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AOServ Overview
The AOServ Platform is a web hosting automation software suite that was developed by hosting providers for hosting providers. It addresses every technical aspect of hosting including security, reliablity, administration, and automation.
AO Industries started hosting commercial web sites in July of 2000. By February of 2001, we had outgrown our manual methods of account and system maintenance and had to choose between two possible paths: we could continue to focus on immediate support and forego improving the business infrastructure, or we could use the experience we had gained to completely reengineer our methods of account creation and maintenance. We chose to reengineer our system to place all control in to our clients' hands. The result of this decision is the AOServ Platform.
The AOServ Platform gives the client a very fine level of control over almost every aspect of their account, including accounting data, email servers, FTP systems, CVS servers, backup systems, shell accounts, web sites, servlet engines, EJB containers, databases, monitoring, name servers, firewalls, and reseller accounts.
Layer Model
The system allows access from several different layers. These layers, from the most abstract to the most granular and technical, are the Control Panels, the AO Shell, the Simplified Client API, and the Full Client API.

The Control Panels are brandable web-based control panels that our resellers may use for their customers. A copy of the control panels are integrated with the AO Industries website for use by our clients.

The AO Shell is a command interpreter based on the Bourne shell syntax. It provides command line control, scripting capabilities, and SQL-like select statements.

The Simplified Client API is an easy-to-use Java API that gives developers the ability to control the system from their own code. The methods are invoked using standard Java classes and primitives, allowing for easy development. Being pure Java, this layer is ideally suited for Servlet, JSP, and EJB developers.

The Full Client API is low level access into the system. This layer is much more powerful than the Simplified Client API, but also has a much steeper learning curve. Java programs using this layer are exposed to a wealth of information about their accounts and may concurrently access the Simplified Client API and AO Shell tools. Every detail of the accounts may be accessed and managed with logical, clean, strongly-typed objects and methods. This API is also pure Java and may be used inside any Java virtual machine.
Continuing Development
We expect and hope that this system will never be completely finished. We will continue to expand the system to support the latest features of all the software and hardware we employ. While backward compatibility is important, our priority will be optimal functionality with the current system.
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