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Need reference to create a theathre sitting chart for online travel application

Hi Expert,

Do you know if there is any example in c# to show how to display a sitting chart?  This tool will be web-based, allow user to view bus schedule, purchase ticket, print ticket in graphic (should it include barcode?), display the seatting in graphic, allow user to select the seat(s).

When creating a seatting graph, should this be implemented in C#?  Or there are tools that can help me easier?  I want the seating graph looks professional, kind of like you purchase a plane ticket and try to assign seats to yourself.  If C# cannot do this job, what is the language or tool that can achieve this task?  Also, my web-base application will be implemented in C#, so will this tool (language) integrate with c#?

In addition, the privilege user (admin) also should be able to retrieve the monthly sales easily.  I am thinking about some kind of mechanism to help me to retrieve data from the SQL and then exporting these data to a graphical report.  Can this done in C# easily?  Or there are tool that can help me?  Also, exporting this information to Excel spreadsheet, can this be done in C#?

Thanks a lot!
 
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4eyesgirl
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4eyesgirl
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warabaCommented:
Sounds like you need a C# middle tier to talk to a Flash Front End and a SQL back end.

Flash would handle all the graphical interaction with the user and communicate with C# through XML. The new flash programming language ActionScript3 is fully object oriented, so if you already know C#, it should not be too difficult for you to pick up.

Your C# middle tier would handle all the data access and heavy logic.

You could do most of your business logic in C# if you are strongest there, or in ActionScript ... wherever you feel most comfortable.

I'm not sure about the excel output out of flash, but ADO connects and talks to excel, so C# must be able to talk to that.
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4eyesgirlAuthor Commented:
Hi waraba:

Thanks so much for your suggesiton.  What about to create a report from the database data? Is there any tool out there that can integrate C# easily?  I heard about crystal report, but I don't know if it is the only way.
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warabaCommented:
Crystal is a powerful tool with a learning curve. If you are going to make many reports, Crystal Reports might be the way to go. Make sure before you invest time and money that it will serve your needs on the web, for example, are you going to make the reports in PDF or HTML format?

Otherwise, if your reports are not too complex, you could get away with using flash or html ... depends on the need to be met.
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4eyesgirlAuthor Commented:
I am just trying to create a simple graph chart, so most likely flash will work.  

I don't know Flash at all, is  the ActionScript3 is for Flash?  WIll this ActionScript3  language take care of creating report as well as allowing user to interact with the seating chart?  

Also, is there any good reference/book/dvd that can give me the tutorial of Flash?  

I am completely new to the graphic programming world, so I need extra help here.

Would you recommend me to purchase Flash CS3 Professional?  Is this toolkit includes ActionScript3?  Will this integrate with VS .net C# 2005?  I am doing this as my learning curve, so my budget is very low.  Can you guide me to the minimal software I need to purchase to create such project?  This Flash CS3 Prof costs quit a bit.

THX

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warabaCommented:
I can only make suggestions. There are many ways of doing everything in the wonderful world of technology. There may be open source equivalents to what you are looking to achieve also. Sounds like you have more time than money ... do your research!

Action Script is the language behind Flash, yes, it comes with flash. You can also look into Flex. But there are also non-flash approaches like AJAX which provides rich user interfaces to web applications.

I don't think Flash will integrate with VS. It is a product by ADOBE and it stands by itself. Flash applications can talk to .net applications through XML (and other ways). Actually, they can talk to anything that talks XML.

If you are not familiar at all with flash and ActionScript, check out the free lessons offered at Lynda.com. There are some free tutorials there. If you decide to go with the technology and you are a visual learner, you can get a membership there and find more info.

I have to repeat again, there may be much cheaper ways of doing this... research can save you a lot of time and money.

Good luck.
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