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Any ideas for making this web-based app available locally?

Posted on 2004-09-30
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Last Modified: 2010-04-17
Seeking advice on what to do about this situation:

We offer a web-based service where people monitor their
websites and can access their traffic data online in a GUI format.
(The GUI is rendered in HTML & PHP).

We also store their data online for them for 1 week (on our mySQL db),
but they can also download the data (in CSV format) and keep
it on their local hard-drive as long as they wish.

We now have a bunch of users with archived data on their local
machine, but with no GUI to display that data. Many of them just
import it into Excel or Access and play with it that way. But
most of them don't do ANYTHING with it, so what we'd really like
is a "local" version of our GUI product on their computers so
that they can access their archived data at home just like they
can their new data online.

So what I'm looking for are suggestions on how to do that.

On my own, without any creative ideas, I would probably just
hire somebody to write a program in VB .net and try to get
the same functionality as our online version.

But SURELY there's a better/quicker/easier/more elegant/more
interesting/cooler/etc. way than that. We already have the
interface and PHP->database code. Isn't there someway we could
port that to a user locally somehow without essentially
starting all over from scratch?

All suggestions, ideas and comments are welcome and appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:sleepybear
8 Comments
 
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by:
willcode4coffee earned 100 total points
ID: 12190161
Probably too much overhead and expense, but you could install a free web server and PHP on the client machines and point to the downloaded data files instead of the server files. Since you already have the GUI written, this would probably be the path of least effort.

M@
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Expert Comment

by:willcode4coffee
ID: 12190169
By "too much expense", I mean in the time it takes to set it up. The actual dollar cost would be free if you use a free web server application.

M@
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Assisted Solution

by:itcnbwise
itcnbwise earned 100 total points
ID: 12191397
That would be an awful lot of hassle, because you'd have to ask every client to install a web server and php on their machine (then, presumably, you'd have to support them to configure it).

Not that I have a better suggestion - I would have opted for the VB program.
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Assisted Solution

by:Validor
Validor earned 100 total points
ID: 12194562
I'm not well versed in PHP, but I'm sure that PHP scripts are interpreted either by an ISAPI DLL or a CGI executable.  The CGI executable could be SHELLED to (which I don't like, but would be easiest), or the ISAPI DLL could be loaded by an application (emulating the web server) and instructed to run the PHP script.  Either way, the output would be HTML, which can be viewed in a browser or in the application inside an HTML renderer.

This would require a little programming, but of the most elementary kind.  Shelling is what 1-week students do.  If things really go your way (if the data is a single file or in a dedicated directory, depending on the input format for the PHP script, and the PHP interpreter is an EXE for example), you could do this with a simple batch file.

Deployment would require a PHP host (see the PHP license agreement on this), the application that shells to it, and the data itself (which you say is already there).  Deployment would be harder than the programming.
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Assisted Solution

by:aravindtj
aravindtj earned 100 total points
ID: 12201481
Hi,
   go to www.adventnet.com . there, there are many good web bassed UI's are they developed for their products. Make them as a model.

best wishes.
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Assisted Solution

by:DavidBirch2dotCom
DavidBirch2dotCom earned 100 total points
ID: 12203276
you could try the InetServer which came on the win98 disk its set up for this kind of workplace sharing ... I havnt used it on a network myself but its worth looking into

David
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