Developing a server based WPF App

This isn't exactly a code question as much as it is an advice question. I currently working on a program for a small business. This program does a multitude of things from updating their local access database, edits and updates Word and Excel docs, etc. Now I have the WPF/C# based program running on a Windows 8 computer but they would like to be able to run it from multiple computers. My first instinct was to make the project again as a WPF Browser application. My questions is how would one set something like that up? Would I have to dedicate a computer with special software to handle just this program, the database, and their documents? Any Suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated.

Answers


It doesn't have to be a WPF Browser App to run on multiple PCs. I suggest using Click Once deployment, where all users automatically get the latest version from a shared folder on an office server or just one of the other PCs in the office.

If they want all of these instances of your application to connect to a common data source or sources, then you will need one computer that hosts the server application and its database (you'll now have 2 projects: the server application, which might run as a Windows Service and have no UI, and the client application, which is the WPF app).

This computer be an existing Windows server in the office or it can even be just one of the PCs in the office, but that PC must be kept on for others to use the app and if anyone reboots it in the middle of the day others could lose some of the data they were updating.

Fundamentally, you need to alter the WPF application so that it fetches and sends its data from/to the "server," most likely using WCF services.

It is a lot to digest, but in incremental steps you can get there. The biggest hurdle will be getting your first successful WCF communication between server and client. Once you cross that threshold you'll be well on your way!


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