Lots of Standards, Not As Many Features
Connecting WebObjects to databases is supported with Oracle, Sybase, Informix, OpenBase, ODBC, PeopleSoft, and SAP connectivity drivers. WebObjects will work with any Web server with a CGI, ISAPI, NSAPI, or WAI interface; within Mac OS X Server WebObjects will work with the bundled Apache HTTP Server. As you would expect from an Apple product, there’s support for QuickTime and AppleScript.
And, as long as we’re discussing standards, WebObjects connects to network resources via CORBA and COM, supports HTTP/S and SSL for secure transactions, and will work with the OpenMarket and CyberCash e-commerce standards.
The WebObjects application server doesn’t offer many of the cutting-edge features found in other application servers. For instance, load balancing is done on a random basis, rather than through any analysis of load levels on the other servers. This is an adequate method for a small installation, but perhaps a little too rough for a large, mission-critical installation. Failover is not an easily accessible feature in WebObjects, as enabling it requires some hand coding (though Apple does advertise it as being a major feature, interestingly enough). Anyone implementing e-commerce or mission-critical applications will definitely want to enable failover, but you’ll need to decide whether the hassle of enabling it (and dealing with the subsequent drop-off in performance) outweighs the other benefits in WebObjects.
A Web-based Monitor is used to manage application servers, as performance statistics are displayed in real time. Useful is a Playback Manager, which is used to record sessions and playing them back across a network of client machines.