For a distributed remote application back end. Front-End Application will want to be able to run with/without internet connection. (So the data will be both on the users laptops, as well as a centralized server.) It will be up to the users to sync.
I have several distributed applications that run stand alone. We are a supply company. The applications allow customers to create PO's, check current prices, and inventory queries without having to connect to a remote application or web site. The customers can download database/image changes via a web application.
Once authenticated to the remote server, a file is sent from the client to the server. This text file gives the "As Of" information about the client. Based on this info the server will query the appropriate tables and export the results to csv files. Once built these files are sent to the client PC. Once the transfer is done they can disconnect.
The next time the application is launched on the client PC. the presents of the downloaded files is detected. The csv files are imported directly into temporary tables that match the target tables of the database. Once imported, the temp tables are queried and then record by record processed into the database.