"Wrangling the enormous amount of information stored in NBCi's
databases is easy with Perl. Perl was already an important
component in the company's operations when the NBCi site was formed
by merging Xoom.com, Snap.com, and the online division of NBC.
"When I started out with Xoom.com, Perl was heavily used for most
database applications, CGI, and wherever else it made sense under
time constraints," explains Reed Sandberg, who works as a database
engineer for the infrastructure software division of NBCi."
"Part of NBCi's business involves developing highly targeted
email campaigns. To pull this off, the company has to access a
parallel cluster of several Linux servers, each running Oracle and
all "glued" together by Perl. Essentially, Perl is used to make
several database servers run in parallel to create one giant,
virtual server. Technically, it's more akin to a distributed
system. This involves transferring data among the servers by
sending signals in a master-slave fashion. Perl was also used to
create a CGI Web interface to help administer this system."
"Perl also allowed Sandberg to design this entire setup to
be scalable so that, as more members sign up, additional Linux
servers can be added to the system. "DBI is indispensable for this
kind of work," he says. "I can't imagine writing database apps
anymore without having regex's at my fingertips."
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