I am in the process of evaluating the best architecture for a new
Internet-based service that we are going to offer to the Japanese market. I
would like to evaluate Zope, and I want your opinions on whether Zope as a
solution is adequate, competitive, or the best one available.

>From my perspective, I am a firm believer that Python is a great language,
and very efficient to build and maintain, and that Zope will also enjoy a
bright future. But they are not as widely accepted as Java servlets / JSP /
EJB on the web server backend. So I may have to work to convince the CEO
that we should go against the industry on this matter, and any information
you could provide would be helpful.

One important point is that the interface will be all in Japanese. Please
confirm that Zope can handle Unicode and / or other 2-byte character sets.

The application will be designed for a financial industry to handle
transactions between independent agents and their providers. The agents will
get multiple quotations from multiple providers, while entering the customer
data only once into our service. The functionality looks something like

1. The agent inputs about 100 pieces of data for the customer into our
system. The exact data will vary, depending on specific product. We will
store this information into our database.

2. The agent will choose several providers from a list.

3. The system will (mostly likely) use XML to send the customer data to the
chosen providers. The providers will return to us pricing and some
description of the product.

4. We will aggregate the quotations and present this to the agent. The agent
will choose a few of the quotations to present to the customer. The agent
will refresh the view, and print it for the customer.

5. If the customer chooses one of the products, the agent will enter the
order to the system. Since the customer data is already there, we only need
to pass a short XML message to the provider.

6. Our system will also have to track some information like which agents can
use which providers, as well as commission rates.

7. We will also provide some sales automation functionality to the agents,
but the exact details depends on the segment of the agent market we go
after. Some examples might include calculating commission rates, querying
customer birthdays to remind the agent to send them a card, etc.

In general our server will not provide that much processing of the customer
data, either during or after the transaction. Mostly we are saving it and
passing it between the agents and the providers. However this data does need
to be encrypted over SSL. I think we could do the SSL encryption on an edge
device, but I would be curious to find out how others have handled this with

I would like the list to help me with the following.

- How suitable is Zope for this type of application?
- What is a common back-end data storage for Zope in this type of
- We need scaleability and redundancy. How suitable is Zope for this?
- Any other comments or questions.

Best regards - g

     These || G. Alan Tucker  || Failure is not an option. . .
  Opinions || Tokyo, Japan    || 
Are My Own || [EMAIL PROTECTED] || It comes standard with Windows

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