Hardware/Software New Project - best way to implement?

I plan to develop a software application which requires a) recording of measurements arriving over a usb line (said usb line plugged into a measurement hardware device) b) analysis of such numbers and displaying graphs.
This data analysis will be per human being "subject", so we need also to have user accounts, database to store past measurements etc.
Ideally this would be cross platform (well, at least Windows and Mac).
I've no real idea where to start, Initially I thought about java, as it is cross platform and should be able to access measurements arriving via usb, but then it occurred to me that we ought to have a server-client setup where I host the server and all the clever/database stuff, and the client browser (HTML5/Javascript??) does the fancy front end stuff, AND we write some kind of application that runs sitting in in the tray that 'listens' to the USB input and communicates it to the browser session.
As you can tell, I'm a beginner here. On the one hand, we want practicality and fast development, on the other, we want expandability and modern design.
Advice please!
mikepsmithAsked:
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Kash2nd Line EngineerCommented:
I am not a programmer but did some programming back in the uni days in Java.


You can use Java or any language which you are most comfortable with. You can develop fancy front end with Java so there is no problem here with that.

Firstly, you need to think about the backend some kind of server side. Most of the modern database will link up to any choice of language you use. Start with phpmysql or some other free database such as sqlexpress. Make sure you have a normalized database.

then use the front end you want to get it hooked to basic setup and achieve the result you want to achieve and once everything works fine then add fancy bits on later on.

good luck
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mikepsmithAuthor Commented:
Thanks InnocentDevil for your feedback, but I was hoping for something a) more definitive re suggestions and b) yes you can or no you can't, or these might be some of the problems you will face etc.

Will wait on!
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hankknightCommented:
Your idea can be accomplished.  I recommend using the C library "libusb" USB integration.  It is a C library that gives applications easy access to USB devices on many different operating systems.  It has cindings that integrate with a number of different programming languages including:
Ada
C
C++
Haskell
Java
Lisp
Lua
node.js
Perl
Python
Ruby

See:
http://www.libusb.org/

Personally I would implement your idea using Nodejs because everything could be done using JavaScript and it is well-suited to connect to central servers and databases:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nodejs
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mikepsmithAuthor Commented:
Thanks - will follow your suggestions up!
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