What do we use Python for at work?

Not uncommonly, I suspect, Python was introduced here at work in stealth mode: it wasn’t on the list of products starting with “MS” which we genreally use, but it got the job done and the management has been pragmatic enough to accept its use to the extent that it’s now installed on the baseline image for company PCs and laptops.

So what do we do with it? Well, a surprising amount when I start to enumerate it. As is often the case, quite a few of the uses are of the “glue” style: creating an easy bridge between two other pieces of software, one of which is often the operating system. As an example I years ago wrote a (tiny) piece of code to enumerate the installed printers and pipe them out to a file. Our in-house business app calls the Python and picks up the result to display to the user as a pick list. That’s just one example among many others, some of which are so small that I tend to forget that they exist until some bizarre corner case arises which means I have to revisit the code. They just work and go on working.

A by no means exhaustive list of Python Pieces off the top of my head:

* That list of printers
* The startup wrapper for our main business app
* sql2xl — provider of data to the masses (and indirectly responsible for a world of Frankensheets, I’m afraid).
* Sales Boards - our Pygame-driven availability-visualisation app
* reports - a compact module combining simple dialogs and sql2xl
* screengrabber - capture parts of the screen to save to the database
* imageviewer - simple pygame-based image display
* convert images provided by our customers to thumbnails and place them on a replicating database for our handheld scanners
* convert a batch of Word docs to PDF & PCL
* simple manipulation of DXF maps to add our internal site ids
* absolutely loads of occasional AD / filesystem / WMI scripts for the sysadmins
* the internal contacts / portraits webpage
* web-based password reset for our HR system
* web front-end, mail ingest and alerting (a la Roundup, I admit) for our Helpdesk system

.. and a whole slew of other stuff which pretty much exists to demonstrate just how versatile Python is :)