Project Justification

To date, GPFN has used a software package called Chebucto Suite to perform all User Management functions. The Chebucto Community Network in Halifax, Nova Scotia wrote Chebucto Suite (or Csuite). It uses a collection of about 300 shell scripts and a series of flat file datastores to manage all aspects of a user’s account on the system. Because of the changing nature of the Internet market space, Csuite development is now halted as is system support and maintenance.

Csuite assumes that all users will interact with the system using the Csuite shell or “Cshell”. This Cshell is a restricted, custom compiled version of a lynx web browser. Lynx is a text-only web browser that renders HTML pages without displaying any graphics. The Csuite version of Lynx allows users to use keystrokes to branch off into a file editor, a mail reader (pine), as well as manage or review aspects of their user.

Csuite was written for RedHat Linux 4.1. GPFN is planning to upgrade to RedHat Linux 7.2 for its new server. A number of security concerns, new features, and system libraries predicate the need for this upgrade. However, in initial examination of the Csuite package, it is likely that any attempt to migrate Csuite to this new Linux platform would necessitate a line-by-line review of the existing Csuite code. Such a review would be very costly in terms of volunteer personnel resources and would be very specialized work. As well, GPFN did not use some Csuite features while Csuite could not support other desired features.

At the same time, new technology in existence since Csuite was initially developed means that the backend datastores can use a complete Relational Database System (RDBS) such as MySQL. The application logic can use newer more capable implementation languages. This combination of a RDBS and new implementation languages will result in a robust system that is more flexible to the business needs of GPFN and will require less development effort than that required for the rewrite of Csuite.