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Q: How does Qilan Work?
A: Let's start with the "pieces" of the Qilan Development kit. The two key pieces are the application and the engine, (the application) itself is the development environment. The Qilan application (3.5.1) is compatible with OS X 10.11 and higher. With Qilan you build a project. The project generates the html pages. The project generated pages are deployed on a web server with the second major piece, the engine. Qilan can deploy a project with several "engine" choices. If Tomcat or a similar engine is chosen, the web application is cross-platform. The web server, Apache Tomcat, interfaces with the Qilan project pages to serve up web content.

Q: How does Qilan use Databases?
A: The Qilan engine/project is structured to talk to any number of "back end" databases for storage. Qilan supports a number of databases including Filemaker® Pro, FrontBase, Informix, MySQL, MS Access, MS SQL Server, OpenBase, Oracle, Sybase and Paradox. In addition to data storage, Qilan also acts as a graphic "front end" that allows changes in the backend schema (i.e. add/delete/edit fields and tables) for most of the databases listed. However, Qilan is much more than a "front end".

Qilan talks to one or many of the listed accessible databases (LAN or via Internet Protocols). These external databases can be running on any platform supported by the database. Qilan can transfer and synchronize data between databases without a web interface. Qilan also has full access to OS X command line tools for scripting and recurring operations.

Q: So what are all the pieces needed to develop and deploy a data-driven website with Qilan?
A: Qilan, an engine, a Mac running OS X Server or OS X, and a backend database. If JSP is selected as the export format, web service can be provided by any machine with an operating system that supports Tomcat installed as a servlet container. The backend database can be local or remote. Frequently, the backend SQL database is deployed on the same server as Qilan.

Q: How would you compare Qilan to other Web Database environments?
A: This could be a really lengthy answer. In brief: Qilan does not require use of C++, or a "Code level" language to build the user's "business logic", and interface elements. SQL knowledge is not needed to query the backend databases. Qilan and a working knowledge of HTML provides a complete solution. Qilan provides a graphic interface with a web page template.
Interface elements can be built in Qilan rather than adjunct syntax sensitive tools like Javascript (i.e. use logical elements within Qilan rather than pasting in a javascript). Building user web page elements (for instance, validation of a text field) is much easier and faster. We feel the Qilan graphical user environment equals the power and flexibility of working in a code level language (iteration and recursion is supported!), The biggest advantage is construction speed. A developer can deliver a product to the customer faster. If you have been hand coding JSP pages, the Qilan interface will produce your pages.

Q: So what is the short version of how I would build something with Qilan?
-Build your web page in your favorite web page environment (GoLive, BBedit, whatever). You can also enter the HTML directly into a Qilan web template.
-Start Qilan
-Put in the parameters for the backend database you want to talk to (the Qilan Access icon)
-Import the backend database Schema (if the backend is SQL savvy)
-Import the web page HTML
-Add the Qilan logical elements to the web page template
-Export the page(s) (cgi/fcgi or JSP)
-FTP the page and project as needed to a web server.

Q: So what does Qilan cost?
A: Qilan Lite is free and provided as a shareware product. A registered version of Qilan does cost some dough. Detailed information is on our sales page We also offer Educational discounts.

Q: Can I try out Qilan?
A: Absolutely! Qilan is available as a "Lite" version. Qilan Lite is simply unregistered and will support a deployment of up to 5 active content JSP source pages. If a more extensive deployment is needed, or cgi/fcgi support, simply register the product. The complete package is in the download area. Contact us when and if you need the page limits removed. Please review the ReadMe files posted with the package.
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