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Pau Lo

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SQL Server app on XP

As a general question what determines whether an application requires its own server? We have an app that I know is driven by a SQL-Server 2005 database, that runs on its own server, but …… there’s only 1 user!?! How easy or practical is it to install SQL on a laptop and then have the app run from their. I know there is some tool/client already on the laptop – but just wondered the logistics of whether you can run an app driven by SQL from an XP laptop, or what comes into play that determines whether it needs a Server. Please keep your answers low tech and management friendly.
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joshbula

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Pau Lo

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Thanks both

>>You also then need to licence it correctly.

Can you elaborate on the above?
Obviously if you use a full SQL server product you will need to buy the software and licences you need.  Given it is only used on 1 computer this will only need to be 1 Client Access Licence plus the SQL Server licence (if I remember correctly).

The Compact Edition or Express Edition mentioned by johnbula I believe are both free if they meet your applications needs.
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Just to sound a bit more naive, but aside from the database, what in terms of the application (a typical app) is server side? I know their is a client on the laptop but I am not sure what is typically server side in terms of an app, aside from the DB?
If depends in part on the application.  I write a lot of website applications.  In this case almost everything is on the server.

But in a more traditional application usually the database is on the server, everything else is on the client.

There is execptions to this however.  Image you need the application to do something every hour, or every night when the clients would be shut down.  This could be writen as a seperate app or service which would run on the server.
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Is the client driven apps known as thick client apps?

Backups was one thing that concerned me with a local copy... Albeit only 1 user needs access, but its important to their role so if they lost their data it would be an issue. Albeit I assume you can still do a decent backup job regardless of where the DB is installed....
I'm not really familiar with the definations of thin / thick clients.  I believe a thin client require the server to do most of the work, where as a thick client does most of the processing.

An example would be Terminal Services is a Thin client and all processing is done by the server, but Windows 7 is a Thick Client and only uses the server to access files etc.

I'm sure another expert can give more details on this definition though.

Regarding backups this is key for most applications.  If the user is often out of the office I suggest you look at using an online service or VPN connection so the system can be backed up wherever the user is.  It is up to you how you do this, but if you schedule backups you need to ensure the computer is running at the time they are scheduled or set to 'catch up' when they are next booted up.  Otherwise you risk backups being missed.
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This has been a big help.....