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Caravan Business Server » Frequently Asked Questions

You have to look at Caravan Business Server with an OPEN mind. As some one very aptly put it as 'Clever implementation of remarkably good ideas'.

Different than the normal web development languages and has many features inherently inbuilt into it. Caravan has evolved as per the requirements of the users and will continue to meet the expectations.

The underlying objective of caravan is to provide a low cost, intuitive and platform independent application development based on open standards.

Comparing with proprietary systems from any vendor is likely to highlight many differences. Since its design is based on integration of multiple services in one package, some of the concepts used elsewhere cannot be directly superimposed on Caravan.

Caravan Language is compiled language like Java, and it uses caravan database as an object. It is provided with inbuilt locking and is built for multi-user environments.

In Caravan the database is integrated with application server, so we have to evaluate the merit in including stored procedures in the design.

Caravan, while not directly catering to component architectures designed exclusively for any platform, has enough interfacing flexibility to reuse existing components and programs in all platforms. This makes caravan truly platform independent. One case in point is using Caravan supporting Web Services – SOAP to integrate with applications.

Caravan though currently not object oriented it is built on entirely object based architecture.

Caravan already has queues, and multithreaded support for event handling. In fact, already many existing applications of caravan use the queuing in caravan for data management and message transfer.

The design objective of caravan is to create an expert system with the intricacies hidden from the user as far as possible and in this context we will keep the options open on how far the system will confirm to existing techniques and procedural programming practices.

Some key and hidden features that are different than most of the other development tool.

No need for any external component. Database, application server, web server, communication all inbuilt
Group (domain) and user creation. No need to write any additional code
Make a table field full text search, while defining the field parameters
XML object gives you the option of a Distributed Object Model (DOM) facility to drill down to various nodes from any parent node (using ‘.’)
No ‘JOINS’ needed to access data between various tables. Caravan offers automatic JOIN facility between ‘related’ tables. You can access any field of related tables (using ‘.’)
No stored procedures and triggers needed.
Search within a search.
No Independent Development Environment. You can use any text editor to write Caravan Code. (e.g you can use say on windows platform, a notepad editor to Microsoft Visual Studio as the development environment)

We have tried to compile a common set of queries from the developer community. We will keep adding our feedback on a continuous basis:

Q. Are Stored Procedures & Triggers available.
A. Caravan has inbuilt database and being a 1 tier architecture, the application server and the database reside on the same machine. Hence no need to optimize and write stored procedures. Direct access through the code using ‘select’ statements.
Q. What are the hidden benefits and features of the database, which is different than most others:
Inbuilt JOINS facility
No stored procedures and triggers needed
Automatic access to ALL the fields of related tables (using “.”)
No views needed
Search with in a search
Multi dimension database. Hence multiple values can be stored in a single field of a table. E.g Work phone, which can be
  multiple numbers, can be stored in a single multi-dimension field. (refer Caravan Samples given with the help files)
Automatic indexing
No connection pooling needed
Q. How do we integrate with other applications? Does Caravan support Web Services?
A. Caravan has inbuilt HTTP and XML object, which is the basic requirement to make it compatible to other applications, e.g using Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). Using the scripting language of Caravan, you can easily build SOAP interface. Depending on the application, Caravan can act both as a Server or a Client

What's coming soon:
The caravan database is being improved so that transaction management, rollback will be standard features.
Programming language of caravan will be improved to include functions and user defined objects, shortly.