? about php functionality

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I was hoping someone here could answer a question for me regarding the
functionality of php. A while back someone told me I could use it to
accomplish our goal.

We have two assistants who work for the same boss. They use an old
program called Ecco Pro to keep a journal of his calls. The nice thing
about Ecco is both assistants can open and edit the same file at the
same time. As assistant A is making an entry (change or deletion)
assistant B see's the changes in real-time. Same thing if Assistant B
makes changes. I tried using Excel Workbook share tool, but it's not
really what we are looking for.

Can php do something similar, provide near real-time updates to say a
form. The form wouldn't have to be more than a couple of pages in
length, the are constantly adding and deleting entries. The would also
have to be able to save the data when they leave for the evening. It's
a Windows environment, if that matters.

I loaded php on my machine at home this weekend, but couldn't find a
function to do this, perhaps it's available as an add-in extension.
Any advice is greatly appreciated.


Re: ? about php functionality


PHP is server-side language and used to build dynamic web applcations.
So, PHP itself will not have a function (like a prepackaged tool) to do
it out-of-the-box, if that is what you are looking at.

You will have to write an application that will read, display and
modify the database (in your case, Excel spreadsheet) and provide a
suitable web interface to the admin assistants.

About real time updates, you will do employ something like the server
push method so that the server refreshes the assistants' browser
screens after each update. I believe that is about the most real time
you can get using a web application. Or else, you have to auto refresh
the page every few minutes (using the refresh tag) so that the updated
status is displayed.

Another option might be to use PHP to script a local application (PHP,
GTK with COM), but I have never done it so, I am not in a position to
say more.

Hope that helps in your search.


Re: ? about php functionality

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The answer is a qualified no. Providing that kind of data sychronization
requires a level of integration between the server and client that goes
beyond your standard web browser and server. You might be able to do it with
Internet Explorer's data-binding feature and ASP.Net.

Re: ? about php functionality

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It depends on what you mean by "real time".

If you mean Observer Pattern, where one user makes a change and that change
is automatically displayed on the other user's screen then doing this in php
or any http based application would be painful to the point that it really
isn't worth doing unless you're a coding guru with lots of time to spend
doing the job (and since you are asking here then I guess you're not).

If you mean that two or more users can access data concurrently then yes php
can help you, but again this means you'll have to learn some programming
skills but not to the extent of implementing observer pattern.

However I suspect it is more likely that you would benefit from looking for
an existing application that would meet your needs. Try looking @
http://www.freshmeat.net /

Re: ? about php functionality

You are correct. Perhaps my question should have been worded
differently. It doesn't have to be real-time per se, but I need them to
be working off the same file similiar to Ecco so only one deletion is
being made and no synch issues etc. They make 20-30
additions/changes/deletions per day. I'll take a look at the link you



CJ Llewellyn wrote:
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in php
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yes php
looking for

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