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several desktop apps connected to one MySql db

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i'm not sure if this is the right place, so here i go
i'm very new to java (just finished understanding interfaces), but i like to dream.
Actually i'm developing a web application ( with php+MySql+Apache) where users fill lots and lots of forms. Those values are stored in Mysql. Other users will work on that data, editing, updating or deleting it, and then fill other forms.
I know for sure that i've to understand oop basics, command line JDBC and swing to make this kind of functionality with java in a desktop app.
i gave a look at jdbc and it looks quite easy to me.
i also studied a sun java tutorial about building a gui interface (DiveLog tutorial) with read/write from files, check boxes, text area, buttons and so on.
So my Q is: what kind of another technology will i need to master in order to have an equivalent aplication, but in this case with desktop interface instead of web browser?
Can i simply connect the various desktop apps (all identical - one per computer), in diferent machines, to the same MySql database without further things (like web services or RMI (not sure exactly what this is)...)?
Thanks in advance
[ February 21, 2004: Message edited by: miguel lisboa ]
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N�o � aconselhavel conectares o cliente java directamente � DB mysql. Devias usar um servidor java e fazeres as query necess�rias atrav�s de RMI. RMI permite, de maneira simples, de executar fun��es java situadas num servidor remoto.
Assim, o cliente conecta-se ao servidor e executa as fun��es necess�rias. Isto permite mais seguran�a, facilidade de implementa��o e � mais OO. Todo o c�digo JDBC (tens de arranjar um conector JDBC mysql de qq forma) fica no servidor e o cliente excuta fun��es que devolvem classes com os dados de que precises.
Espero que ajude
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