I have a very simple WinForms application written in VB.Net and using MSDE; the application keeps track of vehicle bookings. This works great on a standalone machine, but if the business owner wishes to open up another branch several miles away, I need to know the best way of altering the application to allow both sites to share the same database - rather than each branch manager making 200 telephone calls a day trying to see if the other branch has a certain vehicle available. So...
What do I do...?
So as not to appear lazy, I'll make some suggestions:
1. Get the business owner to invest in a Wide Area Network connection.
Presumably this would enable me to install the application on two (or more) PCs and simply tell both applications where the database is located??? Is this a realistic appraisal of what is required to operate over a WAN, or am I in for a rude awakening?!! :D
2. Modify the application to allow it to "tell" the other machine that a booking of "vehicle number 25" has been requested -- eg by sending/receiving e-mails to and from whichever machine is running it. I guess the logic to this might be difficult to perfect, and might create problems (eg. double-bookings etc) if there is any delay in the e-mail being sent or received. Also, I have never attempted e-mail communications within the guts of an application, so I find this idea unattractive to say the least! :D
3. Learn ASP.Net. I know little or nothing about this topic. Presumbaly, it would allow me to have the database hosted on a remote server (or website??) somewhere and have each application access and update the database as necessary? Would the business owner need to buy a website?
Please give me a some feedback on each of the above suggestions. Or if there is another way then please let me know. I'm meeting with the business owner tomorrow so swift responses would be swell!! And I know that answering this question properly will cost you the best part of an entire lunchbreak, so the full 500 big ones are up for grabs.
Thanks in advance.