Feature

Picking flowers on the Net with Flowergram

Behind the pretty pictures is a well-designed site that could save the day for lotharios who every year forget February 14th

Love was most definitely in the air at Levelfive Online Solutions when Flowergram.co.uk went live, writes Roisin Woolnough. In order to ensure that the site was working properly before it launched, one of the developers offered to do the honourable thing and went online to order a bunch of flowers for a colleague he had his eye on. The flowers arrived, were much appreciated and the couple have since been on a date.

This heart-warming tale should encourage any shy admirers to take the plunge this week and make their feelings known. Dave Cooke, senior developer at Levelfive Solutions, who helped set up the site, certainly hopes there will be a lot of traffic in the coming few days.

Cooke, who was one of four people working on the site, says everything went very smoothly and they even managed to complete a couple of weeks early - just in time to catch a few late Christmas shoppers.

The site runs on a dual Pentium II processor NT machine. The Web server is a Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) 4. Cooke says IIS was chosen because it is easy to administer and is widely supported. Application server Tango Enterprise 3 was also chosen for practical reasons.

"Tango works in tandem with a database, a Web server and an e-mail server. It makes the creation, modification and maintenance of even the most complex Web sites relatively simple," explains Cooke.

Cooke wanted to use an application that could be easily understood by people who have limited technical knowledge. "The logic within the Tango application files is categorised into presentation logic, business logic and database logic, making it much more organised and an easier environment to work with. With the business logic itself, the code is procedural, making it extremely easy to follow the flow of the application.

"This is important for me as a programmer but is also very useful to my graphic design and project management colleagues as they can see what the application is doing and when at a glance," Cooke adds.

Employing Tango also meant that Cooke could get by without any SQL skills. If he had used an application like Cold Fusion he would have needed SQL expertise to modify database functionality. "Due to Tango's open architecture we can deploy applications that run on our IIS server or at a client site on their server platforms, be they Unix or Macintosh based," he explains.

curriculum vitae

Name: Dave Cooke

Age: 32

Job: senior developer at Levelfive Online Solutions

Qualifications: did two years of a computing degree course, then quit for a hands-on programming job

IT skills: DBMS, Tango, HTML, Javascript

Hobbies: hiking, surfing, computer games and drinking

Favourite film: The Punisher

Cooke on Cooke: intelligent, sexy, hard


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This was first published in February 2000

 

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