As far as possible, CatDV Pro is based around non-proprietary, open standards. The client application is written in Java, and uses Apple’s QuickTime technology, ensuring that it’s available for both Macintosh and PC. The workgroup server and HTML publisher also use Java, and as a result are available for a wide range of server platforms.

The CatDV Workgroup or Enterprise Server software communicates with the Database Server using standard JDBC drivers. By default, the CatDV Workgroup Server uses MySQL as its database. MySQL is a widely available open-source database, available for platforms including Unix, Mac OS X, Windows NT/2000/XP, and Solaris (and included as standard with many Linux distributions).

CatDV Enterprise Server also support Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server and also supports multi-machine scenarios where CatDV Server is installed on a different physical machine than the Database Server software. This approach can assist scalability and allows CatDV Enterprise Server to more easily integrate with exising IT infrastructure.

Similarly, the HTML publisher uses Java servlets, and normally runs within the open-source Apache Tomcat servlet engine, which again is freely available for Windows, Mac OS X and other Unix platforms.

Preview media can be integrated into the web pages returned by the Live HTML Publisher by configuring a web server to return the appropriate files. This might typically be the open-source Apache web server, but other web servers such as Microsoft IIS or dedicated proprietary media servers can be integrated into the system also, as long as the Live HTML publisher is configured to return the appropriate URLs.

To maximise portability and interoperability, CatDV is developed with deliberately conservative assumptions about the platform and libraries it is being run against. Although extensively tested against the latest available versions of third party software (including beta and developer preview versions), care is taken not to rely on later features unless a compelling reason for their inclusion is found. By not depending on the “latest and greatest” (and possibly unstable) versions of software such as Java, QuickTime, MySQL or Tomcat, we can maximise the number of systems on which the CatDV product family will operate.

Toolkit Philosophy

The approach taken with the design of the CatDV Server software is to use open standards and maintain maximum interoperability and flexibility. While the CatDV Pro client application is a shrink-wrapped end-user application, the server software, especially the Live HTML Publisher, can be viewed as being more of a toolkit, designed to be customised and integrated with other systems as part of the user’s overall workflow and system infrastructure. It is even possible to license the source code for the CatDV workgroup server itself, permitting CatDV to be hooked in to an existing back end media management system, for example, instead of using its own database.