Where Python Fits in the Development Picture

You are of course free to fall in love with Python, switch over to it for all your development needs, and hang out extolling its virtues on Usenet in the small hours of the morning: you’ll find good company, possibly including the authors. However, if you have so far escaped conversion, we have tried to identify the areas where Python fits into a corporate computing environment. Home users are a more varied bunch, but what follows should give you an idea of what the language is good for.

A standard corporate computing environment these days involves Windows NT 4.0 and Microsoft Office on the desktop; networks using TCP/IP; developers building systems tools and business objects in C and C++; GUI development in Visual Basic; and relational databases such as Oracle, Sybase, and SQL Server. It may involve legacy systems predating relational databases and Unix boxes in the back office running databases and network services. It undoubtedly involves a dozen applications bought or developed over time that need to be kept talking to each other as things evolve. More sophisticated environments are moving from two- to three-tier architectures and building distributed object systems with COM and CORBA, with libraries of C++ business objects in between the database and the GUI.

Maintaining the diversity of skills necessary to support such an environment is a challenge, and IT managers won’t allow a new development tool unless it offers clear business ...

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