Parallels Case Study – ActivePython, ActivePerl

Executive Summary

The Challenge

  • Enabling users to customize their websites with web apps, including content management systems, wikis, and image galleries built with Perl and Python
  • Ensuring easy, issue-free web application installation and management

The Solution

  • ActivePerl and ActivePython OEM distributions that allow Parallels to confidently go to market with the very best quality, correctly licensed versions of Perl and Python

The Result

  • Easy customization options for small business users
  • High-quality source components, elegantly installed, providing a seamless customer experience
  • Access to a larger market worldwide for the Parallels Plesk Panel

The Challenge

Parallels Plesk Panel Makes Server Management a Snap

Parallels Plesk Panel is a complete web hosting automation solution that makes it easy for small businesses to create, customize, and manage websites through an intuitive user interface. Business customers use Parallels Plesk Panel to create a hassle-free point-and-click web presence and to manage company email accounts. Plesk Panel’s offering for service providers makes managing server space and their own hosting customers easier. “Plesk Panel is designed for people who want to run web servers but who are not necessarily experienced systems administrators,” says Blake Tyra, Plesk Panel Product Manager.

Parallels Partner Storefront Includes Perl and Python Powered Applications

Parallels Plesk Panel gives users the ability to integrate their websites with sites such as Twitter and Facebook. But Plesk Panel doesn’t stop at these popular social services. In fact, Parallels offers customers an extensive selection of paid and open source apps through the Storefront included in Plesk Panel. Plesk Panel users can choose from over 100 applications to install onto their websites.

The Solution

“We have a large catalogue of applications available for our customers,” says Tyra. “And there are a large number of open source Perl and Python-based apps, such as content management systems, CRM systems, wikis and image galleries, which we couldn’t use without an interpreter. With one click you can install these systems onto a server. Having the ActivePerl and ActivePython interpreters from ActiveState running underneath definitely helps to facilitate us being able to offer this wide breadth of applications.”

By packaging ActivePerl and ActivePython distributions with Plesk Panel, Parallels customers enjoy a seamless, out-of-the-box installation process when they install Perl and Python apps on web servers. “If we didn’t include ActivePerl and ActivePython with our product, the customer would have to install Perl and Python themselves. That is counter to what we’re trying to do with this product, which is to make it as easy as possible to administer web servers.”

ActivePerl and ActivePython Help to Ensure Quality Components

Parallels Plesk customers shouldn’t have to worry about the possibility of third-party apps breaking, which is why Parallels offers only the very best components to users. “We want to use high-quality components such as ActivePerl and ActivePython to ensure that our customers have the best possible experience,” says Tyra. “Using these components also makes it easier on our internal QA process.”

ActiveState language distributions are quality tested and always use the latest code updates, so Parallels can be assured that packaging ActivePerl and ActivePython with Plesk will not cause problems for end users. “The reason we continue using ActiveState, as opposed to going with one of the many other open source distributions, is that ActiveState has been around a long time and has a consistently positive reputation,” says Tyra. “We use their distribution because of the quality—they have tens of thousands of customers and this gives us reassurance.”

Quality components and seamless installations make Parallels Plesk Panel a good choice for a broad market of small business customers who require simplicity and reliability. “It must be a simple tool,” says Tyra. “These are often small businesses that may not have a dedicated IT person on staff. They expect things to just work at a point-and-click level. Using ActivePerl and ActivePython allows us to cater to this audience well.”

The Result

Simplicity is key for Parallels as a company, too. OEM licensing for ActivePerl and ActivePython makes the distribution of Parallels Plesk Panel hassle- and worry-free. OEM licensing from ActiveState is a turn-key, fail-safe re-distribution licensing, commercial support and indemnification offering for businesses that—like Parallels—bundle ActivePerl and ActivePython with their products. That means Parallels can distribute Plesk Panel in full confidence knowing that ActivePerl and ActivePython open source licensing is in place, accurate, and will not result in legal issues. With ActiveState OEM distributions, there’s no need to waste time, effort and money managing open source licenses.

ActivePerl and ActivePython complete every Parallels shipment of the Plesk Platform. They contribute to hassle-free installation and customization, and ultimately, happy customers with more time to spend running their businesses.