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Desktop applications


Despite the benefits of web applications, desktop applications I think still have a valuable place.

I haven't found any way yet of interacting with the local file system using a browser - something which is invaluable & very easy and on a desktop system.  Simply clicking and opening a local file with the local PCs native application also isn't possible with the browser, but possible with a desktop system.

With a desktop system you can also open Microsoft applications in different ways such as read only or opening a template.

Another interesting problem I've come across with web apps is process flow.  So far I've not built a web app which spawns multiple browser windows, so an entire process has to be built in one - going from page to page.  I've hit problems with for example email creation and sending - on my online invoicing system for example.  To have an invoice and email it and pick up attachments along the way - ones uploaded on the site and local ones which need uploaded, entering the email text and having the ability to change the entire email and its attachments before sending - all very difficult - but way easier with a desktop system as you can have an emailing form sitting open and do things with it - like add or remove attachments without it refreshing for example and losing all your body text...

I still have a lot of time too for Access databases.  Despite all their bad press, I have multi-user databases used daily with no problems.  Relatively simple to build as you get everything in one file (front end, SQL, database, reports) and no installation.

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