical interface? Your wishes have been granted. UK-based Focus Array has released Vision for Apache, a Java-based graphical front end that offers a clean design and a high level of usability.

Well, I certainly wouldn't agree with all that. I'm certainly comfortable with the current configuration setup for Apache, which is based on editing text files, and I don't think that I'm alone in that regard.

On the other hand, however, I can see how some sort of GUI front-end to Apache would be worthwhile. Heck, there's even an official Apache GUI site that's set up to be a focal point for GUI development. So it's not a new idea, nor one that people aren't aware of. There are some Apache GUIs out there; and this small but worthy field just saw its ranks increase by one with Vision For Apache, by Focus Array.

Vision for Apache is a pure Java-based front-end to Apache. The choice of Java is interesting, and maybe confusing for some people. Focus Array is definitely aware of that and right up front that some people may disagree with their choice, but for various reasons, including Java's networking capabilities and its graphical interfacing components, the company decided Java was it. Vision for Apache is also a bit more than a simple GUI front end, since it also includes a basic performance benchmarking tool, based on Apache's own ab application.

Next: Setting up Vision for Apache »

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