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Need tech advice on app conversion


I have a Win32 database app (Delphi 7 front-end, Firebird/Red Hat back-end) that I want to convert to a browser-based (front-end) app.  The Delphi app's UI is moderately rich due to data entry needs.

Can anyone suggest what would be the easiet way to convert the Delphi front-end to a browser-based UI?

Thursday, January 22, 2004

IntraWeb ?

Thursday, January 22, 2004


The library is available for free in Delphi 7!

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Each kind of automatic code generation processes can represent future serious problems with maintenace and support of system. Consider cost of new development.

Evgeny Gesin /
Thursday, January 22, 2004

Just to satisfy my own curiosity, will both clients still be supported? Sounds like the feature-rich fat client does well for the data entry... no?

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Yes, both clients will be supported.  I've got some users who travel without a computer, and simply want to access the application via a browser.  I am leaning towards moving away from any Delphi-based web tools (ie. IntraWeb) as it seems that Delphi's Win32 future is unknown.

What about .NET?

Thursday, January 22, 2004

.Net isn't a silver bullet on this - obviously you'll want to put as much logic as possible in a middle tier and make the client as thin as possible. If you put as much as you can in web services, then you minimize the duplication of effort on web vs. desktop.

One advantage .Net *does* have is that you can deliver winforms clients over the web pretty painlessly, which then gives you a single client to maintain.

Another possibility to look at, if it suits your solution - Infopath, which again puts all your client maintenance in a single codebase but can work as a smart client, in a detached mode, or over the web. The downside here is that you do need Infopath installed on every client desktop, so it's more for corporate/internal apps as opposed to internet apps.

I'll echo the previous poster - reworking an app is always harder than you think, and should definitely be budgeted/scheduled like a complete application development project.


Thursday, January 22, 2004

I'll recho the previous comment:

Maintaining a product derived from another product is a lot of work.

Say you have product A and product A', which is a converted version of A.

Everytime you do ANYTHING to A, you have to EITHER :
a. Recovert A to A'  (very rarely a trivial task)
So, even if a bug fix took you 5 minutes in A, it might take you a day to convert the modified A to A'


b. You make the same change in A' that you made in A.

IF you choose option b, then you have doubled all the testing and QA.

If you do NOT keep A and A' sync'd it becomes a bit of a mess.

MY Own Experience:
We have 18 or so products. About 8 of them use the exact same code base, with some custom bits.  I discovered the joy of modifying code in ONE spot and then just recompiling. Joy of joys to have the other 7 programs pick up those changes.

My $.02 worth.

The real Entrepreneur
Thursday, January 22, 2004

Have a look at, specifically KBMWABD.  Might fit the bill.

David Freeman
Monday, January 26, 2004

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