Craft a simple WEB service and associated front end to update an application's configuration database.
We have a VB Fleet Management Server that stores all it's configuration parameters (vehicles, vehicle groups, passwords, status, etc...) in a database. Supported DBs include: MS SQL Server, MS Access, Oracle(9 & 10), MySQL. The application has it's own UI to allow users to administer the system. All this works very well except it is not easy to do remotely. Users must physically interact with the application which means they need console access to the server running it. We have a plan to craft a web service that will effectively "back door" the application by updating its configuration database directly.
High Level Requirements:
1. WEB Service must be a stand alone CGI script (Python preferred). No application server should be necessary. Basically, we want to copy this to the target machine, then type a URL to reach it:
http://someserver/cgi-bin/[url removed, login to view]
The WEB server will be either IIS or a small stand alone web server such as Mongoose.
3. Must provide user logon capabilities.
4. Must provide a log table of the changes it makes to the DB - keep this simple. This is the table that the Fleet management app will periodically scan to know that changes have been made.
5. We would expect a lot of questions about the schema and specifics of the database. In practice, it's fairly straightforward. The application MUST be absolutely perfect when updating, dropping, or creating tables as if it does anything wrong, the Server application may crash. Still, we can provide examples and samples of what needs to happen.
6. We can provide a sandbox environment for testing or you could run the server application pointed at a local database for development purposes. We also have most (if not all) of the SQL statements needed to do everything.
7. We use ODBC to connect to the database. This application should use the same. There are a few differences in creating tables with the various databases (MS SQL, Oracle, MySQL, Access). The WEB application should parse some sort of configuration file with all the necessary run time parameters it needs.
1. An admin hits the CGI web service with a browser. Something like: http://configuration/thescript.py
2. Admin is presented with a Log on screen.
4. Admin is then presented with a WEB UI showing those values.
5. Admin can change, update, and edit those values.
6. Admin posts those changes back to the script.
7. Script updates the database accordingly.
9. Admin continues to make more changes or logs off.
10. A good way to visualize how we envision this service is your home network router - you go to the URL http://your_router:8080 and are presented with several tabs of information that can be edited and reviewed. Each time you change something, the entire WEB page is refreshed with those changes. This is the "CGI" model of WEB services.
1. The information included in the "configuration tables" contain items such as:
a. Vehicles and Device Serial Numbers
b. Which vehicles belong in which group (e.g. fire trucks, taxis, busses, snow plows, etc...)
c. Information about how a mapping client should render them (e.g. blue police cars, red fire trucks, yellow taxis)
d. Information about user passwords to control access to the fleet (e.g. PW:"fire" only allows the user to see fire trucks. PW:"taxi" only allows the user to see taxis cabs. PW:"all" allows the user to see all vehicle groups
e. Information about the specifics of the vehicles (e.g. does it have lights, sirens, plows, doors, etc...)
2. There is only ONE database. It may be a MSSQL, Oracle, or MySQL DB, but there is only one. WEB service does NOT have to connect to multiple DBs. Regardless of the DB, the schema for the tables is the same.
3. The administration web site will NOT be high traffic. For the most part, an admin will logon, setup the fleet, then change very little. Periodically, he will logon again to add/remove vehicles or change their properties.
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