Renault F1 team Interview
January 6th, 2006.
We have interviewed Fabrice
Coutant, Project Manager Intranet/Extranet at Renault F1 Team, the
famous French F1 team that won the 2005 Double World Championship for
both Pilots and Manufacturers. The Team is based in Viry-Chatillon,
- Since when do you use Mozilla technologies, and more
particularly XUL ?
- We have been using XUL for about six months. We use it in
different projects in our team. We're still beginners but we already
find it very useful.
- How do you use XUL ? Do you build extensions ?
- That's the choice we made, yes. Our apps are extensions to
Firefox. Internet Explorer remains the "official" (at least for the
time being) browser, and when a user needs these apps, installing Firefox with the extensions is only a matter of
minutes... Furthermore, the extensions' update system is very
convenient and allows to deploy new versions very quickly.
- Do you plan to build apps based on remote XUL ?
- No, and I am not convinced by remote XUL anyway.
- And what about standalone applications (living outside of
Firefox that is) ?
- We are going to wait a little bit more and see how
xulrunner evolves. Hey, well, we already tested our apps with the
current version of xulrunner and everything is ok... But we have to
live with a multi-platform environment. In the case of a standalone
app, we would have to offer a separate build for Windows, Linux, Mac and
other Unisses... In our domain, we have to focus on what really matters
and optimize time allocation to projects. We are beginners on this
technology, we're far away from masterizing it, so what's true today
will probably not be true tomorrow...
- What kind of applications did you implement using XUL ?
- We have built two apps:
- In 2005, we have launched a B2B portal for our
suppliers. This portal is based on IBM WebSphere. In order to simplify
its management, we developed wpsConsole. This console is made of three
modules: Users Management, News Management and Document Management.
- the Users Management module allows to open or
delete an account on the portal, manage the account's profile (address,
phone, ...), set the access privileges attached to that account,
research a contact, and so on. It's also directly connected to our ERP,
- the New Management module allows to
write/modify/delete news reports with some help for translations
- the Document Management module allows to push
documents to the portal, with version management.
This console is based on Apache2/PHP5/Mysql
on the server
- To keep it simple, our Release group needed a new tool
to reorganize all engine part numbers to attach costs, time and other
data to groups of part numbers. This console allows to do such a reorg
through a simple drag'n'drop. This console is based on Tomcat/Oracle and is,
like the previous one, connected to SAP. It allowed to
reorganize a corpus of several thousand items in less than a week, and
that would have been impossible by other usual means.
These two tools are relatively simple but they allowed us to
test and evaluate the technology and see how fast it is to implement.
As a matter of fact, we have other projects in line ;-)
- On how many machines have you deployed the apps ?
- No mass deployment for the time being because only a few people use them. A rough dozen people, I would say.
- Thanks Fabrice
- Thank you.
Web Site: www.renaultf1team.com.
Interview by Laurent Jouanneau.
Translation by Daniel Glazman.
Copyright 2006 Xulfr.org.
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