We’re now in the final stages of getting ready to launch Wolfram|Alpha. It’s a hugely complex piece of technology; certainly one of the most complex web-based services ever constructed. We’ve sought advice from many experts as we’ve designed its infrastructure and technology management processes.
But we’ve been rather surprised that we haven’t been able to find even a single publicly available record of the commissioning of any large website at all. So we thought we would document our own experience and that perhaps some of you would like to share this journey with us. We can’t guarantee that everything will go smoothly. Indeed, we fully expect to encounter unanticipated situations along the way. We hope that you’ll find it interesting to join us as we work through these in real time. Perhaps you’ll even have some advice to share.
We’ll be making our first attempt to go live with Wolfram|Alpha this Friday evening, May 15. We’ll start webcasting our preparations at 7pm CDT (UTC -5). We’ll work through checklists, do a final test of our infrastructure—and then, if all goes well, within an hour or two we’ll have Wolfram|Alpha live on the public web for the first time. Along the way, we’ll include behind-the-scenes views of what it’s taken to create Wolfram|Alpha.
After Friday evening, we expect to be continuing to test and resolve infrastructure issues throughout the weekend—and we’ll probably be webcasting intermittently during that time. If all goes well, we’ll then be able to declare Wolfram|Alpha officially launched on Monday, May 18.