Currency Server is used to power different categories
of client applications, which include:
- Thin clients (Web services, forms, applets,
- Service-oriented applications (e.g. Indigo
- Rich and smart clients (e.g. calculator and currency
Thin Clients and Service-Oriented Applications
"Gluing together" thin clients and service-oriented
applications with Currency Server usually only takes a
few lines of code, and is fully covered in the Currency
Server web pages,
documentation. The Currency System homepage itself
makes use of conversion
forms and information tables written in ASP.NET.
A Rich Client in the Currency System Family
The Currency System family includes a fully
reconfigurable currency conversion and calculator
application for Microsoft Windows systems (which by
different 2004 statistics and reports have a market
share well in excess of 90%, considering either
installed desktops or internet browsing platforms).
Just like "thin" solutions, the calculator software
can be deployed for use by help desk, customer service, sales force
and accounts personnel, or for remote office or home
Because the "rich" application utilizes
local resources and only needs an
occasional network connection to update its local cache
of exchange rate data, it can make more efficient use of
LAN/intranet bandwidth resources, and be preferred not
only for corporate deployment, but also for home or
small office use. Also, as the calculator engine was
designed to be "sometimes connected" from the beginning,
it is also failsafe ("smart") by design in this respect, allowing
its users to keep performing calculations and
conversions even when there is no network connection.
In order to allow for intelligent installation and
updates, the deployment of Currency System client
applications is, by default, managed with Windows
Installer (MSI) technology.
Powered by Third Party?
A common approach with applications which may be
perceived to be similar to the calculator clients of
Currency System family, is to configure the client so that
it connects to the server of an unrelated third-party
(e.g. a national central bank) to fetch up-to-date
rates. We believe that this brings with it the potential
for unacceptable negative side effects.
Let's imagine a scenario where a "currency
calculator" is offered for free download to customers,
configured to fetch exchange rate data from an unrelated
- Is the third party willing, and will it continue
to be willing, to be exposed to the traffic
generated by an unrelated consumer application?
- Non-technical users become exposed to a
third-party interface which may not have been
designed for long term stability. You, as the
redistributing entity of the calculator, are in
control of your own servers (web server, Currency
Server), but you cannot be in control of the
third-party servers. In the event of a change of URL
or data format all clients would stop working. Would
this be acceptable to you and to your clients?
Using Currency Server
on the server side not only puts you and your
organization in control, shielding you from the above
issues, but it also allows you to transmit customized
non-exchange rate data together with the currency
updates. By making it possible to embed messages to
customers as part of what is a useful and requested
service, the calculator can become a powerful medium.
Powered by Currency Server!
In order to update their currency data (exchange
rates, EMU status, etc.), currency-enabled calculator
clients connect via HTTP, HTTPS or FTP to data written
to a web server or fed directly by
Currency Server. You
are in full control of the exact access URL, number of
currencies provided, update frequency, etc.
Additionally, messages (with support for GIF, JPEG or
Flash banners, and plain text) can be sent together with
the exchange rate data. Messages can be sent either to
all users, or targeting only users of a specific
Configuration of the server side is covered in the
Currency Server documentation ("Client-Server
Configurations", in "Add-On Components"). As part of
custom projects, Cloanto specifically provides detailed
deployment and reference information sheets.
Configuration of the client deployment package is
done by Cloanto when offering a turnkey calculator
development and customization service, and is fully
documented in the
Calculator Builder product for clients who prefer to
develop the custom application completely in-house.