Environment: There is a set of 10-20 computers distributed over the country running Windows OS. Each of them generates some data files, about 1Mb per day. Currently there is no internet/dial-up connection between the computers.
Problem: There is a need for solution, which would gather these generated data files from all the computers to one central location every couple of hours.
My idea is to write a custom software in Java, which would connect to each of the computers and retrieve the necessary files. Since currently computers are not connected together I have a choice of what kind of communication to use. There are two options I see at the moment:
1) Connect all of them to Internet
2) Use phone lines with modems
The first solution would be more expensive, since all of the computers should be connected to internet and would require to pay a monthly fee. Phone lines are already available in the locations.
However I suspect that it would be easier to develop an application which works over the Internet than over the modem?
Before I start writing my software I would like to find out whether there is an existing solution which might solve my problem without writing a custom software?
Any suggestions on how to implement this? Some of my ideas:
1) An open source webserver to serve the files and a simple Java application which retrieves them using HTTP or HTTPS (Probably the best for Internet connection).
2) Custom server application which would only know how to transfer the files (Probably the best for Modem connection).
3) Poll from a central location, or push the data from each of the stations?