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Software architecture

Most features of Reciprocal Net site software are designed to be accessed across the Internet from a standard web browser.  Some molecular visualization features require special support on the client side for Java applets, and unfortunately not all platforms are compatible.  The most current client-side compatibility list is maintained online at as Technical Bulletin #02.  Briefly, full support is available for web browsers running under recent versions of Microsoft Windows, Red Hat Linux, and SGI IRIX, and limited support is available under Apple MacOS 9 and MacOS X.

As a modern web application, Reciprocal Net site software interoperates with a number of other software applications on the server side.  Some examples include Java compilers and runtime environments, Java libraries, J2EE containers, web-serving engines, and SQL database engines.  The system administrator must be familiar with all the applications on the server in order to achieve a stable and balanced configuration.

The following diagram illustrates how the site software (recipnetd) integrates will other software packages a typical site server.

The user communicates with Apache Httpd by way of a standard web browser over the Internet or intranet.  Apache Httpd forwards all requests for dynamic content (i.e. JSP files from the recipnet package) to Apache Tomcat.  Apache Tomcat executes these JSP files, which communicate with Recipnetd (the daemon from the Reciprocal Net site software).  Recipnetd consults with MySQL (which maintains the site database) to service some requests.  MySQL in turn stores its data files on the Linux file system.  Apache Httpd handles all requests for static content (i.e. sample data files in the site repository) by consulting the Linux file system directly.

The Java SDK is required by Apache Tomcat and Recipnetd since these programs are written in the Java language.

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