Internal user needs to update/insert data while disconnected. Suggestions?
We have a windows application back ended with a SQL Server 2005 database. Due to the customer's remote location, our internal user (will pass security checks) needs to update and insert data while disconnected from our network. Web based interface is not an option either at this remote location. User OS moving to Windows 7. We need a FREE way for the user to access the data at the start of the day on their laptops, make updates or inserts to the data while disconnected, then synch/merge that data back to our main db at the end of their task. The synch process could happen a few times a day or sometimes just at the end of the day. Ideally the user would continue to use our UI's (in development) but we could simplify if we have to. Users do have MS Office installed. Suggestions on best method to do this? We will research suggestions. Thank you.
I would suggest using Replication to handle the updates between the master copy and your remote users, see the following section in BOL :
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms151198(v=sql.90).aspx or more specifically for your scenario the Consumer POS Applications :
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/library/ms151330(v=sql.90).aspx You would need to decide how you want to handle conflicts, i.e. when more than one user changes the same piece of data, or whether each user only has read/write on their own segment of data, but is able to read other users data too. To make this 'free' you could use SQL Server Express, but that is limited by data sizes and feature set, alternatively, depending on the edition of Office, you could even use Access, although that wouldn't seamlessly integrate into SQL Server replication.