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help with a new project involving a server-based app

Mark Bohn
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 15, 2009
Posts: 3
I have a project that may be related to Java, which I am presently learning. If I've put this in the wrong place the mods can move it without hurting my feelings. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

I have developed a Windows app that is somewhat computationally intensive but has relatively simple user input input data (about 100 small text items) and simple output (~ 200KB of text).

1. Rather than deploying the app on a CD and dealing with all the distribution, installation, upgrade, and security issues it makes sense to me to let the users send in their input data to a server that would then run my app and send back the results.

2. I was told by one web "expert" that I needed to convert the Win app to a Linux app. That may be because that is all he works with but would that in fact be an advantage? I have a (somewhat difficult) way to do the conversion if it would be a benefit, but I'd obviously prefer to spend my time on the core program and leave it as a Win app. I'm assuming it needs to be a console app so I already have that conversion in process.

3. Do I need this to be a web-based set-up? Since the user's i/o can be simple text files I'd prefer to not complicate things more than necessary. Possibly they would email in the input and the server would email the results back. Would a Java app help user's manage their input?

4. With the limited i/o requirements, would it be practical to host this on a spare computer connected to the internet with pretty good bandwidth or would I need a hosting service? I'd prefer not to get into a high-overhead situation right away. I can eventually see having a forum to provide user support and all the other bells and whistles, but not just yet.

Thanks!
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 38031
    
  22
Afraid I shall have to move it, as it is too difficult for "beginning Java". Not sure where,maybe "in general."
Lorand Komaromi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 08, 2009
Posts: 276
1. I agree!

2. You don't *need* to convert it to a Linux app, as Linux is not the only OS that can run on a server, but unless you're using some Windows-specific API calls to do the computation, it shouldn't be too difficult to make it platform-independent and this could be a benefit in the future! It's a good idea to convert it into a console app, this way it will be easier to integrate it with a web-based front-end...

3. A web-based interface would be more convenient for the users IMHO! They could enter the data in a form on a web page or upload the input files, then a back-end script would pass the data to your application and e-mail the results to the user. Or the results could be sent back to the browser if the computation doesn't take long.

You could develop the web application with java servlets/JSPs, but in my opinion PHP is better suited for simple applications like this!

4. If your internet provider allows you to run a server at home (is that what you'd like to do..?), this could be a solution. Or you could rent a VPS...


OCJP 6 (93%)
Mark Bohn
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 15, 2009
Posts: 3
Lorand Komaromi wrote:1. I agree!

2. You don't *need* to convert it to a Linux app, as Linux is not the only OS that can run on a server, but unless you're using some Windows-specific API calls to do the computation, it shouldn't be too difficult to make it platform-independent and this could be a benefit in the future! It's a good idea to convert it into a console app, this way it will be easier to integrate it with a web-based front-end...

3. A web-based interface would be more convenient for the users IMHO! They could enter the data in a form on a web page or upload the input files, then a back-end script would pass the data to your application and e-mail the results to the user. Or the results could be sent back to the browser if the computation doesn't take long.

You could develop the web application with java servlets/JSPs, but in my opinion PHP is better suited for simple applications like this!

4. If your internet provider allows you to run a server at home (is that what you'd like to do..?), this could be a solution. Or you could rent a VPS...


Thanks much for the feedback, it is a huge help to know I'm generally going down the right trail.

2. My app is written in Delphi and I've been working on porting it to Lazarus so it will be platform-independent. But for now there are unfortunately some serious roadblocks. Are there any other ways you know of?

4. Yes, using a spare laptop at home is what I had in mind. At least until this project takes off and can provide some revenue.
Lorand Komaromi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 08, 2009
Posts: 276
Mark Bohn wrote:Are there any other ways you know of?


You might take a look at WINE...
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
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