Subject Interbase and Website - long question
Author Sujan Sreenath
Hello Everybody,

I have two questions, one short and the other long, please bear with me.

The short question:

I need to connect to a Interbase Server running on a Web Site Hosted by a third-pary, over a dial-up connection, and synchronise/replicate data between the Web Interbase Server and the local LAN Server.

My problem is: What would be the connection string for the IBDatabase.Databasename property?

To connect to the Local LAN Server from a Client i use the following:
(Server runs on Win 2K, Client is Win98, app is in Delphi 5, uses IBX)

var dname: String;

dname := 'myserver:d:\myapp\database\mydb.gdb';
IBDatabase1.DatabaseName := dname;

My Web Hosting provider is providing Linux Based Hosting. And I have no idea about linux at all, or about Interbase for Linux.

would the connection string be something like this:

dname := '\\virtualdir\database\mydata.gdb'; (blind guess)

Also will I be able to use my Windows based IBConsole to administer the remote Web Interbase Server running Linux?

The Long Question

This is my basic problem. For those interested I outline below what exactly I am trying to do.

We currently have a client/server application written in Delphi 5, using Interbase Express, and
the Server is a Windows 2000 server running Interbase 6 Open Edition. Clients are Win 98 machines. With a Max of 5 connected users.

The application is a standard database app that tracks movement of goods from the factory to different partys/brokers/branch offices in India, and the selling prices of these goods. Currently all information from the branches/brokers/partys come by e-mail/fax/phone calls, and punched in by an operator at the Head Office using our app.

My intention is to create a Web Site, running Interbase/Firebird. Our main server will be the one running on our LAN. The LAN Server will connect to the WebServer every 30 minutes (on ISDN line), and synchronise the data.

The people at branches/party can access the webserver using two methods:

1. Our Custom Delphi App to be written using Interbase Express, that will connect to the Webserver over dial-up phone lines and synchronize the data, once or twice every day. After downloading the data, user works on the data offline, and then reconnects and synchronizes. Volume of data is very low (maybe 50 records in a day).

2. If option 1 does not work, then I am planning to develop a web based front-end using PHP & Interbase where the User will have to log into our website and enter data using forms,etc. (But I do not prefer this method, as first I will have to learn PHP & and next user will have to connect to the internet at least 15-20 times in a day for entering every small transaction.

My last resort, if all else fails, is to try out the above two options using MySQL instead of Interbase/Firebird.

Please give me your suggestions, whether what I am thinking is the right way to solve the problem.

It should be noted, that people at branch offices have access to the Internet using only Dial-up phone lines. And at the head office, we cannot afford to have a leased line.

Also it would be very helpful, if anybody can recommend some web hosting companies which offer Interbase/Firebird hosting.


Sujan Sreenath