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Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th August
University of Wales, Swansea

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Chris Smith - netFluid Technology

e-Government Internet - An Open-Source [R]evolution

Companies House, the UK Government Agency responsible for the registration and regulation of all UK companies, makes all company information it holds freely available to the public.

In 1997 access to this information began to be extended to the Internet, cautiously at first, but with each passing year confidence has grown and its e-enabled service now extends to credit-card/shopping-basket-based document/report purchasing, an XML Gateway, online filing of statutory forms, and so on.

Its architecture is modular, highly-scalable, redundant and resilient, and for the best part, Open-Source. Though it wasn't always that way...

This paper presents a technical discussion of the system design and implementation, making it of interest to designers of scalable web applications. It begins by briefly introducing the legacy systems at Companies House to which this Internet infrastructure must interface. The evolution of their its architecture from its inception to the current day will be shown, highlighting problems and bottlenecks inherent in most online systems of this type, and illustrating the migration to Open-Source tools and software in a drive to solve these.

Finally, and most importantly, the current architecture and its Open-Source base will be discussed, with particular attention paid to chosen technologies such as XML, SNMP, Middleware, Linux, C, Perl and Apache, plus the design and implementation of novel 'glue' components required to remove scalability and resilience issues and make the implementation behave as a truly integrated system.

Some of Companies House's on-line systems may be visited at http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk.


S  P O N S O R S
Red Hat
Red Hat
ITWales
ITWales
Astaro Internet Security
Astaro Internet Security
PepLink
PePLink

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Linux Magazine
ITWales
ITWales
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Ping Wales
Ping Wales
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The Register
The Register

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