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Coldfusion Application and Data Synchronization

Here's what I want to accomplish...

1) Setup a site on a host [CFMX7, MSSQL]
2) The site will be used by a company to track, create, edit, and add orders [no payment gateways, basically a content manager]
3) Users can carry a tablet notebook which they can access the site via wireless (no problem), but if they cannot connect via wireless, then have the ability for them to run a local version of the site, which will sync up data with the main site when they are able to connect.

So lets say we have company ABC, this company has 4 field employees with tablet notebooks. They visit customers to make estimates and will login to the site and begin a new order/estimate worksheet via a wireless connection. However if no wireless is available for them to use, they can still create a new order/estimate on their local machine, and when they login again to the site, that information will sync up with whats in the main database (update the main DB), as well as update their tablet notebooks, with anything new from the main database (and update personal notebook DB).

So I'm searching for some good ideas to accomplish this task. Or workarounds that may function better than what I mentioned above.

The overall goal is to create an application for a company that employees use in the field, even if they don't have an internet connection, and allow that information to sync up when they do connect again.

Points for the best ideas, or suggestions.


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8/22/2022 - Mon

Hello - I just noticed this question.
How about simply creating an email out of a "new order" when no internet connection exists.
When a connection does exist again - the emails will be sent / then read and parsed then inserted to db by cf.
This of course is separate from the sync up you'd be doing.

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I think I'm going to try and push the client towards using a more "Global Wireless" solution through some of the major wireless companies. The above methods would still require me to actually install a version of CF and configure their laptops to do one of the above methods. I think for the scope of the project this would introduce too many issues. The idea of writing it to an XML file and then having them upload when there's a connection was one method I was considering, however it still required me to install CF on the independant laptops which would flow over the budget of the project. I was thinking perhaps installing a DEV version they could use locally if a connection wasn't available since it wouldn't cost more for a DEV license as well as the fact the version on the laptops wouldn't need to host a site, but rather run a local version of the app which would be limited to only the single laptop, however it still introduces the need for multiple installations.

If they were to have a wireless card which they could access their own site anywhere they were, then all they'd have to do is login to the app, if they still couldn't get a connection because of a blackout area, well then it's the old pencil and paper until they get to an area where they have a signal for their wireless service. I also don't want them to have to depend on connecting to someone else's wireless, or illegally using someone's wireless without the owner's knowledge. Therefore I think the syncing idea will be put on hold to give way for a more practical solution.

I appreciate both of your comments and will split the points. Both had some good ideas to offer. If I was a .NET developer I'd probably have an easier time with an application they could install themselves on their tablets, and have it auto sync when there was a connection. However my limited experience with .NET would make this project take much longer than it should. Still gives me something to learn though and avenues to better myself in =)

Thanks all,

keep in mind that my solution does Not require you install cf or anything on laptop - just copy the site using the software I mentioned - it's then just an html copy of entire site.
It works surprisingly well ...
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James Murphy

I will definitely check it out and test it, I haven't used it before and I'd like to be very knowledgable with it before I implement it into any product. However, after reading through the site you mentioned, it sounds like something that could definitely be useful in this situation. The only thing I'd see and I believe you've touched on in the description you gave is the database support and the methods which make the database calls.

From what I gather so far, this utility will basically spider a site gathering all info and HTML, graphics, etc.. related and create a browsable site without an internet connection. However my concern is if anything on the site requires database support and the CF methods which call those queries on the database aren't there, what happens?

Does this tool spider the site creating pages for all dynamic content as well? How would the database support be handled?

Am I far off with what I was saying?

Thanks for the points, and congrats for DGRAFX on taking 1st place on EE CF points :)