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Communicating between instances on different PCs

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    Communicating between instances on different PCs

    Hi everyone,

    Starting my foray into AA to build a desktop application instead of a web one for now...

    The application will be running on different PCs, networked, and I need to be able to tell the other instances on other PCs when certain updates were done to the database, so they can refresh a status screen. It is a vehicle status screen, and if another person marks a vehicle as "on location", it will write to the database, and then need to notify the rest of the instances to refresh their screen so they see that change.

    Any suggestions on which approach to take? I was looking into WCF but not sure if that is the best, or if Alpha has something built-in.


    Re: Communicating between instances on different PCs

    With the control panel open, use the View menu, Settings, Network branch for the place to set the local machine refresh rate.
    There can be only one.


      Re: Communicating between instances on different PCs

      I think it defaults to no, Maybe Stan knows if yes would create any other problems?
      Dave Mason
      [email protected]
      Skype is dave.mason46


        Re: Communicating between instances on different PCs

        In these days of faster networks and faster pc's, not many problems. Back in the old days.............
        There can be only one.


          Re: Communicating between instances on different PCs

          It would basically have to update every second though... If user A arrives a vehicle, user B needs to see that the vehicle arrived moments later... could probably get away with 5 seconds, but I would think it would be better that App A on PC A sends a msg over to PC B and says "hey, vehicle status changed..update"... ?

          The backend (my mistake for leaving it out) is SQL Server.. not DBF


            Re: Communicating between instances on different PCs

            How would you propose sending the message?

            Maybe running a scheduled script or have an on-timer event on all the PC's that would check for an update in a specific table? Somehow, user "a" would need to set a flag or make a note in a table, and if the flag is set, users "b" and "c" would query the flag and display the message.

            Just some thoughts...


              Re: Communicating between instances on different PCs

              My first thought was basically have a central application running somewhere that simply is a clearing house... it runs and when a user does some type of update, the application sends a message via a network socket to this main process... and the main process sends a message to all the other clients saying "refresh".. via a socket. when a user signs in, it basically notifies that main process that the application is active on _____ PC so it can keep track of who to notify.

              I may be overcomplicating it, but wasn't sure... just seems that sockets would normally be best, but thought I'd see what else AA offers.

              Thank you everyone!


                Re: Communicating between instances on different PCs

                I have a table, that you write to, and who you want to send it to, or ALL, and every workstation refreshes the table for new new notices maybe every 15 to 30 seconds. When they click on a button it opens a form as a dialog and shows the message and/or all unread messages.
                Cole Custom Programming - Terrell, Texas
                972 524 8714
                [email protected]

                "A young man who is not liberal has no heart, but an old man who is not conservative has no mind." GB Shaw


                  Re: Communicating between instances on different PCs


                  Let me expand on things other have mentioned.

                  Each Alpha form in a desktop workspace has an onTimer event that can be scripted. This event fires on a schedule you can specify. Once every 5 secs, once every 60 secs, etc.

                  The form on a workstation could have an onTimer script that checks the last record of a table on the server. that record might contain a date/time value. If that value is more recent than a value stored in the user's form, the script could display a message to the user that they need to refresh, and then the script could store the last date/time value locally, for use the next time the server is checked.

                  This works well using native Alpha Anywhere (Foxpro) tables. Presumably the same thing could be done with your SQL backend. Though you may be working with xdialogs instead of traditional AA forms.

                  -- tom


                    Re: Communicating between instances on different PCs

                    Just curious...when you say 'vehicle' my first thought was 'car'. Are we talking auto repair shop, valet service, or golf carts? Are there one or more followup tasks that must occur once a vehicle has 'arrived' and other users are notified?

                    Discernment is not needed in things that differ, but in those things that appear to be the same. - Miles Sanford