Evealuating Out Systems - how to use externally hosted server?

Evealuating Out Systems - how to use externally hosted server?

  

Hi people,

I'm on the tail end of a really long evaluation process trying to find a DB centric RAD platform for a client - and now I've found outsystems agile. I enjoyed the tutorial, but I need to demo the product by creating a simple app which has been directly derived from some of his actual data.

After the install, I atched the Connect to your existing DB tutorial on how to create entities from your own tables. Makes sense., So I tried to use the Integration services to use our hosted MS SQL 2008 server on discountasp.net. However, after entering the server name in the integration server, I just get an "Unable to verify platform type" error. Not surprising, as I don't beleive that the installation process ever asked me whether I wanted to choose any server but local to install the tools on.

Presumably, the "server" in question is the code repository and the application server. At no point did the Integration Services app ask me for the DB server's username or password from the "File/Import/Import Entities FRom Database" option. Ok, now I;m confused.

The apps will be running off the hosted services web and DB server, and I want to show the actual running functionality of the product to the client with a simple two table master-detail demo of his tables. What's the fastest way for me to get up-and-running so I can impress him with the product?

Thanks,

Carlo

Hi Carlo, and welcome to the OutSystems community forums.

I'm glad that you found the OutSystems Agile Platform, and that you are considering it for your evaluation. I hope you will find it a very solid option for you to accomplish what you're looking for.

Indeed, you can import tables from your existing database by doing the following setup.

The only databases that will show up in Integration Studio are the ones that are configured in your Service Center, which is the management console of the Platform Server. It's Service Center which controls all application publishing, versioning, developer roles, application and platform monitoring and configuration, just to name a few.

While establishing a Linked Server in SQL Server is an option, another option - and the recommended one - would be for you to confirgure that database in Service Center. For you to do so, you should:

1 - Access Service Center - probably at http://localhost/ServiceCenter - as administrator (the default username/password is admin/admin)
2 - Click the Administration Tab
3 - Open the Database Connections menu
4 - In the new screen, click New Database Connection, and configure the connection to the database you are trying to access.

When you open Integration Studio and are asked to connect to a server, it's actually a Platform Server he's asking for - since, as I mentioned, it's through the Platform Server's Service Center that all goes through. As such, log in to your Platform Server (I'm assuming localhost, and username and password are the ones form Service Center - admin/admin by default), and when you select the "Import Entities from Database" option, the new database connection you just configured will show up.

I hope this helps.

Regarding the fastest way for you to get up and running and impress him with the product is for you to:

- Follow our How-tos regarding "Creating a Page to List Data", "Creating a Page to Show Data", and "Creating a Master-Detail Page".
- After that, with a bit more time, go through some more tutorials and how-tos that interest you, as well as through our free Online Training materials.

I'm hopeful that these will get you up to speed in no time.

However, you can always rely on our forums for the community to help you, as well as OutSystems itself, if there's something you'd like to discuss that you don't want to be public.

Let us know how it goes!

Regards,

Paulo Tavares
Thanks Paolo, I had already watched these videos as well as the DB Entity migration video - I just didn't see anything about adding a new db connection - and that starightened it out. That was very helpful.

I'd like this demo to run as it would in production, with the application running off of the web server on the same host as the DB server - don't I need to configure more than just the DB server to run off the host? Is the "platform server" just for development repository, or are there run-time requirements as well? If so, shouldn't I be configuring the production host server for this as well?

Thanks again,

Carlo
Hi Carlo,

I'm glad I was able to help.

Regarding the server you want it to run off, for the application to run off the same server as the one where you have the DB Server, you'll have to install the Agile Platform there. The Agile Platform server is not the "development repository" only - the Agile Platform server is a full application lifecycle-management server, handling the full development-integration-assembly-deployment-change cycle for software applications. As such, it is required for you to deploy - and run - the applications developed in the OutSystems Agile Platform.

What you did before was to access data from a database in a different server. That is usually a requirement when you have legacy database servers, and it is very common for the database server not being the same machine as the host server. However, if you want the DB server and the host web server to be the same machine, there is no problem with it.

I hope this makes it clearer.

If you want to learn more about what is the Agile Platform, per se, I suggest you visit our Product Tour and let us know of any questions that arise.

Regards,

Paulo Tavares
Thanks, Paolo

So, there is no way to run this applciation with just an ASP.NET and SQL Server, is this correct? You need a Windows Server instance to install and run the Agile Platform Server? If true, then an ASP.NET and MS SQL Server hosting solution isn't enough - we'll need a full Windows 2008 Server hosting package to do this, am I correct?

Carlo
Hi Carlo,

No, that's not quite accurate. You may run the OutSystems Agile Platform on ASP.Net and SQL Server hosting, without any problem. The underlying operating system can range from Windows XP to Windows Server 2008.

We do recommend Windows Server 2008 for large production environments because other Windows editions, not tailored for server environments, do have lower maximum connection limits. This means that while in Windows XP you would face problems when more than 10 simultaneous connections, by default, in server-tailored operating systems those connection limits are far higher, or even unlimited, depending on the edition.

As such, to summarize the point: at first sight, the Agile Platform should run on an ASP.Net and MS SQL Server hosting solution. It may depend on the specifics of the machine configuration, but I don't see a problem.

I hope this makes it clear.

Regards,

Paulo Tavares
Hi Carlo,

I just want to clarify one detail. What Paulo Tavares said is correct - the OutSystems platform runs on a standard ASP.Net+SQL Server architecture. Nevertheless, it is important to emphsize that, to use the OutSystems platform on a server, you will need to be able to install the OutSystems Platform software there. In order to do this,  you need to have access to the machine operating system and also the necessary rights to execute the installation and any necessary configuration or tunning.

I am emphasizing this point because in many web hosting services you do not have access to the operating system, meaning that you will not be able to install the OutSystems plataform there.

Regards,

Daniel Lourenço
OutSyste,s

Paolo, Daniel, thanks. Good instinct, Daniel - you were able to answer my next question before it was asked.

Most cloud hosting solutions would have this problem. Our account is NOT a full virtualised or dedicated server instance, it is a web server and DB server instance only. To provide a full dedicated OS server instance you literally pay 10 times as much!

Our host DiscountASP is a major ASP.NET hosting service, and I other solution providers develop installation packages for DiscountASP which allow their solutions to run on their servers without requireing the clients to have a full OS Server instance (of course, in the back end the script actually runs on a proper Windows 2008 surface, with ful admin rights to install the package). These are known as "One Click Installs" - for example, DotNetNuke, Wordpress, etc.

Do you have any such relationship with DiscountASP? My understanding is they are a big player. I think the benefit to Outsystems would be a pretty major opening up of the market by lowering the cost of ownership for your solution.

Carlo

Hi Carlo,

I would just like to clarify that the need for the installation of the OutSystems platform on the server  is something that derives from the fact that the OutSystems technology works as an automation and management layer over a regular web server architecture by providing a huge amount of additional functionality - automatic installation, logging, analytics, business process engine, email dispatcher, security control, etc. As you may image, in order to provide all this automation, management and out-of-the-box functionality there is the need to install some components at the server level (logging service, compiler service, scheduller service, etc.).

Having this said, I want to say that I perfectly understood your idea and would like to thank you for the feedback!

Kind Regards,

Daniel Lourenço
OutSystems