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iLumber: Seeing the Forest for the Trees with Enhydra, a privately financed startup located in Toronto, is a unique Web-based business-to-business deployment solution for the softwood lumber industry.

The iLumber website,, and its offspring,, offer a community environment and resource for lumber mills, wholesalers, brokers, distributors and construction companies.

"We are dedicated to providing a portal for the North American softwood lumber and building materials industry that features news, an on-line lumber guide, email newsletters and real-time auctions for surplus materials," says Ian Costanzo, Chief Technology Officer for Future site expansion includes web-based e-mail, on-line support discussion forums, commodity prices and brokerage.

To ensure service to an expected base of 20,000 registered members by the end of 2000, needs a strong Web application server to support its services. developed their websites in-house with a team of Java developers and front-end html/graphics developers. The company also hired contract journalists to research and report on the lumber industry. "We evaluated several application servers including WebLogic and Netdynamics, but we found the Open Source advantage of Enhydra exactly what we needed." says Ian Costanzo.

Why Enhydra?

The Open Source availability of Enhydra gives complete flexibility with how to use their product deployment strategy.
"We can scale it up to multiple servers without incurring additional license fees." says Ian. "We can sell it to a third-party or use it as part of a consulting solution, without having built-in third-party software costs. We are considering financing our growth through consulting work, and Enhydra gives us a huge strategic advantage."

The iLumber Team (listed below). CEO, Clinton Yourth adds: "As a startup company doing business in Internet time, we needed to leverage a product that would allow us to be effective and competitive fast. To deliver an e-commerce solution for's associated communities, we researched the market for a flexible Internet server architecture. The solution was Open Source Enhydra. The Open Source nature of it allows us to enhance, modify, and freely distribute our source code and applications. It allows us to freely integrate best-of-breed Java components, and it lets us achieve our goals without fear of future license costs." also found Enhydra a beneficial choice in that it makes components and tools available on a source-code basis. This allows extensions or customizations to be built on a per-project basis. "Commercial application servers work fine, as long as you play by their rules," says Ian, "but they can be difficult to extend, enhance or customize. Enhydra is one of the best application servers available, in addition to the fact that it is Open Source."

Configuration is currently running on a single NT box, using MySQL. The company is upgrading the production infrastructure, and plans to deploy on multiple boxes, upgrading the database to Oracle and the O/S to Linux. has benchmarked the application running in a test environment on four servers - one Web server, two application servers, and one database server - and is planning to upgrade the production environment to this configuration within the next two months, according to Ian Costanzo.

"At this time we are approaching several organizations and associations to provide customized and private areas on the site, and to offer our consulting services to help them get their own organizations on-line," Ian says. "Enhydra is tailor-made for these requirements since it is a flexible and robust platform. It is perfectly suitable for any custom e-solutions we need to develop for our clients. In addition, it gives us the cost-scalability to support the portal site, if the site usage grows significantly faster than the trading usage."

"We are grateful to the Open Source community," Ian adds. "Enhydra has definitely helped accelerate development of our on-line functionality, especially Enhydra XMLC and its support for dynamic content. A big thank you to all the contributors." is currently considering contributing back their portal engine, 'Jabian', to the Open Source community. We'll keep you posted. In the mean time, we wish the best of luck to in the future!

The iLumber Team consists of: (photographed above)
Front row: Clinton Yourth, President, President & CEO
Back row, Left-to-right: Yves Legault, Software Engineer Jeff Hobeck, Software Engineer Rene Scammell, Technical Support Robert Livingstone, Portal architect and strategist Pannaga Adiga, Software Engineer Nenad Prnic, Technical Support Laura Yourth, Office Manager Sheila Hobeck, Software Engineer Ian Costanzo, CTO
Not present: Scott Spackman, HTML and graphics designer Don Spackman, technical strategy consultant Marty MacPhail, COO Doreen Livingstone, Journalist John McIlroy, CFO


Web Site

Site Overview is a service portal dedicated to the North American softwood industry. The site provides news and information, a surplus trading auction and quickly building to offer stock information, online chat, online lumber tools, customized storefronts and a complete lumber marketplace including online trading.

Servers: 1
Platform: Intel
OS: WindowsNT
RAM: 256
Wireless Capability: N/A

Site Construction By

Enhydra At Work!
Want to see your Enhydra solutions highlighted on Well, here's your chance! If you're interested in becoming a feature story, marketed on the front page of, email us today!