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Re: Developing Applications using Mathematica

This question of deploying applications has bothered me ever since I first 
used Mathematica back at version 1. I gradually came to accept that I would 
use Mathematica to prototype applications, but that deployment was forever 
beyond my reach because it involved extra cost. This limitation was 
certainly the case for privately-written "amateur" software that I would 
normally give away for free, but it turned out to also be the case for 
work-related "professional" software because my employer prefers software to 
be developed within a royalty-free framework.

Then along comes Mathematica 6 with all of its potential for deploying 
applications. Mathematica Player and the Wolfram Demonstrations are very 
nice, but this approach is limited for now to software whose source code you 
are happy for other people to see. I don't think my employer would be too 
happy if I submitted any of my work-related code to the Demonstrations 
website. So it comes down to a wait-and-see how Mathematica Player is 
extended to a "professional" version.

I have a worry though. Software can be written that has a lot more 
functionality than I see on the Demonstrations website, but which is 
typically shared for free (or for a small "donation"). Where will this type 
of software fit in Wolfram's plans? It would be a shame if non-trivial 
software deployment costs still effectively prevented us from deploying such 
software. Pleeease get it right, Wolfram.

I am less worried about the cost of deploying fully professional software, 
because I presume that the cost of each instance of such software is much 
greater than the cost of the (forthcoming, we are told) professional version 
of Mathematica Player. But I know that the people who really matter (i.e. 
financial managers, of course!) will hate the idea of charging their 
customers a fixed royalty per instance of their deployed software, rather 
than paying a one-off cost for a special  "compiler" that generates a 
deployed version of the software, and then charging the customer extra 
anyway to recoup the cost of the "compiler" many times over!!

Steve Luttrell
West Malvern, UK

"Coleman, Mark" <Mark.Coleman at> wrote in message 
news:f3r96l$t5f$1 at
> Greetings,
> I'm curious about the feasibility of using Mathematica as part of 
> large-scale
> business application within my company. I know there are various ways
> one can make use of Mathematica kernel functionality using non-Mathematica 
> user
> interface elements, e.g., via MathLink or WebMathematica. I was wondering 
> if
> anyone could share experiences they have in building applications --
> particularly in a business rather than an academic environment -- using
> Mathematica. For my project, we need to distribute an application to over 
> 1000
> users across the U.S. If I could use Mathematica as the calculation 
> engine, the
> development process would be orders of magnitude simpler. I know that in
> theory this sort of this is possible, but I'm very curious as to the how
> it might be effectively done.
> And a follow-up question. Given the interesting new dynamic interface
> features in Mathematica v6, could one build the entire application in
> Mathematica, user interface and all, and then deploy it on a large scale
> to non-Mathematica users?
> Thanks,
> -Mark

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