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Stand-alone to client/server application

Posted on 2003-10-27
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I have all ready done stand-alone Accounting Application. Which is easiest way to run (convert) stand-alone as a client/server (or how to run my application on network).
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Question by:agim_bekaj
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by:kretzschmar
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do you have a database?
if yes, what database?
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Wim ten Brink earned 250 total points
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Simple.

There is NO easy way...

It all depends on your network and your experience. It also depends on what kind of data you're going to transfer between client and server.
If you want to maintain the look of the client application similar to the desktop application then you have to choose between DCOM, CORBA, COM+ or SOAP as the easiest solutions. If you just want to access your application through a webbrowser interface then WebSnap and/or SOAP again are good options.

I am a bit more experienced in developing C/S applications and I must say that I do like the way SOAP works. It's quite easy once you understand it's possibilities and limitations. It is a bit between web-development and COM+ development, doesn't require much configuration and since it's a webserver-based technique it uses the security of your webserver. Also, since a SOAP server application can also be used to serve normal webpages, a SOAP application can be prepared to also be available through a webpage. You could, for example, create an ISAPI dll that serves webpages that people can browse while it also has a SOAP extension that you connect to with a client application to, for example, add or delete some of these pages. You could also create a simple forum that users can use from a webbrowser but which you administer through a client application with neat user interface.
SOAP, the best of two worlds I think.

However, it's not easy to begin with if you know nothing about C/S techniques and it does have some limitations...
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by:swift99
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It also depends on the scale ... if you are talking about 10 users or 10,000 users your approaches will be very different.  What performance do you need?

For small scale, it may be as simple as setting up the back end database on a common server and giving people login permissions, provided you have correctly bult your code in the first place.

For large scale and high performance, it is more difficult.

I am in the process of developing a framework for enterprise scale accounting apps in Delphi.  it is not a trivial task, but it is fun.
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by:swift99
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My experience is that it is much easier to refactor a client server app for standalone operation than the other way around.  If you build for large scale, then you automatically do things like transaction control, concurrency checking, and so on.  Adding them after the fact is often very painful.
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