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Date: 2003-09-19 (08:01)
From: Mattias Waldau <mattias.waldau@a...>
Subject: [Caml-list] Commercial application written in O'Caml: ExcelEverywhere
Some of the readers of this list may have noticed that I use
the term "commercial" a lot. The reason is that I use Ocaml
to create commercial software.

ExcelEverywhere is shrink-wrap software.
A single license cost $99-$149.
All income comes from licenses.
Consulting is not a big source of income.

Why Ocaml?
- When it compiles, it works
- If it doesn't work, ocamldebug with back step will find the
   problem quickly
- Very few bugs in the implementation of Ocaml

- Small run-time size and small memory foot-print
- Fast enough so that over-optimizations isn't needed.
   Good practices like using sets instead of lists etc is enough
- Runs on Windows 98 and upwards (There are a lot of Windows 98
   out there!)

- 8-bits strings.
   UNICODE is needed and the standard for .NET, Java, Ruby...
- Few libraries
- Even fewer libraries that easily can be used on Win32
   In order to reduce Win32-related problems, only the standard
   distribution and libraries completely written in Ocaml are used.
- Few libraries that can be used freely in non-open-source
   commercial software

My wishes
- Make ocamldebug print objects by default
- More BSD-licensed libraries (LGPL acceptable but not good,
   search in the archives to see why.)
- Do not drop the Win32-support

What does ExcelEverywhere do?

Good-looking calculating web page from Excel
140 functions supported. No Excel needed on server.
Use it for expense report, survey, order forms, reservation
forms, employment application, financial advisor,
ROI-calculator, engineering.

ExcelEverywhere currently exists in 4 flavors:

- ExcelEverywhere for HTML
   Convert it to HTML with embedded JavaScript to handle the calculations.
- ExcelEverywhere for Java/JSP
   Good-looking calculating JSP-page from Excel.
   Separate JavaBean with full source.
- ExcelEverywhere for ASP & ASP.NET
   Code-behind module in C# and VB.NET for backend-integration.
- ExcelEverywhere for Java phones
   Custom calculators in your mobile phone.

Is ExcelEverywhere a commercial success?

Not yet. Since October 2002, 500 licenses have been sold. However,
marketing is a big cost. Today, developing the application
is the easy part, finding customers is much harder and costlier.

Do we hire?

No, not right now. If you have programmed Ocaml or SML for a few years,
speak English, know HTML+JavaScript and either Java or .NET, send
me a short email and show me that you are talented.

-- Mattias

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