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  1. #1
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    Web based Database Connectivity (Frontpage XP)

    Ok. Here's the model.

    We have a Win2K Server w/ IIS and Sharepoint that hosts our website. We have an agreement with an ISP to host the box at their office plugged directly into their Internet connection. The box is ours and we have complete control of it. In our office we have Win2K server with our Access database backend located on it and it's connected to the Internet through high speed access behind a router (router has VPN capability). We have six workstations with an Access front end linked to the database on our local server. Our customers access their information via the website and nightly our backend is copied to the webserver so that our customers can access their information as current as the previous business day. The customer enters the order online and an email is sent to our office and the order is entered into our database manually. The website uses ASP pages to query the webserver copy of the database. The local server connects to the Internet with 3meg download and 400kb upload speed.

    Here's the challenge.

    We wish to have the website connect directly to our backend that's located in our office so our customers have access to up-to-date information. The customer enters an order online and it should be entered into our local database automatically from the website. What is the best way to establish connectivity? Virtual Directory on the webserver pointing to a mapped drive through a VPN? Is it possible to connect the two servers via an http protocol? FTP?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Web based Database Connectivity (Frontpage XP)

    My initial impulse was to suggest that you get rid of the public web server in this scenario and simply go straight to your internal database, hosted on a box running IIS/ASP/ADO. But the transaction you're describing seems to be pretty low bandwidth: your ASP page opens the remote table without retrieving any records and does a simple AddNew to append data. So there should be a way to do it.

    The only thing that comes to mind is something I've never used called RDS - Remote Data Services. RDS is normally a way to do ASP/ADO-like things on the client side, using ActiveX or Java controls in a web page. But it occurs to me that RDS might be a way for your ASP page to access a remote database efficiently. It does require that you have a web server running IIS and RDS components inside the firewall, and communication would be by HTTP. It's a theory. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    I suppose there's a "modern" way to do this as a web service, but that's even further beyond my scope.

    I suspect this question might receive more responses on the Access board, and we can move it over there if you don't get any (helpful) ideas here.

  3. #3
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    Re: Web based Database Connectivity (Frontpage XP)

    Why not just host the site on your local W2k server? What you are trying to do is toss a second computer into the mix, which doesn't need to be there, at least not from the information you posted.

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    Re: Web based Database Connectivity (Frontpage XP)

    That's a good idea. However, the ISP has a unique form handler that is proprietary and necessary for our website to function. We could host our website locally, but then we would lose the functionality of the form handler. We are also in a rural area and the only high speed connection we can get does not offer us a static IP address. (mind you, we have had the same IP address for six months now).

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    Re: Web based Database Connectivity (Frontpage XP)

    What do you mean by 'form handler'? Also, if you don't have a static IP address, how would you have the hosting company hit your server? (assuming the IP address DOES change).

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    Re: Web based Database Connectivity (Frontpage XP)

    Our ISP has a PDF form handler that enables us to populate fields in a PDF file from an ASP form and database. For example, we take one of our (paper) contracts and convert it to PDF. A customer goes to our website and enters the information for their purchase. The form handler takes the data, overlays it on the PDF and the customer now has a contract that is in a pdf format to be printed and/or saved. This is something that we can't duplicate in the office.

    Though we don't have a static IP as such. Coincidently, our IP address hasn't changed in 6 months. When I contact our ISP about it, they will not guarantee a static IP address. One idea was to set up a VPN to the server. If our IP changes, then it's a quick fix for the VPN config.

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    Re: Web based Database Connectivity (Frontpage XP)

    I see. There are pdf making utilities out there though, if this becomes too much of a hassle. So it is something you could do in house....with the exception of the IP issue. There are dynamic DNS servers out there, that can handle a dynamic IP Address.

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