Porting a windows application to a web application

Posted on 2004-10-06
Last Modified: 2010-05-19

     I'm nearing the end of a windows application project.  Now the specs have changed and I need to incorporate this project over the internet (or actually intranet).  I'll need to make the application operable from within a page on our intranet site (a skeletal intranet portal made in ADO)  How hard will it be to convert these windows forms to web forms and integrate this into the intranet?  What will I need to know about this process that a beginner to webforms would need to know?  I've never made anything but windows applications before.

Question by:gleznov
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 12240988
It will be a new web application. Some logic might stay the same but the majority will change. Keep in mind that you will lose all the event that you processing on the client. Now they will have to be processed on the server.
You have slight option to implement your exe via intranet
if have a simple VB.NET project that can be installed via XCOPY and does not
necessarily access secured resources:

(1) Right click on the BIN folder and choose "web sharing" and create a name
to share this folder
(2) Go in to IIS administrator and select the project you just created in
step 1 and allow for anonymous access
(3) Optionally give the the Application Name on the "Virtual Directory" tab

(4) go to another machine and type in the URL:

Not everything is going to work. You have to try it

Author Comment

ID: 12241454
I use a SqlServer database - I don't know if that would exclude me from that last option you gave me or not.  But nothing particularly secure, just need a front end for our workers to use to interact with the data (issuing items, adding inventory, etc)

If I do I have to web project it, you said everything done on the client must be done on the server - what does this consist of?  My assumption is that webforms is basically just like applications, only uses maybe some different controls and coded a little differently but that basically you create one application and then connect it to a webpage and it can be operated.  Is this wrong?  

LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 12241581
Yes and No.
Just imagine the simple click event. In web application the click happens on the client and you process the code on the server. You have to do a trip to the server, process your code and then return to the client. Here is the new thing comparing to Win app - Postback. You have to decide in your code is the page loading the first time or it is a postback. You will lose all the interactive things that happen on the client (message Box for example). It can be done only with Java Script.
To make the long story short - Web Application is a diffeernt animal. Let it not discourage you. As soon as you strat it you will see the difference
Good luck
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Assisted Solution

eekj earned 75 total points
ID: 12246645
What architecture have you used for your Forms Application? If you have Entity classes you could publish these as a WebService and have your web app access these. .NET takes care of most of this for you. All you do is set up IIS and ASP.NET, add a few bits and pieces (WebMethod tags, create an .asmx file...) and viola youre done.

Author Comment

ID: 12247869
Entity Classes?  I'm not sure what that is - I've got normal windows application forms, and the code is that each form is a class.  

As far as the postback stuff - How does this work?  Is there two separate programs?  One server side, one client side?  I figured it was all one program, with server instructions for all the data stuff, but that punched the interface out at the client in HTML (or something web-browsable) - I understand client/server architecture, but how does this affect writing code for a webform (or series of webforms)?

LVL 28

Accepted Solution

iboutchkine earned 175 total points
ID: 12247942
When an ASP.NET Web page is visited for the first time after a change has been made to the HTML markup
or Web control syntax in the .aspx page, the ASP.NET engine auto-generates a class. If you created your
ASP.NET Web page using the code-behind technique, this autogenerated class is derived from the page's
associated code-behind class (note that the code-behind class must be derived itself, either directly or
indirectly, from the System.Web.UI.Page class); if you created your page with an in-line, server-side
<script> block, the class derives directly from System.Web.UI.Page

>>Is there two separate programs?  One server side, one client side?
It is one program, but it has server side and client side. Serverr side you can write by using code behind the page. CLient side usually uses Java Script.

Just imagine that you have a text box and you need to validate the dataentry before submitting data to the server. Where will you do your validation? Probably on a client side, before you sent it to the server.

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