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Joel on Software

Web services design question

I am designing a client/server app. On the server I would like to use some sort of web service. The client is a windows forms GUI.

I want the business logic and database access to be on the server side (in a DLL and exposed through the web service), but the way I understand web services is that every change made would be written to the server.

What I would really like to do is act more like it was an email program, in that the user could go on the net, download all the reports, and then they could go offline and still read through them, delete them etc. Then when they go back online they click a 'save to server' button, and everything they've changed is done.

So what I was planning to do is to keep the class, say 'Report', and have two classes inherit from it: ClientReport and ServerReport. ServerReport would load everything from SQL server and would be used on the web service.

ClientReport would be slightly different. It would have a 'LoadFromServer' function that downloads a report (by an ID number) from the server. It would also have a 'SaveToServer' function that contacts the server to save (say using web services)

But it would also have SaveToFile and LoadFromFile that would save and load contents to a local directory, for offline viewing.

Does this design sound like its any good? Is there a much more simpler way to go about it? Also, would you reccomend XML for storing the Report data?

Polkadot-phil
Sunday, July 04, 2004

Or have Save and Load that check whether the user is online and behave accordingly.

Koz
Monday, July 05, 2004

Perhaps this could be of help:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnpag/html/offline.asp

(MS's Smart Client Offline Application Block)

Girb
Monday, July 05, 2004

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