Which web application/setup would you use? why?

Ok, here's the hypothetical.... :-)

You have a company that sells 1 product (in various colors and sizes) with embroidery options (file upload maybe?).  

The product is not available to the general public but is available to salespeople and resellers (each have a special "code and password" assigned).  The code and password enters the person into an order type site.

For your company, you want to setup a website that allows the resellers to log in and place an order (no payment required right now).  

When the "order" is placed, you need an email to go to a Customer Support person.  The CS person logs in (to the same site) and verifies the order info, marks the order as "verified" and by it being marked "verified" another email is sent to another address (someone in production).  The production person logs in and prints the order via a report from the site.  When the order is completed the Production person logs in and marks the order "shipped" or "completed" (or whatever) which shoots off another email to the original order person.  

I know this will seem simple to some  and maybe not so simple to others but the person I'm talking to about this is thinking the solution is FiLE MAKER PRO.  I just don't see that and wonder your thoughts.  

I'm thinking of a web front end to a database backend but that's as far as I've gotten.  

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WodConnect With a Mentor Commented:
yes, they can be accessed from the web MKSKCS

For where to host it, it really depends.. but if you choose to go with a hosting company, here are some things you should look for or as them:

    *  Research your (potential) hosts uptime record and READ the fine print of their uptime guarantee (if they have, which you find in their Service Level Agreements).
    * Ask about your host(-to-be)s disaster plans, redundancy and backups.
    * Re-check and make sure you get an uptime guarantee before signing and how reliable they are when it comes to refunding for and crediting downtimes.
    *Make sure they meet the requirements of the web application you choose to use (ie: python, postgresql, etc..)
What do you mean by "Which web application/setup"?  Are you asking about how to setup this application in ColdFusion? From what you've described it could all be accomplished with CF, some of its basic tags, and a good database like MySQL or MS SQL.
MKSKCSAuthor Commented:
What I meant was, how (with which applications) would you set this up?  What application, language hosting would you use? Your answer appears to be that you'd use Cold Fusion with MySQL or MS SQL, right?
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Yes, but my opinion is partly biased.  Most languages asp,.net, php, etc. are capable of doing what you describe.  

I would recommend ColdFusion and MS SQL/MySQL because I've used them for a number of applications.  With some very basic tags it would be simple matter of creating an application that does what you describe.

- CF allows you to create datasources for a number of databases like MS SQL/MySql
- Uploading files with the CFFILE tag is trivial
- CFLOGIN provides a simple login mechanism to use for a login page
- Use CFQUERY to interact with your database tables
- Use CFOUTPUT to display the information retrieved in your CFQUERY
- Use CFMAIL to send email notifications
- Use CFDOCUMENT or other tags to create printer friendly output in PDF or Flash Paper format on the fly

You could code something yourself (in php, perl, ruby, java, python, etc..) and use a database (eg: mysql) but you could also use an existing web application that would fill your need.

There is many open source software that I think would do what you are looking for and beyond:
MKSKCSAuthor Commented:
Wod - Would those suggestions run on the web?

agx - I've never used Cold Fusion so is it out of the question as something to learn?

Also, would either of you choose to host these internally or with one of the many hosting companies? Keep in mind, hypothetically your company is in an area that can easily be negatively affected by weather (hurricanes, flooding, etc).  

Thanks for the reponses.
_agx_Connect With a Mentor Commented:
No, its not out of the question.  I consider it an easy language to get started with. Especially if you're just learning the basics.  Though it also has many complex features for more advanced programmers.  That said, I also assumed you had some familiarity with CF since this question was posted in the CF Studio zone.

Like I said most languages (CF, ASP, PHP, etc) are capable of doing what you require. So to a degree its a matter of personal preference.  But without knowing your background or all of your constraints, its difficult to make a recommendation.  I would suggest you consider the various factors and constraints that might effect your decision like  

- what are you requirements: off the shelf application, designed in house, etc?
- time/cost
- expected volume and growth of the application
- available hardware
- skillset of available programming resources

I can't really advise you about hosting since that's handled by others in my group (TG ;-)

MKSKCSAuthor Commented:
I posted in the Cold Fusion section (along with several others) because I was thinking it could be accomplished with CF.  

I was decent at VB about 6 years ago and have done some vb script and html since then, just not as a primary job so I'm rusty to say the least.  

Originally we were looking at off the shelf but weren't able to find exactly what we wanted.  Since the business is a startup we were thinking we should design the workflow the way we wanted it and utilize whatever technology we could.  These same steps could really all take place with email in my opinion but email wouldn't be building for the growth of the business either.  

The expected 5 year growth from what I'm told is about 25 sign ons (or salespeople).  

There's currently no "available" hardware but the future purchases include (so far) a file server and an exchange server (possibly SBS 2003).  

I was hoping to get away without having everything hosted internally because of the geographic issues.  

Thanks again for your thoughts.  Please let me know if you have anything else to add.  
SidFishesConnect With a Mentor Commented:
while i love cf and have been using it since v4 (1998??), you might want to have a look at joomla. I've got a colleague who uses it exclusively and for the same kind of thing you are asking about. He's also a graphic designer and -not- a programmer yet he still is able to build powerful feature rich sites. It's based on PHP but you don't really even need to know that...

it's open source (under GPL) and has a large user/developer community and tons of extensions to the base package.

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