Recently I was working on converting a Lotus Approach application (say what?) to a web-based system. I’ve done a number of these conversions using PHP and MySQL on the backend. It’s a kick to show off the benefits of this database model over the old system. Why is it cool?

  • I don’t have to touch the client PC. No application to install as long as they have a browser and an Internet connection
  • Easy to demo as the project moves along. “Just go to this site and log in. How’s it look?
  • With good server-side tools and security , record-locking, multi-user stuff just works
  • PHP is a great scripting environment because you can go back and forth between HTML and PHP code
  • Finally my favorite is update. Client makes a request for a new report. You write the code and tell them to refresh their browser. Done. Anybody miss Foxpro

This is the first time I am also providing the hosting so I’ve fired up an old Dell server, killed IIS and installed the very cool wampserver. As you may know, WAMP is an acronym for Windows/Apache/MySQL/PHP. Wampserver bundles all if this into single download and installation and adds some nice management tools.

The server is in my office now but will ultimately be installed at the client site. While I’m working on it here, I’ve set up a site-to-site VPN between the client’s office and mine. I then added an A record in their DNS server pointing the hostname dbserver to the internal IP address on my side. Bottom line: when I want then to review something, they simply point a browser to dbserver.