In the year 2000, ALS started to re-architect our products and we had several requirements:
- Run Securely over any Network
- Easy to use native Windows Application
- Scalable Architecture
- Support Real time Updates
- Easy to deploy client versions
- Readily integrate with Web Sites
- Architecture ready for the Future
To these ends ALS chose the N-Tier Model with support for native Windows Applications. This allows staff to
use easy to use Windows Interfaces they are accustomed to. Competing products may use a browser interface. We feel that
our users need the power of a full Windows Native interface to work effiently and to be able to access every piece of
information quickly and easily. Something difficult to do with a browser can just be a keystroke way with a native Windows
ALS products use the N-Tier or 3 Tier model. This allows for native Windows client applications to be deployed
with a ZERO footprint. NO DLL's or installation is required as only the Client EXE need be available for deployment.
By providing a normal Windows Application (not browser based), ALS products provide the full power of Windows
User Interface features along with the power of the Internet.
Auto Client Updates
ALS products support auto client updates so that if there is a new client version available, any client logging in will
automatically get that update. This allows for new features to be readily pushed out.
N-Tier architecture allows ALS client products to run securely even over latent connections, such as dial up.
By using a Middle Tier server between the database and the client, ALS products can support advanced features
like broadcast and messaging notification and collaborative techniques such as Instant Messaging. This kind of
"server push" cannot be supported in browser based products.
Support for Real Time Views of Data
The resuls is that when Desk or Vendor is viewing a reservation or scheduling screen and a reservation is updated
by another user of the system, the change is seen in real time. If you are looking at a competing product, please
remember to ask if they support REAL real time updates and views!
Scalability and PDA's too!
The N-Tier model also allows for scalability as additional servers can be brought on line to provide load-balanced
and fail-over secure solutions. An added benefit, and possible important future direction, is that ALS servers also have built in support for
PDA based wireless applications including Palm Trio, PocketPC and Java Enabled Cell Phones. Imagine being able to send
out an SMS for an event to hawk those last seats shortly before the event start?
Possible Important Future Directions
Below is a schematic that shows the current ALS product architecture along with some possible important future directions like
PDA and Interactive Voice Recorder support. If you have some questions, ideas or want to discuss your business requirements
please contact us.