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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9

    Lightbulb Scheduling software ideas (online & offline)

    Hi, Im currently working on a project for a client who runs a medical clinic. He would like a website redesign and for his office to go digital.

    He is interested in adding the functionality of booking appointments online via his website for his customers. And also wants to implement scheduling software on his reception computer.

    Has anyone had any experiences in this type of application? (online using ASP.NET and office computer using VisualBasic.NET application)

    I have been thinking for the last couple days of some viable solutions.

    First off hosting (on the WWW server) the database with client and appointment information wont work because what will happen if their internet connection goes down? They wont have an appointment book. Unfortunately we cannot host the database on the office computer as they have a ADSL connection and not a top of the line system, so the website cannot be connecting to that continuously.

    What would be a good solution for this? As always security is a issue and our client isnt exactly comfortable having all his customer information online. Would it be best to have 2 databases, one for the office computer and one for the website and synchronize between the two?

    Thanks for all your help, it is much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    710
    You're going to have to read up on HIPAA compliance for your database. Wish I could help you more.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9
    "HIPAA compliance", Im just doing a quick search on it at the moment, it seems to be an American policy? We are from Canada, thanks for the heads up though I should check out privacy laws in our country.

    About the application, would you have any ideas of how to have design a system like this? We were thinking of having the office computer update the website on a daily basis, and if it was not able to connect to the website, the office would still have the recent appointment list and the website would be the one that is "out dated" (do not want to have no appointment book if there office internet is down).

    Our main problem is they do not want to have their appointment book rely on the internet connection, so we are going to make a .NET application most likely using a Access database to handle all customers and appointment schedules. Yet we would like to have the website synchronized so their customers do not make appointments on times that are all ready taken.

    Note: This is a private acupuncture clinic in Canada.
    Last edited by Thomas_Szafran; 01-21-04 at 23:54.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    710
    Definitely have two servers involved. One Primary (office host), the other secondary (website host). You could update both the office and website database with each transaction as it occurs. Then if the website server drops the line you are up-to-date to the point of failure. When you reconnect you can then synchronize the office and website and keep going.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    26
    Seems to be a replication problem.

    I guess you should use merge replication within microsoft SQL server!
    It merges changes from the website with changes from the office-side.
    You can set your own rules and if SQL thinks there's something wrong it will come up with conflicts in your SQL server agent.

    The database administrator can do the conflict resolving. Within a good database conflicts are seldom.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9

    Thanks

    Thanks guys, I met with the client two more times and convinced him to do a complete online booking system. So now its just one server that will handle everything thankfully!

    Im off to design the database now, thanks for the ideas everyone.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    26
    Thomas let us know something about the ending results.
    just a couple of years ago(the early internet) we made a merge database. So you have customers on the internet site sometimes editing the same data as people were doing in the office. So we've chosen merge database.

    In your case I guess you have chosen an application service provider so both office as customers work on-line on the same database.
    I think with modern bandwidth and a good provider this is quite a good choice. The cool thing is the office doesn't need system administration anymore if you totally outsource all applications. And they can use network computers instead of heavy workstations.
    Sounds promising, success!!

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