Welcome to End Point’s blog

Ongoing observations by End Point people

PostgreSQL 8.1 Shows Database Progress

At End Point we recommend PostgreSQL for most of our database-backed software development due to its powerful features, reliability, speed, and liberal license. On November 8, 2005, PostgreSQL 8.1 was released, and it offers a number of useful new features, including:

  • Two-phase commit (transactions across distant servers).
  • Numerous new SQL features (regexp_replace function; indexed MIN and MAX aggregates; SQL-standard quoting; non-blocking SELECT FOR UPDATE, better time zone handling; cross-table DELETE and TRUNCATE).
  • More powerful in-database functions with mutable function parameters and improved PL/Perl language support (return_next and spi_fetchrow; use strict; return arrays).
  • Convenient interactive error retry in psql client (coded by End Point's own Greg Sabino Mullane).
  • Integrated encryption (pgcrypto module for PGP, SHA, AES, and DES encryption functions).
  • Improved performance (better multiprocessor support; shared row locking; bitmap scan of indexes; ability to use multi-column indexes on single columns in any order).
  • Easier database administration (autovacuum integration; ROLE replaces USER and GROUP; functions to determine on-disk storage space).
  • Temporary views.

We are consistently pleased with the steady improvements shown by the PostgreSQL Global Development Group and have already begun using this new version in our development.

Rowe Promotes Good Data, VPNs

End Point's Ethan Rowe is a staunch believer that good data management is good business and serves as the company's foremost expert in VPN development.

Since joining End Point last summer, Ethan has worked extensively using Interchange and in database development. His database skills are greatly enhanced by his understanding of business logic and how effective databases can make a positive impact on business results. Says Ethan, "If the data is structured correctly, resulting from a detailed analysis of the types of information you need, what you want to do with that information, etc., then the data will serve you properly over the long term."

Because businesses need to be able to adapt to various market pressures and growth opportunities, the way they use their data often changes. For instance, in inventory control, a database with an effective logic regime can be used by many different applications in many different functional departments and always have reliable inventory numbers to work with. The key is to create the logic within the database once, and then it doesn't need to be re-created with every application running on top of it.

Beyond databases, Ethan recently found an innovative virtual private network (VPN) solution to help End Point client Arkansas Valley Feather Co. come up with an effective way to allow secure remote access to network functions for employees working from home or on the road. Implementation was complicated by the fact that the company's users were spread out over many platforms (multiple versions of Windows, Linux, and Mac OS) and many different geographic locations. Using OpenVPN and the OpenBSD operating system, Ethan helped the Arkansas Valley Feather Co. establish safe, effective network access for its off-site employees.

Ethan is based in Boston, where he's an accomplished pianist and a Hartford Marathon finisher. As a 14-year-old ski racer, he beat current overall World Cup champion Bode Miller on a number of occasions. He might not fare as well now, but then we'd like to see what Bode Miller would do when faced with business-critical PostgreSQL complications.

(Author: Brian Dunn)

End Point Celebrates 10 Years of Service!

On August 5th, End Point Corporation celebrated the tenth anniversary of the company's inception.

End Point was established in 1995 by Rick Peltzman and Ben Goldstein with the aim of providing effective, innovative solutions and services to the nascent internet industry. The company took on increasingly challenging projects for its growing list of clients, from brochureware to user interface construction to database design to full implementations of complex ecommerce applications.

Today, End Point employs more Interchange developers than any other services firm. Our company's skills in database design and data management have helped clients achieve staggering growth and helped facilitate the generation of millions of dollars of new revenue. Our team of consultants has skills in such wide-ranging matters as PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle, Perl, C/C++, PHP, Java, network programming, systems architecture, security and encryption, and many other facets of Internet development.

Plus, over the last year, we've expanded our service set to include content management system design, keyword marketing, search engine optimization, and systems integration, consolidation, and migration services.

End Point continues to grow. To accommodate this growth, the company is soon moving to roomier digs in the heart of Manhattan where we will build off our founding ideals of client service and innovation.

Since End Point opened for business ten years ago, the web has boomed, busted, and re-boomed. During this time, End Point has found ways to thrive and help our clients achieve their objectives. We're grateful to have had the opportunity to help so many of our clients grow their businesses. End Point remains always ready to serve our clients' evolving needs.

(Author: Brian Dunn)

Death, Taxes -- and Spam?!

End Point has been hard at work keeping spam from reaching our clients' email boxes.

In December 2004, End Point installed new email filters, powered by two state-of-the-art packages: amavisd-new and SpamAssassin.

By filtering out the most egregious junk emails at the server level, far fewer undesirable emails reach our clients' inboxes. Real mail downloads to their inboxes faster, and the painful morning routine of going through the pile of junk mail delivered overnight is gone. That time savings multiplied for each employee really adds up.

We're gratified to hear about the positive, immediate difference this change has made for our current email services clients. If you're not currently using End Point's email service, please contact us. We'd be happy to discuss your requirements and explain how we can help resolve your email-related concerns.

(Author: Brian Dunn)