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Networked Database unavailable so use applications local Database

Posted on 2006-05-27
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Hi Experts,

My question today is to determine if my projects goals are feasible or to find out if I need to backup and punt.  

I have been developing a Law Enforcement application that is almost completely database driven and the problem is that once the user looses a connection, the application thus becomes useless.  My question is,

(1.)"How or can I make the application use a local "offline" database that resides in the application to collect the data if a connection to the network "online" database is unavailable and secondly, once a network connection is re-established send the local "offline" data to the "online" database?  Lastly, if all the before mentioned is possible, once uploading of "offline" data is "synchronized" with the "online" database; delete the contents of the local "offline" database.

I am developing with VB2005 and SQL Server 2005.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.
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Question by:NCSO
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Éric Moreau earned 2000 total points
ID: 16775405
Hi NCSO,

An article I wrote in October 2005 that you can read from http://emoreau.s2i.com/ should let give you some hints to start.

But you might also seriously consider SQL 2005 replication features to handles your needs.

Cheers!
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Author Comment

by:NCSO
ID: 16775670
emoreau,

I read your October 2005 article and if I understand you correctly, you recommend using an XML file for the "offline" data storage and then promatically send the "Offline XML" data to the "online" database when a connection is re-established.  What is this process known as?  In other words, if I want to do more reading on this subject what would I look for?
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Expert Comment

by:Éric Moreau
ID: 16775677
It always varies depending on your own specifications. I wouldn't use XML for large dataset. I would use a local database. Then the replication is a good way of handling changes to and and from the local database (but you will need to install SQL 2005 on each PC).

If you decide to go using DataSets and XML, you will need to read John Papa's article to synchronize data you took offline (http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/04/09/DataPoints/).
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Author Comment

by:NCSO
ID: 16775693
Regarding SQL 2005 on each PC, is this what is known as SQL native client?
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Expert Comment

by:Éric Moreau
ID: 16775703
the "SQL native client" is only the provider used by VB to talk to the SQL Server engine. An application (SQL Server) needs to be install on each PC because you want your data to be access offline and you want to store your data on each PC.
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Author Comment

by:NCSO
ID: 16776550
Waying the shear costs associated with installing SQL server on 125 computers is out of the question for county government; do I have any further means of accomplishing this project goal?
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Expert Comment

by:Éric Moreau
ID: 16779212
you can install SQL Server 2005 Express edition for free: http://www.microsoft.com/sql/editions/express/default.mspx
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Author Comment

by:NCSO
ID: 16784700
Would you recommend "SQL Server 2005 Express Edition with Advanced Services" or "SQL Server 2005 Express Edition" ?
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Expert Comment

by:Éric Moreau
ID: 16784893
You should compare the extra features with your needs. From what I read, I don't think you need the "advanced" version.
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