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web development advice needed

P: n/a
MPA
Hi,
We are a small company with experience in client-server apps with
PowerBuilder and most major databases. We have no internet experience. We
are now looking into slimming our main application, rewriting it with
DOT.NET and making it accessible for Internet browsers. Our app constists of
hierarchical tree (with usually several hundred nodes) representing the
company structures of our customers with several tabs with corresponding
info relating to a single node. From what we know we need a Window Server
(which includes IIS and application server), database server and DOT.NET. My
questions are:
a) Will something like that run well with browsers? (those already mentioned
several hundred people are the only expected users)
b) Can we put everything (Windows Server + database server) on one machine
at the customer site?
c) What is the easiest programming language or technology to develop this
sort of internet application? We want to start from scratch and look for a
compromise between solidity and development ease.
d) Can you direct me to some web sites where I could read more on that?

Thanks,
Miroslaw
Aug 2 '06 #1
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4 Replies


P: n/a
a) In most cases, yes.
b) Depends on how many users you'll have and how powerful your hardware is.
c) Visual Basic is arguably the easiest. You'll be coding for ASP.Net.
d) http://www.asp.net

"MPA" <mi*********@pf.plwrote in message
news:%2****************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
Hi,
We are a small company with experience in client-server apps with
PowerBuilder and most major databases. We have no internet experience. We
are now looking into slimming our main application, rewriting it with
DOT.NET and making it accessible for Internet browsers. Our app constists of
hierarchical tree (with usually several hundred nodes) representing the
company structures of our customers with several tabs with corresponding
info relating to a single node. From what we know we need a Window Server
(which includes IIS and application server), database server and DOT.NET. My
questions are:
a) Will something like that run well with browsers? (those already mentioned
several hundred people are the only expected users)
b) Can we put everything (Windows Server + database server) on one machine
at the customer site?
c) What is the easiest programming language or technology to develop this
sort of internet application? We want to start from scratch and look for a
compromise between solidity and development ease.
d) Can you direct me to some web sites where I could read more on that?

Thanks,
Miroslaw


Aug 2 '06 #2

P: n/a
And now for some common sense...

a.) Not neccessarily so...

It has proven very difficult if not impossible to replicate a Windows
application on the web. The web has not supported the rich and robust user
interface that has been available when using Windows controls so replicating
your Windows application on the web may prove very challenging to do well.

This is changing quite rapidly at this very point in time. While Microsoft
invented the initial functionality it was not supported by the "open-source"
communists because -- one must presume -- Microsoft's functionality required
supporting ActiveX. The open-source solution that finally emerged has been
called AJAX which stands for A(synchronous) J(avascript) X(ml). Microsoft's
current implementation no longer requires ActiveX and is called Atlas.
Basically, it allows the user interface of a web application to
asynchronously refresh itself or transporting data without rebuilding the
entire page on the web server. You will likely want to adopt the use of
Atlas [3].

To achieve the best results both AJAX and Atlas require significant
development skills using JavaScript (legacy C syntax and grammar).

b.) No need to deploy anything at a customer's site...

If your application is built to run on a web server and being offered to
customers as a hosted service you do not need to deploy anything to any
customer site. All they will need is a web browser. If I'm correct about
understanding your business objectives what you are doing is very popular
right now. Many many many applications are being redeployed so they run on
web servers rather than Windows applications running on the desktop.

What is called SaaS (Software as a Service) is a popular term right now. It
means you are providing a software application that runs on a web server and
you offer it as a service to your customers. Search the web for more about
the SaaS business model and how it affects the design of your application.
It sounds to me like you want to deploy using SaaS. If this is correct you
will host the application and database on your own servers accessible by
using Internet protocols or you will find a hosting service to host your
application and database on their servers which gives you more time to
continue working on developing and supporting your customers.

c.) Learn C# and ASP.NET 2.0 then move to ASP.NET 3.0 as soon as possible.
Use SQL Server 2005 and/or SQL Server Express 2005 as needed.

The syntax and grammar for web development requires a mastery of client-side
scripting (JavaScript) and server-side OOP (C#, VB.NET etc.). Those that use
VB are almost always not competent with the client-side programming as the
syntax and grammar of JavaScript is the same as that for C# and Java which
scares them and makes them, go pee-pee in their panties ;-) (its true
though)

There are exceptions and I know there are a good handful of VB developers
that are masters of their craft but I always recommend C# as elements of the
C syntax and grammar is also used by many other languages we need to use
with web development. XPath, XQuery, DLINQ and so on. You can prove these
assertions using common sense and checking out the facts at the defacto
standards body at W3C [1].

Nobody is designing any modern languages using VB syntax and grammar.

Nobody.

When it comes to web development nothing is "easy." Developing for the web
is challenging and there is much to learn about the browser
incompatibilities (client-side). This is especially true for page layout and
style using CSS (another web development languagethat uses legacy C syntax
and grammar) and this lso applies to the use of Javascript as I've
explained. As a server-side language C# is as easy to learn as any language.
Easier perhaps because it is clean and uncluttered with goofy terminology
like VB is. The real challenge is learning Object Oriented Programming
(OOP)and how to apply language skills using OOP with the .NET Framework.

Learn JavaScript and C# languages and get started by using Microsoft
documentation [2,3].

d.) Microsoft also has a solution called "Smart Client" development which
you may find to be perfect for you. Maybe not but I mention Smart Client
development because it supports Windows applications that replicate and
update themselves using Internet protocols to transparently connect to a web
server. This hybrid model may be what you need and you should study it.

e.) Now you've heard from a C# developer and a VB.NET developer.

<%= Clinton Gallagher
NET csgallagher AT metromilwaukee.com
URL http://www.metromilwaukee.com/clintongallagher/

[1] http://www.w3.org/
[2] ASP.NET 1.0 and 1.1 documentation is at msdn.microsoft.com.
ASP.NET 2.0 and 3.0 documentation is at msdn2.microsoft.com. Note the
use of the msdn2 sub-domain! A typical google search would be composed like
this...

selecting a development language site:msdn2.microsoft.com

[3] http://asp.net/





"Mike Lowery" <se******@mouse-potato.comwrote in message
news:%2****************@TK2MSFTNGP03.phx.gbl...
a) In most cases, yes.
b) Depends on how many users you'll have and how powerful your hardware
is.
c) Visual Basic is arguably the easiest. You'll be coding for ASP.Net.
d) http://www.asp.net

"MPA" <mi*********@pf.plwrote in message
news:%2****************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
>Hi,
We are a small company with experience in client-server apps with
PowerBuilder and most major databases. We have no internet experience. We
are now looking into slimming our main application, rewriting it with
DOT.NET and making it accessible for Internet browsers. Our app constists
of
hierarchical tree (with usually several hundred nodes) representing the
company structures of our customers with several tabs with corresponding
info relating to a single node. From what we know we need a Window Server
(which includes IIS and application server), database server and DOT.NET.
My
questions are:
a) Will something like that run well with browsers? (those already
mentioned
several hundred people are the only expected users)
b) Can we put everything (Windows Server + database server) on one
machine
at the customer site?
c) What is the easiest programming language or technology to develop this
sort of internet application? We want to start from scratch and look for
a
compromise between solidity and development ease.
d) Can you direct me to some web sites where I could read more on that?

Thanks,
Miroslaw



Aug 3 '06 #3

P: n/a
clintonG wrote:
And now for some common sense...
[most snipped for brevity, but it's all good]

Top notch post Clinton, I don't necessarily agree with all your points
but you make a very good pragmatic case.
There are exceptions and I know there are a good handful of VB developers
that are masters of their craft but I always recommend C# as elements of the
C syntax and grammar is also used by many other languages we need to use
with web development. XPath, XQuery, DLINQ and so on. You can prove these
assertions using common sense and checking out the facts at the defacto
standards body at W3C [1].

Nobody is designing any modern languages using VB syntax and grammar.

Nobody.
This is sadly true, and in fact one of the reasons I am resigning myself
to becoming a C# developer. I will continue to think in English: but
unfortunately I will no longer be able to code in English :)
--
Larry Lard
la*******@googlemail.com
The address is real, but unread - please reply to the group
For VB and C# questions - tell us which version
Aug 4 '06 #4

P: n/a
Well thanks Larry. The facts are I was dragged kicking and screaming into
the C family after several years of using VB syntax and grammar.

When I started taking coding seriously learning the VB syntax and grammar
seemed to be the right choice. It seemed everybody I knew was a C
programmer. While I had a foot in *nix (mid 1980s) working as an admin and
had taken coursework in C my interests, my employment on Windows platforms,
and my pragmatic nature motivated me to learn and adopt the VB dialect. So
yes, you are right. It was all about pragmatism then and its all about
pragmatism now.

The VBScript skills led to VBA skills which led to VB skills and they all
fit nice and neat and tidy into a marketable package. After a few years
scripting ASP/VBS I had an epiphany when C# was released helping me to
really understand what the web was, had become, and would continue to be
which of course once again called for a pragmatic philosophy simply to cope
with the deluge.

I'm glad I made the choice and I'm confident you'll feel the same sense of
having made a pragmatic decision yourself. Hopefully it will help Miroslaw
to work through the decision making process.

<%= Clinton
"Larry Lard" <la*******@googlemail.comwrote in message
news:4j************@individual.net...
clintonG wrote:
>And now for some common sense...
[most snipped for brevity, but it's all good]

Top notch post Clinton, I don't necessarily agree with all your points but
you make a very good pragmatic case.
>There are exceptions and I know there are a good handful of VB developers
that are masters of their craft but I always recommend C# as elements of
the C syntax and grammar is also used by many other languages we need to
use with web development. XPath, XQuery, DLINQ and so on. You can prove
these assertions using common sense and checking out the facts at the
defacto standards body at W3C [1].

Nobody is designing any modern languages using VB syntax and grammar.

Nobody.

This is sadly true, and in fact one of the reasons I am resigning myself
to becoming a C# developer. I will continue to think in English: but
unfortunately I will no longer be able to code in English :)
--
Larry Lard
la*******@googlemail.com
The address is real, but unread - please reply to the group
For VB and C# questions - tell us which version

Aug 4 '06 #5

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