Archive for July, 2009

Overview of ImageMagick.

July 31st, 2009 Comments off

Websites being completely flooded by images there exist a need for such a support.

ImageMagick is a software suite which allows a user to create edit and compose the bitmap images. imagemagick-logo It also allows to convert images to various other formats(more than 100) which includes DPX, examples3 EXR, GIF, JPEG, JPEG-2000, PDF, PhotoCD, PNG, Postscript, SVG, and TIFF. You can write, read,translate, flip, mirror, rotate, scale, shear, color formatting, special effects etc.

You can utilize the functionality of the ImageMagick from command line as it does not have GUI based interface to edit images. You can use it through code written in your hands on language.

You all would be happy to hear that this software is totally free with all its features and it is also Open source.It is ready to run binary distribution. It is licensed under GPL, ImageMagick License and BSD-Style license. It also supports all widely used Operating System.

This software is used by number of other programs to create image thumbnails such as MediaWiki, phpBB, vBulletin.

ImageMagick use a fully integrated API called PerlMagick..

Should we see some of its features.

File Format Conversion: It converts image from one format to other.

Transform: Resizes the images, rotates it, crop, flip or trim an image.

Draw: It adds shapes to the image and text also.

Decorate: It adds border or frame  to the image

Special effects: It adds special effects such as blur, sharpen, threshold, or tint an image.

Animation: It helps to create a sequence from a group of images, animate a image.

Text and comment: It helps to add a descriptive or artistic text in an image.

Image identification: It describes the format and properties of an image.

Composite: It allows to overlap one image over another.

Montage: Image thumbnails on an image canvas.

Motion Picture support: It reads and writes the common image formats used in digital film works.

Image calculator: user can apply a mathematical expression to an image.

DFT: It Discrete Fourier Transform which is implemented in forward and reverse.

High range dynamic Images: It accurately represent the variety of real scenes ranging from the brightest to the deepest.

Virtual pixel support: It allows a good access to pixel outside the image region

Many more…

Zend Optimizer

July 31st, 2009 Comments off

Anyone is the world will not want their things to be kept insecure. logo-zend If we say about the web applications, they are insecure too. If we spent time, money and efforts creating a web application why not a further step in protecting them. In the case of web application if you don’t secure it anybody can copy the work and the code. This issue was highlighted by two PHP developers and they thought of the software called Zend optimizer tool from the Zend Technologies.

This optimizer tool helps you to use the Zend Guard encoded files. If you don’t use this tool the code which is Zend guarded cannot be executed. If this code is encoded the visitor will be to interpret it, but won’t be able to see it. This tool enhances the performance of the PHP applications. The zend optimizer goes through the code generated by the standard Zend run time compiler and then it will optimize the code for the faster execution. Even though the optimizer runs every time the page is executed it has a very little or you can say negligible overhead. It speeds up the code execution process with 40% to 100 %. Additionally it will enable PHP to load  and execute the files that are encoded by using the Zend guard.

Zend Optimizer has a limited functionality to only interpret the encrypted the code. In actual to encrypt tit you need to use the Zend guard. This Zend guard will convert the code in the PHP format to the binary equivalent known as “Zend Intermediate Code“. When the conversion is over the new encoded files will take place of the original regularly coded PHP files. Zend guard is helpful in suggesting if any module or functions needs to be excluded from the encryption process for the better development time.

Lets see some of its specifications.

Supported Operating systems, Platforms.

Linux : Linux x86, Linux x86-64, Linux Power.

Solaris: Solaris Sparc 8, 9, 10, Solaris x86 9, 10.

Free BSD x86 5.x, 6.x

Windows x86 2000, XP, 2003.

OS X Mac Power

AIX pSeries 5.

Web Servers it supports:

Apache 1.3x

Apache 2.0.x (prefork mode)

IIS 5,6

Support for PHP versions:

PHP 4.2.x to 4.4.x

PHP 5.0.x, 5.1.x

Things to be ensured before using the zend optimizer. Zend optimizer will not run if the following PHP settings are enabled:

  1. Thread Safety.
  2. Enable Versioning

Zend optimizer is free and easy to use software. Mainly good hosting companies use this utility for the security of the web applications and code as explained above

Quick Overview of Web Hosting and its Types.

July 31st, 2009 Comments off

Basically a web hosting company offers a home for your website/s. The web hosting provider offers you a storage space on the server. There you can save your web pages and transfer information electronically, which can be viewed by users on the World Wide Web. Such a Web space is important for any website to be viewed online, this is known as Web Hosting.

The web hosting service provider offer machines that are really powerful and ensure that your website functions smoothly. It is important that your website is hosted on a good quality branded hardware for  uninterrupted functioning. Depending on your budget and website requirements, you can choose an appropriate web hosting package. One of such a package is the Shared Hosting package. In this type of hosting solution, multiple web sites/ accounts are set-up on a single physical server. A Shared Hosting package is the cheapest of all the other types. You share a common physical server with other user accounts. This type of hosting is suitable for personal or small business websites. You do not have much privilege with Shared Hosting.

Web Hosting The other type of hosting solution is the VPS Hosting or Virtual Private Server Hosting. It is one of the most preferred types of web hosting. With this you get much privileges than shared hosting. You get root or admin access to the server, which means you can use the server as you wish and can install applications and software of your choice. On top of that, you get to experience a Dedicated like environment. Plus VPS hosting package are fairly cheaper and can be afforded by most users. It offers greater level of security and privileges.

Lastly, the Dedicated Server Hosting solution is one of the highly preferred and most secure type of Hosting solution. A dedicated server hosting solution is usually preferred by owner of large businesses and those who have large websites. You are the sole owner of the server, and have the privilege to use the server as per your needs. Yours is the only account on the server and no one else can host a website on it until you intend to do so. You can even create reseller accounts or VPS accounts and resell it to your customers.

You get two platforms for Web Hosting purpose viz. Linux and Microsoft Windows.

With the different types of hosting services, choosing an appropriate web hosting service provider is equally important. You must follow certain guidelines to choose an ideal web hosting provider.

You can refer : Key Aspects to Consider when Choosing a Web Hosting Provider.

Overview of Perl.

July 30th, 2009 Comments off

Perl is a programming language mainly used for high level, general purpose, interpreted and dynamic programming. perl_logo

Perl has some great features which we can say that it has borrowed from other programming language i.e. C, Shell Scripting, AWK, and sed. This language is very good in text processing, easy manipulation of text files, graphics programming, system administration, network programming, application that require database access and CGI.

Some of its features

The structure of Perl is broadly derived from C, as C it is procedural in nature.

It also takes some of the features from shell scripting programming. Many bukitin functions in Perl is same as that in Shell.

Perl takes lists from Lisp, arrays from AWK, regular expression from sed.

It is a interpreted language

Object Oriented

Cross platform

Forgiving nature

Very good in text manipulations.

Extensible set of libraries.

Very popular for web development

And mostly used in bioinformatics.

Advantages of using this language:

Portability: This code is not dependent on any operating system nor any platform.

String processing and regular expression support: mainly as this language is used for web development text processing is mainly used. Regular expression is support is most versatile feature and integrated into this language

CPAN: It is comprehensive Perl Archive Network which contains a good collection of reusable Perl code for many purposes.

Perl is free software which is licensed under Artistic License and GPL. The distributations are available for most Operating systems.It can be compiled from source code on all UNIX platforms

Disadvantages of perl.

It is difficult to create a binary image (exe) from a perl file.

If you use the code (Script) from the CPAN and you want it to run on different computer then, you need to install all the modules on that computer, which can be drag.

Server Side Includes.

July 30th, 2009 Comments off

Server Side Include (SSI) are directives that are placed in the HTML pages. These directives are evaluated on the server when the pages are served. When the existing pages are served, they help you add the dynamically created content to it. It eliminates the need of CGI or other dynamic technology.

The use of this technology is depended upon the nature of the pages. Some pages are more static and some needs to be recalculated every time the page is served. Adding small pages of information is done efficiently by SSI. If the pages need more dynamic generation, then some other technology can be used.

More specifically if we say this is a server side scripting language which is used exclusively for the web. Its primary use is including the contents of one file into other while the latter is been served by the web server. Mostly the SSI is preferred for the  simple automation task. If there needs some more complex server side scripting then other language are used for eg. Perl, PHP, ASP, ASP.NET, JSP, Java, CFML, Python, and Ruby.

If we look at the Syntax it is quite simple and the directives are placed in HTML comments so that if SSI is not enables then the users will not see the SSI Directives on the page. The users will have to look at the source of the page if they are eager to know what is used.

Syntax : <!--#directive parameter=value parameter=value -->


For SSI to Work you need a file in text format called .htaccess in the directory where you put the HTML file. The .htaccess file which is present should contain the three important command lines:

Options Indexes FollowSymLinks Includes

AddType application/x-httpd-cgi .cgi

AddType text/x-server-parsed-html .html

Listed below are some of the basic SSI Directives :

Echo : This directive is useful in inserting certain data in variable form in the HTMLPage.

Include: The most used directive which allows to include the content of the one document to other.

FSize: this directive is used to display the size of the specified document.

Flastmod : This Directive is used for displaying the date when the specified was last modified

Exec: Useful to execute the External executable file.

Config: This directive is useful for setting up certain HTML output options.

ODBC: One of the most use full directives which is useful in quering and updating the ODBC Database.

Email : This directive takes care of the sending and receiving email whenever HTML page is accessed or HTML form is submitted.

As there is a technology at Server side there exists a technology at the client side called Client Side Includes. CSI are the HTML includes achieved on the client Side through use of iFrames, JavaScript. These methods have a big shortcomings than the server side includes : they rely on the client support from the respective technologies.

Understand The Importance of SSL Certificate in Online Business.

July 30th, 2009 Comments off

Today more and more people are becoming aware of the hazards of insufficient online security measures. Its time to become smart and Padlock Icon start taking online security seriously. The first step towards this is to have a padlock icon and the prefix ‘https’ in the address bar, to ensure the safety of your online information. It is a common trend these days that visitors tend to go back if your website isn’t secured by an SSL certificate.

SSL Encryption Logo An SSL Certificate, also abbreviated as Secure Socket Layer, is a digital certificate which authenticates the identity of a Website. It also encrypts the information before sending it to the server. An SSL Certificate acts as an online digital passport that contains the credentials of the online business. When an Internet user tries to send confidential information over the internet to the server, the users browser accesses the server’s digital certificate and establishes a secure connection.

Below is the information that is contained in the SSL Certificate:

a) Name of the owner of the SSL Certificate

b) Serial Number and the Expiry date of the Certificate

c) Copy of the certificate owners public key

d) Digital Signature of the Certificate issuing authority

Working of an SSL Certificate:

https and Padlock An SSL certificate is useful to have safe, secure and easy online shopping experience. It is important that the website in which you enter your confidential details such as the credit card information, personal data and your E-mail address is secured from intrusions and attacks. This necessity is fulfilled by an SSL Certificate. It ensures a safe connection between the browser and the Web Server. With the use of an SSL certificate, the information shared between the two is first and only then sent across. The process of encryption takes place in the background and does not interfere with the users activity, this is known as the SSL Handshake process. The easily visible indicator of a secure website is the ‘padlock’ icon and the ‘https://’ in the prefix of the domain name URL.

Incase, a user sends personal or confidential information over an insecure channel, the built in security of the browser triggers a warning to the user and notifies him/er that the website isn’t secure and the information can be intercepted by any third person. If a user on your website who has made up the mind of purchasing any of your product sees such a windows popping up, s/he is bound to leave the site immediately and your sales would get affected.

There are various SSL Certificates available in the market. You may choose any of them based on the requirement of your website. Most of the Web Hosting service providers offer the service of SSL Certificates. Below are the options of SSL Certificates.

A) Rapid Wildcard SSL Wild Card SSL Certificate : You secure unlimited servers with one SSL Certificate, it means you can secure unlimited number of sub domains with a single SSL Certificate. It offers strong 256 bit encryption, a Site Seal and a Web Seal.

B) Extended Validation Certificates: This type of SSL Certificate is proven to offer top most level of security and online assurance.

C) Multiple Domain Certificates: It provides the most flexible class of SSL Certificates by securing multiple domain names with one certificate.

Different web hosting service providers offer SSL Certificates at different prices. You get a Dedicated IP address with the Certificate.

Hyper V VPS and Virtuozzo VPS Platforms

July 30th, 2009 Comments off

Two of the very popular virtualization platforms are Hyper V and HyperV VPS Hosting Virtuozzo. Most of the web hosting service providers offer Hyper V for Windows Server 2008 VPS Hosting services and Virtuozzo with Windows Server 2003 VPS hosting. There is hardly anything in common between the two. Virtuozzo is developed for the purpose of usage in Web Hosting whereas Hyper V is developed for larger organizations and for more for non commercial purpose. Both the platforms are equally preferred by users. Practically there isn’t much difference in the functionality of the two.

Virtuozzo Both Hyper V and Virtuozzo offer reliability with Windows VPS Server. Hyper V can be supposed to be more reliable as it isn’t a third party application, it is a Microsoft product. The main factor of differentiation between the two is that Virtuozzo uses a web based interface known as the Parallels Power Panel and Hyper V does not offer such an interface, you need to have a DotNet Control panel or any other third party application, to server purpose. Hyper V is usually used on Windows Server 2008 VPS Server and are slightly costlier than Virtuozzo VPS. Hyper V VPS can only be created on Windows platforms whereas Virtuozzo can be used on Linux platforms as well.

You can also opt to use Virtuozzo over Hyper V or Hyper V over Virtuozzo. These types have their individual advantages, especially for the web hosting providers as they get more options to offer to their customers. Most of the web hosting companies prefer Virtuozzo as it offers support for both Windows VPS server and Linux VPS platforms that too at lesser costs. The Power Panel comes with Virtuozzo and this allows customers to manage their VPS’s in a much simpler way.

Overview of ODBC

July 29th, 2009 Comments off

ODBC is short hand for Open  Database Connectivity. It is the standard software Application Program interface (API) method for using Database management system (DBMS). It was designed in an intent to be a language, database and operating system  independent.

ODBC Architecture:

This architecture comprises of four main components:

Application programming Interface (API): This layer is responsible odbc for calling ODBC functions to a datasource, send, receive and disconnect.

Driver Manager: This  layer is responsible for providing the information to an application, dynamically loading of driver as needed. State transition checking is also provided.

Driver: It process the ODBC functions call and is responsible for managing all the exchanges between application and a relational Database. It may also translate the standard SQL statements to native SQL of the target data source.

Data Source : This consist the main data and the database engine.

Using this architecture means is that you can access different ODBC data sources from different locations, using the same function call available in ODBC API.

Advantages of ODBC:

  1. It is Well integrated with RAD tools
  2. It speeds up the application development process and also simplifies it.
  3. It interfaces easily with data bound components in development environments for eg java, VB etc.
  4. It allows more than one concurrent connections


July 29th, 2009 Comments off

As we know that the PHP is the most common and loved web language lamp-logo world wide. PHPMyAdmin is also written in PHP as the name itself suggests. It is an open source tool which is used for administer MySQL over the web. It can perform all the tasks on the database such as creating, modifying or deleting the tables, databases, columns, rows and a single field also. It executes the SQL statements and manages the user permissions.

logo_pma_med Currently this tool is available in 57 language and is maintained by the The PHPMyAdmin. There are more similar products available which include PostgreSQL, PHPMSAdmin also. Although the variety of the tools are available PHPMyAdmin is widely used and appreciated by the people. It has won several awards. It was chosen as the best PHP application in many of the awards.

Take a look at the features:

1. spontaneous Web Interface

2. It supports almost all MySQL features.

Browse and drop the databases, fields, views, indexes.

Create the databases, copy, rename.

Alter the databases, fields, views, tables, indexes

Maintain the server databases and tables

Executing the SQL statements and bookmark it, edit and even batch     queries

Manage the Users and the permissions.

It also manages the stored procedures and the triggers.

It has a support to import the data from SQL and CSV.

3. Support for exporting data to various formats i.e. SQL,CSV,XML, OpenDocument Text and Spreadsheet.

4. It export the data in normal Word, Excel also.

5. Ability to Administer multiple servers.

6. The database layout can be transformed into PDF graphics.

7. Complex Queries are created by the use of Query by Example(QBE)

8. Ability to search globally or a subset of the database.

9. It can transform the stored data into any format using the predefined functions.

10. Taking back ups of the databases.

The features listed above are just the key of them, you can explore more of them by using PHPmyAdmin

Understand cPanel’s Spam Assassin functionality.

July 29th, 2009 Comments off

A Spam Assassin is a software, that analyzes messages in the form of Spam-Assassin E-mails. It differentiates and determines other E-mails from spams. You are required to set rules inorder to compare the different parts of an E-mail. Every rule adds or removes points from a message’s spam score. This spam score helps to determine the difference between spam and business E-mails. Its an E-mail spam filtering system that is deployed with the account to help block or mark the spam mail.

cPanel logo To get access to the Spam Assassin, you need to first of all login to your cPanel control panel provided by your Web Hosting provider. Here in the Mail section you can find the tab of Spam Assassin. If you click on the tab, you can check if the filter is enabled or disabled. From there you can enable the filter. Inorder to configure the settings you need to hit the Configure Spam Assassin tab.

Below is a pictoral description of Spam Assassin


Enable/Disable Spam Assassin

Configure Spam Assassin

Steps to Configure Spam Assassin

Here you can find number of boxes to be populated :

The first one here is the blacklist_from here you need to specify the e-mail address/es you wish to be marked as spam.

Then is the required_score tab, here you need to set the number of hits required before a mail is considered spam. “n.nn” can be an integer or a real number. 5.0 is the default setting, and is quite aggressive, it would be suitable for a single-user setup. Below you would find ‘score’, here you need to Assign scores (the number of points for a hit) to a given test. Scores can be positive or negative real numbers or integers. “SYM-BOLIC_TEST_NAME” is the symbolic name used by SpamAssassin for that test; for example, ‘FROM_ENDS_IN_NU’. If only one valid score is listed, then that score is always used for a test. If four valid scores are listed, then the score that is used depends on how SpamAssassin is being used. The first score is used when both Bayes and network tests are disabled. The second score is used when Bayes is disabled, but network tests are enabled. The third score is used when Bayes is enabled and network tests are disabled. The fourth score is used when Bayes is enabled and net-work tests are enabled. Setting a rule’s score to 0 will disable that rule from running. Then comes ‘whitelist_from’ here you need to specify addresses which send mail that is often tagged (incorrectly) as spam; it also helps if they are addresses of big companies with lots of lawyers. This way, if spammers impersonate them, they’ll get into big trouble, so it doesn’t provide a shortcut around SpamAssassin. Whitelist and blacklist addresses are now file-glob-style patterns, so [email protected], [email protected], or * will all work. Specifically, * and ? are allowed, but all other metacharacters are not. Regular expressions are not used for security reasons.

You can Enable or Disable the Spam Assassin whenever you wish to. This simple tool simplifies your task of filtering out spam E-mails reach your mail box. With the ever increasing number of spam E-mails reaching your mailbox, tools such as cPanel Spam Assassin have gained popularity at a fast pace.