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Thread: From Desktop to Web Application

  1. #1
    Member
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    Default From Desktop to Web Application

    Hi,

    I work in an office of 8 people and I am responsible for our Desktop version of Alpha5, I am not an IT person but have managed to design a system were bookings for training courses are entered and invoices raised, it also handles the sales ledger for all the bookings. The bookings are then transferred to a CRM database which keeps a history of bookings, and we are able to analyse sales which enables us to target new customers. We also use Alpha Desktop Version 9 to pull together data for mailshots and emailing. We have runtime licence which means I can put Alpha5 on all the computers but we have strict guidelines about data entry being peformed on one computer only. The desktop version is becoming harder to maintain, the ideal would be a web based version were staff could access data. So the burning question is - how difficult would it be to transfer the existing desktop database to a web application? Any advice would be gratefully received.

    Judith

  2. #2
    Moderator Peter.Greulich's Avatar
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    Default Re: From Desktop to Web Application

    That's difficult to answer - sort of. You will need to understand basic web concepts - disconnected model, publishing, security, etc. You will need to rebuild your application in it's entirety (excepting the data, of course). Ideally (although not a necessity) you would convert your data to MySQL or similar sql structure. It's a big job for sure - and a lot to learn.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: From Desktop to Web Application

    We have runtime licence which means I can put Alpha5 on all the computers but we have strict guidelines about data entry being peformed on one computer only.
    why?
    even tho' i do not work on the desktop side, one of the advantage with runtime is that multiple computers can access the server at the same time. i understand you are not an IT expert but consider the following.
    you may be able to use your data if that is not very crucial, ( looks like you are using CRM to supplement other areas and alpha plays a part of the whole picture not the total) even tho' SQL is better.
    you will need to learn lots of new methods, learn to write your own code, possibly in javascript, another language to learn ( you probably not using xbasic that much.)
    possibly upgrade your software, i do not know they even sell version 9 web application server any more.

    please do not think i am discouraging you to move to web side, i am only maximizing your capacity as not an expert in IT and version 9 with runtime license.
    there are lot people here in this board who use desktops very successfully, they can definitely give you a hand to set up multiuser capacity in your system.
    i know few in UK listed in this board. you can look them up.

    if your question is just for multiuser access then i would say web is a very big jump, on the other hand your are overhauling your company to the new world then it is worth considering especially if your pockets are deeper than mine.
    Last edited by GGandhi; 05-22-2014 at 08:08 AM.
    thanks for reading

    gandhi

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: From Desktop to Web Application

    That is really useful Gandhi - thank you very much - I will look into that.

  5. #5
    Moderator Steve Wood's Avatar
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    Default Re: From Desktop to Web Application

    If your plans are to keep the application local, and you want to shift from Desktop programming to web-programming, another option is called "WCD". That means "Web Components on Desktop" and means all of the components are from the web-side of Alpha and all of the programming is as if you were building a web app, but the entire app runs on Alpha RUNTIME in your office, on your LAN, just like your current Runtime application does. You can leave the app in DBF format, or move up to SQL, either one.

    I am one of the few who have build such a WCD program. I did so because I have lost my skill as a Desktop programmer, but wanted to have a totally local application and run on Runtime. You won't find much info here but you can check on this forum: http://forum.alphadevnet.com/index.php?board=124.0 and I have a video somewhere of my WCD development process.
    Steve Wood
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    Default Re: From Desktop to Web Application

    The desktop version is becoming harder to maintain
    Are you thinking a web app has no maintenance? It does and can be very difficult to settle. The differences between dt and web are rather vast as others here alluded to.
    There should be no reason to just use one computer to view/modify/insert data. V9 was one of the better versions of alpha on the desktop side. There is no reason to tuse web on the desktop either. I have applications that do all you are doing and much more with 30-40 constant users. Then managers critiquing the data and drawing off new possible contacts.

    If you want to do it as a new experience, go for it.
    Dave Mason
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: From Desktop to Web Application

    Thank you to everyone who gave advice and support, I'm delighted to say that we are now up and running - with our booking system being on the company server and accessible by all staff using runtime, so thanks again to all those who replied.

    A quick question - I have made a slight modification to a form can I just copy the DDD, DDM and DDX files to the Shared Drive and the Shadow Application Files or do I need to zip the database, unzip onto my computer to make the changes.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: From Desktop to Web Application

    If you are running the shadow, each user has their own copy of the forms, You could copy the dd* to each users machine. But the better way is to set a version number in the db. From the controlpanel - Tools/Network Optimize/Options...

    You can start w. ver # 1.00 for example and then every time you make a change increment 1.01 or 1.001. Whatever works for you. Then when users open your app in Alpha RT they will be prompted to update if they are not up to snuff.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: From Desktop to Web Application

    Quote Originally Posted by Judith View Post
    Hi,

    I work in an office of 8 people and I am responsible for our Desktop version of Alpha5, I am not an IT person but have managed to design a system were bookings for training courses are entered and invoices raised, it also handles the sales ledger for all the bookings. The bookings are then transferred to a CRM database which keeps a history of bookings, and we are able to analyse sales which enables us to target new customers. We also use Alpha Desktop Version 9 to pull together data for mailshots and emailing. We have runtime licence which means I can put Alpha5 on all the computers but we have strict guidelines about data entry being peformed on one computer only. The desktop version is becoming harder to maintain, the ideal would be a web based version were staff could access data. So the burning question is - how difficult would it be to transfer the existing desktop database to a web application? Any advice would be gratefully received.

    Judith
    When you are back online PLEASE HELP!!!
    I am having the same problem right now. Please how did you solve it. can i have a template, model or procedure. URGENT!!!
    My name is (wale)Lascvent.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: From Desktop to Web Application

    Quote Originally Posted by lascvent View Post
    When you are back online PLEASE HELP!!!
    I am having the same problem right now. Please how did you solve it. can i have a template, model or procedure. URGENT!!!
    My name is (wale)Lascvent.
    Wale

    Your issues may be similar, but also different.

    Please describe what you need and what your computer infa-structure is.
    Single computer/network/local/remote locations etc.
    Al Buchholz
    Bookwood Systems, LTD
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    Occam's Razor - KISS
    Normalize till it hurts - De-normalize till it works.
    Advice offered and questions asked in the spirit of learning how to fish is better than someone giving you a fish.
    When we triage a problem it is much easier to read sample systems than to read a mind.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: From Desktop to Web Application

    I use my A5v12 (Alphaanywhere) to run my thrift collections. Now i have three additional systems at different locations (local network) hence i want the files to run on BROWSER for them. I have runtime package for the two systems

  12. #12
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    Default Re: From Desktop to Web Application

    Quote Originally Posted by lascvent View Post
    I use my A5v12 (Alphaanywhere) to run my thrift collections. Now i have three additional systems at different locations (local network) hence i want the files to run on BROWSER for them. I have runtime package for the two systems
    That is one option. It does require rewriting the system for the web browser.

    The other option is to use RDP (or remote desktop) to run the current system without a rewrite at the remote locations.
    Al Buchholz
    Bookwood Systems, LTD
    Weekly QReportBuilder Webinars Thursday 1 pm CST

    Occam's Razor - KISS
    Normalize till it hurts - De-normalize till it works.
    Advice offered and questions asked in the spirit of learning how to fish is better than someone giving you a fish.
    When we triage a problem it is much easier to read sample systems than to read a mind.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: From Desktop to Web Application

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Buchholz View Post
    That is one option. It does require rewriting the system for the web browser.

    The other option is to use RDP (or remote desktop) to run the current system without a rewrite at the remote locations.
    Thanks sir.But two of the systems are not on LAN. They are about 4km from the others. so what do I do?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: From Desktop to Web Application

    Quote Originally Posted by lascvent View Post
    Thanks sir.But two of the systems are not on LAN. They are about 4km from the others. so what do I do?
    To run a web based system each system must be connected to the internet.

    You can run RDP over the internet. You can secure the transmissions with a VPN.
    Al Buchholz
    Bookwood Systems, LTD
    Weekly QReportBuilder Webinars Thursday 1 pm CST

    Occam's Razor - KISS
    Normalize till it hurts - De-normalize till it works.
    Advice offered and questions asked in the spirit of learning how to fish is better than someone giving you a fish.
    When we triage a problem it is much easier to read sample systems than to read a mind.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: From Desktop to Web Application

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Buchholz View Post
    To run a web based system each system must be connected to the internet.

    You can run RDP over the internet. You can secure the transmissions with a VPN.
    Thanks for your reply. What is RDP and where can I get it.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: From Desktop to Web Application

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Wood View Post
    If your plans are to keep the application local, and you want to shift from Desktop programming to web-programming, another option is called "WCD". That means "Web Components on Desktop" and means all of the components are from the web-side of Alpha and all of the programming is as if you were building a web app, but the entire app runs on Alpha RUNTIME in your office, on your LAN, just like your current Runtime application does. You can leave the app in DBF format, or move up to SQL, either one.

    I am one of the few who have build such a WCD program. I did so because I have lost my skill as a Desktop programmer, but wanted to have a totally local application and run on Runtime. You won't find much info here but you can check on this forum: http://forum.alphadevnet.com/index.php?board=124.0 and I have a video somewhere of my WCD development process.
    Please can you teach me how to build my application for web? I have tried to study the HOW on my Alpha anywhere but I couldn't get it. PLEASE HELP!! I need it so much and urgent.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: From Desktop to Web Application

    People like me are late for this your training on alpha five development on WCD by 4years.
    Please Can I get the video copies or writeups? PLEASE H E L P. Thanks a lot

    Wale
    Lascvent

  18. #18
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    Default Re: From Desktop to Web Application

    Quote Originally Posted by lascvent View Post
    Thanks for your reply. What is RDP and where can I get it.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=rdp

    or as an alternate

    https://www.tsplus.net/
    Al Buchholz
    Bookwood Systems, LTD
    Weekly QReportBuilder Webinars Thursday 1 pm CST

    Occam's Razor - KISS
    Normalize till it hurts - De-normalize till it works.
    Advice offered and questions asked in the spirit of learning how to fish is better than someone giving you a fish.
    When we triage a problem it is much easier to read sample systems than to read a mind.

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