New product improves performance of Perl scripts running on NT Web servers by up to 30 times. ActiveState Tool Corp., the industry leader in professional tools for Perl developers, announces the release of PerlEx, a plug-in for NT Web servers that significantly improves the performance of Perl scripts by up to 30 times. PerlEx runs on NT Web servers from O'Reilly & Associates, Microsoft and Netscape and executes existing Perl scripts without modification. "As the Web has evolved, an increasing number of pages are being served up dynamically with Perl scripts," says Dick Hardt, CTO of ActiveState "Users' expectations are always increasing. Web site performance is critical, and the speed in which a page is returned is an extremely important factor. PerlEx was designed to meet the speed and performance issue head-on." Improved Performance PerlEx improves the speed and performance of Perl scripts running on Web servers in three significant ways. First, PerlEx compiles Perl scripts once and then storing them in memory, so that the scripts are not compiled again at each user request. This feature eliminates compile time overhead after the first execution of a script. Second, PerlEx enables persistent database connections so that a new connection is not required for each user request. This feature significantly reduces both server load and response time. Third, PerlEx creates multiple interpreters which can execute scripts simultaneously, thus increasing Web server performance. The performance improvements gained by running PerlEx are of twofold importance. PerlEx significantly reduces the time is takes to return a page when a user interacts with a Web site, whether it's an Internet, Intranet or Extranet site. It allows existing hardware resources to handle more requests in a given period of time. Phil Pierotti, Senior Communications Engineer for Quokka Sports Inc., San Francisco, CA , is an early user of PerlEx. "We needed to implement a simpler, faster interface on a small mission-critical Java application, and decided to use Perl to accomplish it. When I discovered that over 90% of the application response time was spent recompiling the script, I decided to try PerlEx. Immediately I found that my compilation overhead disappeared and I was very surprised to find that the script execution times had shrunk from a typical 300ms to somewhere between 40 and 70ms. PerlEx reduced my overall execution time from 1.5 seconds to a single heartbeat!" Additional Features PerlEx also extends the functionality of Perl scripts with a feature called Solar. Solar allows for the sharing of a single copy of data between multiple Perl interpreters and for synchronizing access to it. The product also allows Perl code to be embedded directly in HTML files, rather than having HTML embedded in Perl code. This feature is similar to Active Server Pages, or .asp files on Microsoft Internet Information Server. Price PerlEx sells for $395US for a single machine license; multiple machine licenses are available at discounted rates.

PerlEx is available direct from ActiveState at http://www.ActiveState.com.

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