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Porting Desktop Database Application to the Web

Posted on 2006-11-27
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I currently have a MS Access application that consists of the database and a fairly sophisticated UI for displaying and interacting with the database.  This application needs to be re-written for the web.  I plan to port the DB to SQL Server and I understand that most of my database code can be incorporated into the web based application.  The problem I'm having is trying to decide what language/technology to develop the web app in.  I have started learning ColdFusion which is really easy to use and has a nice DB interface.  The problem I'm having is with the User Interface.  I'm so used to event-driven UI development with rich components (grids, trees, etc.).  I've been looking at developing the UI in Flash (Flash Forms) and using ColdFusion for the coding.

There seem to be so many options and I'm overwhelmed.  I have access to ColdFusion so there are no purchasing requirements involved.  I've been reading about JavaServer faces and the interface seems more rich and I am a novice Java programmer.

Can anyone recommend what technology to use?  I don't have to interface to any existing technology so that's nice.  Our company already  has SQL Server and the ColdFusion server.  I'd like the UI to look nice and resemble a stand-alone application UI.  I don't particularly like the HTML Form look.  Is Flash Forms a good choice?  Any good book recommendations on developing Flash Forms?  Should I be looking at something entirely different?  Our company also has access to .Net.  I realize that to a large degree it's a matter of preference but I'm looking for the best combination to develop a nice looking User Interface.

Thank You,

Becky McDermott
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Question by:beckymcd
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fridom earned 125 total points
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Well one problem is that the "more advanced" or negativly put "bloated" solutions which rely on the so hypes Web 2.0 stuff make heavy use of JavaScript now if you follow that route you will probably have a lot of work in front of you but it seems doable. Howerver not all alow JavaScript for very good reasons. So it might be a good time to "unbloat" the interface and make it as "slim" as possible.

I'd argue if  you are used to the windows products you should use whatver the offer in the ASP.NET area. If you are a bit more open-minded you should check (in no particula order)

- OpenACS (http//www.openacs.org
- Ruby on Rails (http://www.rubyonrails.org/)
- Seaside (http://www.seaside.st/)
- some PHP packages.

Regards
Friedrich
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