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databases in Java using Netbeans

 
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Ok this question is actually 2 sided, I may have to move one aspect to the database forum, but lets see what happens.

I am currently a SC student (part time) and work as a Truck Technician full time.  I have a personal project I want to build (on the side) in Java that will help me and other techs manage our work load, commission time, estimate and even the repair stories.  I have been working on things like sketch's of the GUI, Class design on paper, Feature ideas and such for a couple months.  Most of this has been on paper, I haven't started any coding yet.  I am also researching things that I want to include in my application.  This is were my problems comes in.

1. I want to embed a DerbyDB into the application, Can someone offer a good tutorial/guild on this (preferably for Netbeans).  I have found quite a few but they are either only partially complete, or don't explain things very well.  I am the kid of person that doesn't just want to know how but explain what is happening.  I ultimately want to build the DB in the 'services' tab of the project explorer window, build a Java GUI application with that database embedded (I don't want the user to have any hint of a database).  If no one knows a good start to finish tutorial maybe a list of how and what I do step by step so I can search for tutorials on each subject.

2.  I want my application to have the above mentioned database, but I also want to have a database on the internet, I would ultimately like to have the application update the embedded and also send data to the iNet DB when there is a connection.  One idea I had was to build a server application that connects directly to the iNet DB.  Every time a client had to access or modify a DB in some way, the client would modify the embedded, then store a list of changes, if the client can connect to the external database then it would send the list to the server, the server application then processed the list.  I can see already a problem I am going to have with data integrity.  Since I will likely have up to 100 clients, and some clients will share a portion of the data in the DB I will need a way to make sure there is a way to ensure data is not being changed back wards.  This problem I have just started thinking about and haven't done ANY research yet, and the above problem needs to be figured first anyway.  If anyone knows what path I should be searching for this problem, it would be greatly appreciated.  

maybe a solution will be to use a totally different database like SQLLite or something.  Any and all suggestions are appreciated.  I did just complete my cs2201 Database 1 and CS 2203 Programming 2 and have some experience in programming but only with VB.net (10+ years ago) and experience with building, administering and programming to a DB for website but NO EXPERIENCE in embedded DB.  The extent of my experience with DB is mySQL through PHP for websites.  

All information would be appreciated!!
 
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Hi Dwayne,

you seem to have thought about this quite a bit so I don't want to offer advice as much as discuss alternatives.

I've used SQLite and looked at Derby if I were to go for a single user database I think SQLite has the advantage of more users and developers. I don't think your choice of NetBeans has much effect on the database.

Maintaining synchronization among many single-user databases is a hard problem. If I were to design a system like yours I would be more inclined to implement a central server based on Java EE with the multiuser database like MySQL or Maria DB or postgres. Users would connect via a browser so it wouldn't matter (much) what kind of computer, tablet, or smart phone used.

There are several technologies involved in producing a website like that but I would say the complexity is very comparable to a well-written swing application or are you considering the NetBeans platform for your app?

Joe
 
Dwayne Barsotta
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Thank you for you input, I have thought about the JavaEE server and using a browser to connect.  I decided against that route because I want the user to ba able to connect and run fully with out having an internet connection.  I have been considering database design option for this.  One possible option is to have the client database to be a partial to the server.  Only containing data specific to a user on that system.  When the application starts up and the user logs in the application will download all the data specific to that user.  Periodically the application will update the data on the web database or when the user logs out.  

This is at least the process I am pointing towards unless someone has any better suggestions that I can look into? Oh yea, I'm not the best at web design I seem to enjoy desktop application design better so far!
 
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