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by: Bernard Teo

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Copyright © 2003-2012
Bernard Teo
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Fri 09 Mar 2012

The State of The Ultimate Business Machine

Category : Commentary/TUBReduxRedux.txt

In the last few weeks, I've built (and shared) one-click installers for the latest (or nearly the latest) versions of MySQL (5.5.21) and PostgreSQL (9.1.2).

The idea behind my fixation with databases is that every business needs control over their operational data, once they get beyond the start-up, lone proprietor/operator stage. The database is the bedrock on which they build operational excellence, efficiency, and control into their business processes.

But databases seem too hard to set up. Don't they need people like IT managers (or other expensive cost-incurring resources) to set up? Not necessarily, if we can make the tools easy enough for an accountant or business owner to use. 

So between these one-click installers to set up databases on the Mac, and a simple-to-use tool which I've developed (which I've called Liya) to design and get data in and out of those databases, I think I'm able to help Mac users get a pretty good headstart.

But wouldn't it be good to be able to get access to this data from an iPhone or an iPad? You can do wondrous things that are only limited by your imagination, if you've got the technical capability to do that.

For example, here's a demo I built, in a couple of days, of an iPad serving as a restaurant menu:


The pages flip like a real-life menu is supposed to do, but here we have the added capability for the reader to make an order and see the running total of his bill. Now if we can imagine other iPads showing appropriate views of the same data to the cook and the waiter, do you see what I mean about how a database could be the bedrock of a successful, operationally well-run business?

PS: Notice how the menu is able to handle non-Roman script like Chinese, in the screen shot above. That comes for free simply through the ability of Liya's database connectors to work with and do searches on content using any human language.

The secret sauce, so to speak, is being able to get the iPhone or iPad to talk directly to the database, and that's the ability that's built into Liya in all three of its incarnations - on the Mac, the iPhone, and the iPad. The restaurant menu example above is just a more customised version of the same idea built into Liya (customised, i.e., to the data processing requirements of a restaurant) which is - ubiquitous access to databases, from either static or mobile devices.

So I'm glad that I'm now able to keep all these tools up-to-date with all the currently released versions of MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite3, and running on almost the latest version of Xcode.

After this, I'll be moving on to Luca and to Mountain Lion, and figuring out to how keep my server-based apps - MailServe, DNS Enabler and WebMon - going in an environment that is increasingly hostile to their existence. I know that I'll still need to use them, for myself, so I'll have to find alternatives to the system calls that I've relied on for them to do their magic, as Apple seems as determined to deprecate them and make these system calls disappear.

Posted at 10:03AM UTC | permalink

Put your Mac to Work Now how would you do something like that?

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A Mac Business Toolbox
A survey of the possibilities

A Business Scenario
How we could use Macs in businesses

VPN Enabler for Mavericks

MailServe for Mavericks

DNS Enabler for Mavericks

DNS Agent for Mavericks

WebMon for Mavericks

Luca for Mavericks

Liya for Mountain Lion & Mavericks

Postfix Enabler for Tiger and Panther

Sendmail Enabler for Jaguar

Services running on this server, a Mac Mini running Mac OS X 10.9.2 Mavericks:

  • Apache 2 Web Server
  • Postfix Mail Server
  • Dovecot IMAP Server
  • Fetchmail
  • SpamBayes Spam Filter
  • Procmail
  • BIND DNS Server
  • DNS Agent
  • WebDAV Server
  • VPN Server
  • PHP-based weblog
  • MySQL database
  • PostgreSQL database

all set up using MailServe, WebMon, DNS Enabler, DNS Agent, VPN Enabler, Liya and our SQL installers, all on Mavericks.