Advantages & Disadvantages of Web Based Applications

Posted on 2011-10-19
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
We are building an application that will be distributed to clients on a CD. The purpose of this application is to deliver PDF documents requested by the client. We are looking to build an application that is easy on the eyes and allows management of the files on the CD. For example, the application would have a button that once clicked on would open up a certain PDF document on the CD.

We already have a web based design/layout that we use for other purposes, but we already have a structure and source files so it would be relatively cheap to go that route. The only problem is I don't know if HTML is able to do system file handling. I think that's more PHP based and that person is not really familiar with PHP. Just HTML and a bit of CSS.

Anyways, my question is if you can point out some of the advantages and disadvantages to building this application (which sits on a CD) in HTML or other web language -- VS -- building a windows application with VB, ASP, or other frameworks such as Adobe Air, or others.

Need Pros and Cons.
Question by:InfoTechEE
    LVL 37

    Accepted Solution

    The pdf document thing should be fairly easy to do in html with file hyperlinks.
    Since all your users presumably know how to navigate html docs, that's not a bad choice.

    Author Comment

    The program will need to have the following functionality:

    Open PDF files.
    Launch EXE files.
    Copy files from CD to Desktop
    Preview PDF (Kind of like in Windows 7 when you hover mouse over open programs in taskbar you get a little preview window)
    Electonic sending of PDFs (Email)
    LVL 6

    Assisted Solution

    In order to do file handling, as well as the other functions you're needing, you'll need to write Javascript for all of that.

    I personally would build a VB.NET (Windows) app if I were doing it because of the functionality needed (i.e. it would be easier to trap errors and give information feedback to the users--e.g. if there was a permissions issue for copying the files to the desktop, e-mailing, etc.)  If it were a matter of just giving a nice screen for picking and displaying PDF files, I'd use an HTML document.
    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution

    Since html and css deal with text and basic layout i would def say that would be the route to go. You dont really need to know php or sql unless you are doing server side programming material. If the person could spend a little time learning js that would be suitable enough. But from what you are defining everything is client side and the person would not need to know much about the server side of it. Hope that helps explain

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