Web Deployment Technology Driving Wolfram|Alpha Now Available to Public
September 15, 2009—Wolfram Research today announced the availability of webMathematica 3, a powerful new version of its unrivaled technology for adding dynamic content to the web. webMathematica 3 features innovative new performance and development capabilities, which allow users to build and deploy websites with interactive calculations and visualizations at a faster pace and lower cost than ever before.
For the first time, webMathematica 3 integrates the revolutionary capabilities of both Mathematica 6 and 7 with the latest web server technology—making it the ultimate tool for creating websites where users can compute and visualize results directly in a web browser.
“Just as Mathematica 6 introduced instant interactivity for Mathematica, webMathematica 3 does the same for the web,” said Tom Wickham-Jones, Director of Kernel Technology at Wolfram Research. “We’ve just tunneled through the energy barrier for making interactive sites in a way that no one has before.”
webMathematica 3 is the chosen deployment technology for Wolfram|Alpha, the web’s only computational knowledge engine. webMathematica 3 makes the calculations performed by Wolfram|Alpha possible by allowing users to tap into Mathematica‘s computational and graphic abilities without having Mathematica experience or installing it locally.
“webMathematica 3 technology was the only way to develop and deploy Wolfram|Alpha,” said Wickham-Jones. “The mixture of development automation and easy yet robust deployment is unique.”
“If you needed proof that you can deploy high-traffic sites robustly with webMathematica, look at Wolfram|Alpha,” said Conrad Wolfram, Wolfram Research Director of Strategic and International Development. “A cloud of webMathematicas flew through the intense load from Wolfram|Alpha’s launch and would have taken more.”
Breakthrough performance and development features of webMathematica 3 include the following:
- Expression language and custom tags. webMathematica 3 comes with support for a more concise way to call to Mathematica from web pages. It also contains a library with a number of useful tags which provide valuable tools such as redirecting flow as web pages are generated.
- Queuing system. webMathematica 3 allows long-running or asynchronous computation jobs to be executed by a new queuing system.
- Support for Wolfram Workbench. Wolfram Workbench provides a significant number of features that help to accelerate the development of webMathematica content. webMathematica 3 integrates with Wolfram Workbench so that Mathematica code can be debugged as it runs in the server.
- Web services. webMathematica 3 enables users to write REST and SOAP web services that use Mathematica.
- New logging system. A new, highly configurable logging system helps to track different types of errors and to identify problems so that they can be resolved easily.
- Improved kernel monitor. The kernel monitor has new code for monitoring memory usage, run time, concurrent requests, and Java objects which helps to improve the reliability of the server. It allows starting and stopping of individual kernel pools, canceling individual computations, and monitoring of queued jobs for progress and errors.
- Improved Kernel Interaction. webMathematica 3 launches kernels as soon as the server starts and launches all kernels in parallel helping to improve the startup time for the server. It also has a number of new configuration tools, which limit the use of time and memory by the kernel; this helps to improve the reliability of the server. Kernels are automatically restarted in the background, so service remains uninterrupted.
webMathematica is based on proven Java Servlet technology, making installation simple and enabling seamless integration to standard server applications.
In addition to Wolfram|Alpha, webMathematica is the deployment technology for web-based education tools and online calculators and serves as the publishing tool for interactive courseware and textbooks on the web. More examples of websites powered by webMathematica are featured online.
For more information, see the webMathematica product pages, or take a free online seminar on the technology and key features of webMathematica 3.