All Web tools need to do two things: provide high-level drag-&-drop actions that generate low-level code, and ensure that using those tools isn’t more cumbersome than writing the HTML yourself.
For simple sites, plain HTML works fine; for splashy multimedia sites, Adobe GoLive and Macromedia Dreamweaver are handy tools. But if you need to post a product catalogue or a database that’s already in ODBC-compliant format, the tool of choice is Pervasive Software’s Tango 2000. This Web-connection tool
for databases lets you generate actions by selecting a few icons that connect items in a database to entries on a Web page. As a special-purpose Web tool,
it simplifies a critical business function.
The Tango 2000 package consists of Tango Editor – a modern editor adapted to visual programming with Tango icons – and Tango Server – middleware that translates Tango action file (.taf) instructions into code for standard Web servers.
Tango’s traditional .taf files also now translate automatically into XML for distribution across platforms – and can include Java and C++ modules. But Tango’s real strength is that Pervasive has anticipated many standard business needs and packaged the necessary code as icons for use in assembling .taf files. With a few icon selections in the graphical user interface, you can program operations such as selecting an item from
a remote database, ordering an item, and updating the inventory database.
Tango 2000 has some nice extras – a thorough tutorial and commercial-grade examples. Annoyingly, the Mac suite doesn’t include Pervasive’s excellent Web Analyzer for real-time traffic analysis. Another complaint is
that Web users with slower connections who access Tango 2000-generated pages sometimes see bits of .taf text files as the graphics down-load.
Tango 2000 is ideal for posting catalogues to Web sites and handling order and inventory tasks. Its relatively simple programming scheme also makes it easy to modify transaction processing once you’ve established a site.