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Managing Director of Technology for Pharmatrak



Pharmatrak provides various internet related services to companies within the pharmaceutical industry. I have single-handedly developed the software which runs their two main services.

Pharmatrak's Netcompare service is the flagship service which launched the company. I was in charge of designing and implementing the entire system behind the service. The system monitors traffic on various disparate pharmaceutical websites. From the data that is gathered a large number of statistics are produced and comparative reports are issued to the participating pharmaceuticals which provide them with information on how their sites fare against the competition. The implementation of the Netcompare system required the synthesis of a number of different technologies including (but not limited to):

  • Apache was used as the system's web server and a custom Apache module was built (in C) to ensure the ultimate in speed and scalability. Customization of existing Apache modules was also required.
  • Both Javascript and Java were developed for placement on the pharmaceutical web pages in order to track the movement of users throughout the websites.
  • A system was developed using Java and SQL to process the large volume of information gathered by the customized Apache.
  • Visual Basic was used in conjunction with Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel in order to automatically graph and format the large number of statistics generated by the system.
  • A validation sub-system was built using Java and JSP in order to track participating pharmaceutical websites and ensure that their pages contained the valid HTML which would allow Netcompare to track them. (An outside contractor was used to develop portions of this sub-system, and I developed other portions of it).

Pharmatrak's Netwatcher service is their second major service and also another service that I wrote the software for. The Netwatcher service monitors various websites that are of interest to Pharmatrak's clients and alerts the clients in a timely fashion when pages appear on these websites which mention aspects of their company such as their products or key personell. The software behind the Netwatcher system is composed of the following subsystems:

  • The back end system is used to continuously monitor a specifiable set of websites in a manner that is more timely that existing search engines. Intelligent crawling algorithms are used in order to maximize the number of pages that can be effectively monitored. The back end system was built using Java, SQL, and Enhydra.
  • The front end system is a publishing system which is used to manage all the results that are to be shown to clients. Editions are published on a regular basis using this system and the clients can use the web to view the pages that are listed in this system. The front end was built using Java and Enhydra.
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