Tuesday 7 February 2012

Wessex Professional and the Cloud

Back from the NEC and the buzz word there was "Cloud" & will the program work with it? My honest answer was "I don't know."

For those not in the know the Cloud refers to files held on a remote server which are accessed via the internet by a local computer. For instance, GMail emails are held on a remote server and are looked at by the user from whichever computer they happen to be on.

So, while Wessex Professional has always been able to use a networked database (say one computer in the shop, which talks to another in the workshop). What happens if there are 2 shops miles away from each other? You can't use wifi, you can't use a wired network, you need some way of putting the database file on a remote server and allowing the 2 (or more) computers to access it.

For a number of years now I've been using remote backup storage to protect my important files. This is done automatically and the remote server appears as a "network location" on my computer. The system I use is called "SafeSync" by Trend Micro
( http://uk.trendmicro.com/uk/products/personal/safesync-solution/index.html.)
There are also other companies - have a look at - http://www.thetop10bestonlinebackup.com/cloud-storage

I experimented with putting a test database file on the server and told the program to use it as the networked database. I found that it could be read and modified as easily as a database file on a traditional network.
There's the answer then, but it's worth bearing some things in mind - your internet connection needs to be pretty solid (if it goes down you won't be able to access your data). On the other hand the file is safer on the remote server than on your own computer (servers are much more reliable than your personal pc.).

As usual, thank you to all the people I met at the Spring Fair and in particular for your fresh ideas.

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