How Picis Clinical Solutions Excels with ActivePerl OEM

Picis Clinical Solutions creates an advanced set of integrated solutions for emergency departments, surgical suites, and intensive care units for hospitals around the world - covering more than 40 million emergency care visits each year.

With such a large and varied suite of products, Picis needed a complex Perl solution in order to fully meet their Perl requirements. Initially, they implemented ActivePerl alongside mod_Perl to cover all of their Perl needs. With its vast scripting capabilities, suitability for manipulating large amounts of data, and ability to deftly manage database applications, ActivePerl is well suited to maintain and manage the large suite of Picis Clinical Solutions. While mod_Perl was used for their particular Apache and SQL setup to function correctly. With this combination, they "thought" they had the perfect solution.

Yet this soon proved to be the source of many new problems--it resulted in severe memory leaks and performance issues which took down servers and ground the software system to a halt. The memory leak issues proved unworkable and ultimately mod_perl had to be removed from the system to prevent further catastrophic issues.

“Picis solutions are used in the most sensitive and life critical areas of hospitals,” said Greg Augustine, Lead Developer. “They must be robust, reliable, and threat-safe. We need to be able to safely protect patient records and keep hospitals up and running. It is at the core of our mission. Without this, hospitals could not function and lives would be at stake.” 

After removing mod_perl from their system, Picis began looking for an alternative solution. Since ActivePerl was already working seamlessly in other areas of their business, they began to explore ways that ActiveState could help. The solution lay in ActiveState’s OEM solution, known for its custom builds, quality assured code, and comprehensive technical support.

ActiveState quickly delivered a custom ActivePerl 5.16 solution that enabled Picis to use SQL with their Apache Server, without relying on mod_perl or any other third-party products. Picis successfully upgraded to ActivePerl 5.16 and have since maintained that version. It is a solution that perfectly suits their needs--Apache and SQL work well together with no memory leaks, and all the rest of their Perl needs are met.

“We needed this solution in order to keep libraries precompiled and stored in memory,” said Augustine. “They can be easily accessed by the applications when needed which saves on load time and optimizes performance. ActiveState has enabled us to exponentially increase our application efficiency and performance and given us peace of mind.”

To learn more about how and why Picis relies on ActivePerl OEM, check out the complete case study.