The website checkers are a pair of programs that periodically check the status of documents on the web. The development included:
- Developing a program that automatically connects to every URL [Uniform Resource Locator] in a database of teaching resources available on the Internet, and records in a database the response code from the server and the speed of the response
- writing ASP [Active Server Page] scripts that query the database and produce a report showing those links that have given unacceptable responses
- integrating statistics on site reliability into local websites
- developing a second program that frequently checks the status of our own websites and sends an email notification to staff if ever a site fails to respond [for example if there has been a power cut].
The database tables have been created and a standalone program has been written that can check any URL at any time and checks all URLs once every night. The report pages are giving useful information, enabling us to improve the reliability of the resource database. The program to check our own sites is now running, and has successfully notified us of a failure during a ‘brown-out’ caused by a thunderstorm one weekend.