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bjones8888Flag for United States of America

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Advice on web application

I have a new application to put together and I need advice.  It requires a sql database and I'd like the user interface to be via a web browser.  I have a lot of experience with sql server and with Delphi 5 in a client server application.

However, for this application I will be using Delphi 2006 Architect.  But I have never built a web application that connects to a remote database.  So I don't know what will be required for the server side or what (if anything) will be required on the client.  Ideally, nothing would be installed on the client.  Just their browser.

Security is important.  There would be users distributed worldwide.  The business logic I can handle.

If someone has a barebones framework that I could expand upon that would be ideal.

Thanks!
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Wim ten Brink
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I would suggest that you start learning ASP.NET combined with Delphi. You would have to use the .NET personality of BDS in that case. This also means you'll need a server with .NET enabled and basically with full ASP.NET support. (Version 1.1 of .NET, btw.) If you have ASP.NET and ADO.NET and SQL Server installed then you should have everything you need.
This also means the client needs to install NOTHING.

It's just that you'll have to start learning ASP.NET and whatever is part of it. O'Reilly publishers have some good books about it.
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Where do I go to install ASP.NET and ADO.NET on my server?
I would also suggest ASP.Net and Delphi.Net.

For ASP.Net you would require IIS (Internet Information Server) where you will host your web app. ADO.Net is .Net component for database connectivity and it will be available if .Net is installed on your machine.
I have a server with Windows Small Business Server 2003 installed.  Does that include IIS and .Net?  (That's probably a question for a different topic area.)
SBS2003 should include IIS, yes. But it might not be installed by default so you need to install it from the Windows CD-Rom in that case. Also, 2003 might have disabled a few actions by default which you would have to enable in that case. Keep in mind that you'll need to learn to administer this system if you're going to develop software for it. It's not writing the ASP/Delphi.NET code which is the hardest part. It's setting up your IIS box to be secure and stable. If you're a newbie at this then you have a lot to learn here.
Btw, many companies will divide the webserver from the database. Thus, they have two separate machines where one contains the SQL Server database and just that. The other system contains IIS and any web applications and just that. The webserver system would connect to the database system over the internal network. The webserver would also have a secondary network card and connection to connect to the outside world. This way, your database would be secure behind your webserver. It has no need to go on the Internet anyways. :-)

But this all is just proper administration of Window boxes. Not related to Delphi. Writing an ASP.NET application in Delphi is the easy part.

Ahhh.  I never understood the reason for separating the database onto a different box, but this makes good sense.  Only the IIS box running the application needs to be able to see the database (so we keep it visible only on the internal network).  That's easily done.

So I have my SBS2003 server running IIS.  I've verified that I have IIS and ASP.NET installed.  I am a newbie regarding IIS, so there'll be a learning curve here.

Initially, during development, it's my SBS2003 system I'll be using.  Later, we can have two "real" servers -- one for the web stuff and the other for the database.

For now, I've got a public/static IP address that points to my router.  Can't I just forward the necessary ports to my SBS2003 box for my web app?
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sun4sunday
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Workshop_Alex ,

That was a very long one and give more ideas.
I have to clear something. Is ASP.net applicaitons will run with out framework?
                                      even in windows 98 ?


sun4sunday
Thank you all for your time and comments.  It was very helpful.  I was hoping to have some basic code to start off with, but apparently the issues are too varied to have anything meaningful?
Yes, sun4sunday ASP.net applicaitons can run on windows 95 too.

But the system where it is hosted must have .Net installed.
ASP.NET applications run on the server, sun. So the client still just needs a webbrowser. So the client can use Windows 98, Linux, MAC OS or whatever else they like. It's just that an ASP.NET application might generate some client-side scripting code, depending on the coltrols you use so the client needs to enable JavaScript/ECMAScript/VBScript on their system.