Can server-side Java be used to create pc-side one-time executables?

Posted on 2012-04-03
Last Modified: 2012-04-04
I have been a VB6 standalone EXE apps as part of my job description for the past 20 years.  I need to begin programming in a new language that supports server-side applications that run from client web browsers, but with the ability for some applications to run pc-side.   I need to know if JAVA is the best language to support my needs.  Can JAVA (and is it meant to do these things):
-      Be used to write browser-based applications, where the program executes on the server?
-      Can JAVA (if yes above) be used to read/write/interact with SQL or other server based databases for information reads/writes and interact with the customer?
-      Is JAVA a good language for writing web-apps in general?
-      SECOND REQUIREMENT for the server-side JAVA browser app:  (A pc-side executable)
o      Example.  Customers have a fairly large (25MB) log file that needs to be processed
o      They browse to the web page, it presents them with various buttons to perform various functions against the file that is on the customer’s PC (they don’t upload it)
o      Can JAVA download a sort of executable during the web browser session, that will allow the PC-side log file to be processed/searched/parsed/analyzed using the buttons in the WEB browser?  For example they click “find all occurrences of (some string)” button and the code executes on the customer’s PC parsing through the file, rather than having them upload it first.
I know this is a bit specific, but I am trying to discern in general if JAVA is a good language to handle half executing on the server looking up information and number crunching, and half on the customer PC using one or more local files that need to be processed WITHOUT the need for the customer files to be uploaded (since they can be very large 25-50MB in size)?
I am in a startup company-like position and am tasked with finding the best language to support browser apps that can do fairly robust tasks both on the server side as well as the PC side, without the customer needing to install software on their PC – or maybe just allowing them to click “OK” to download a small applet that runs locally each time and gets deleted at the end of their web session.  Is JAVA geared to do these types of web apps?
Question by:mizetreestump1
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Accepted Solution

Dave Baldwin earned 500 total points
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Java and ActiveX are probably the only two that could meet your requirements and ActiveX is IE Only.  You need to research 'signed applets' in Java and note the the customers have to have Java installed on their computer first.  There is nothing that runs only in the browser that is allowed to access the local machine.  They blocked that at least 10 years ago.

Author Closing Comment

Comment Utility
Thank you for your response.  I'm guessing programming in JAVA as a web server page versus creating the prompted executable download on the client PC where JAVA is installed, versus even developing standalone PC-side JAVA executables might all be totally different, maybe even different careers?  But it sounds like I am on the right track pursuing JAVA as my next overall development language.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
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For the purposes you mentioned, it seems like it would be best.  But you're right that the different implementations have different requirements.  Java on the server seems to be done as "jsp", Java Server Pages, and requires a server that works with that.  Java in the web browser needs signed applets I think to pass security checks.

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