[dba-VB] Deploying .net solutions

JWColby jwcolby at colbyconsulting.com
Thu Apr 26 21:51:19 CDT 2007

I have a bunch of processes that are not particularly suited to Access for
one reason or another.  These include things like 
* doing what I call "directory watching" and performing some action when a
file appears.
* FTP transfers between local drives and FTP sites
* Building complex data feeds between a database and a remote mainframe
To take an example, I regularly build data feeds which look like:
Header Rec
Detail Rec
Detail Rec
Detail Rec
Trailer Rec
The header rec has some specific set of data in it such as who it is coming
from, the date of the file etc.
The detail recs have repetitive data such as payments to clients, payment
dates, from/to dates that the payment is for, the amount, the check number
The footer rec has some specific data in it such as the number of checks,
the bank account number that the checks are drawn against etc.
I have built a report generator in VBA, inside of access, and it works, but
it is really rather patchwork by nature.  I have to reference specific libs,
go outside of VBA to handle things like the file system and text streams (in
an object oriented manner) and so forth.  There are no threads so a single
error can hang the system, and things that should happen in parallel have to
happen sequentially.
So, I would like to take one of these systems and move it to .Net.  What I
am trying to discover is how .Net systems are (reliably) deployed to the
desktop.  Often times these applets are used by more than one person, often
at the same time.  At the moment, because they are Access / vba based, I
just do a copy down to the desktop (a single file) and open the mdb.  A form
opens and the user goes to work.  These applets are under constant
development, literally daily as I finish one report another is started.  Bug
fixes are done.
I assume (but am not sure) that a VB.Net applet would be distributed as
well, downloaded to the desktop and run from there.  What is the vehicle for
this distribution?  
John W. Colby
Colby Consulting

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