Appendix B. Py at Work

“Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business...”

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

The businessman’s uniform is a suit and tie. But for some reason, when he decides to get down to business, he tosses his jacket over a chair, loosens his tie, rolls up his sleeves, and pours some coffee. Meanwhile the business woman, with little fanfare, is actually getting work done. Maybe with a latte.

In business, we use all of the technologies from the earlier chapters—databases, the Web, systems, and networks. Python’s productivity is making it more popular in the enterprise and with startups.

Businesses have long sought silver bullets to slay their legacy werewolves—incompatible file formats, arcane network protocols, language lock-in, and the universal lack of accurate documentation. However, today we see some technologies and techniques that can actually interoperate and scale. Businesses can create faster, cheaper, stretchier applications by employing the following:

  • Dynamic languages like Python

  • The Web as a universal graphical user interface

  • RESTful APIs as language-independent service interfaces

  • Relational and NoSQL databases

  • “Big data” and analytics

  • Clouds for deployment and capital savings

The Microsoft Office Suite

Business is heavily dependent on Microsoft Office applications and file formats. Although they are not well known, and in some cases poorly documented, there are some Python libraries that can help. ...

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