OK before I fumble around any more and end up needing to change everything again...I was wondering if someone would be kind enough to have a discussion with me about a networked solution.
Right now what I have is an Access database with forms that manage the data...this is great, except deploying such an application is difficult and, in my opinion, unprofessional looking.
I would like to transfer that solution to a C# solution. Here's my main concern:
I need to know how networked applications work (not technically, but with C#)...I know that I need to use an .mdf file (service based database) to achieve this...but before I start working on this any further I was hoping to get the answers to these questions:
1) The MS SQL Server Express is required to access the data in .mdf files, does the server only need to be installed on the "host" or "server" computer on the network or does it need to be installed on all client computers as well?
2) When a solution uses .mdf files to hold data, how do client computers connect to it? Does it need to be shared (\\server\data\myfile.mdf), does it need to be on a network drive (S:\data\myfile.mdf) or does the client computer need to connect to it using the standard SQL connection (by connecting to IP address ###.###.###.###:PORT#)? Or can it be any of those?
3) Does the MS SQL Server Express edition need to be configured in any special way? Are remote connections enabled for those who are connecting from different workstations etc...?
The reason why I ask this is because I created a simple "test" application that used .mdf files. I tried it in "debug" mode and everything was fine, then I decided to try "publishing" it and installing it and testing it to see how it would look installed...it wouldn't work. The solution started but crashed when the "get data" button was pressed...the button is supposed to query the database and get the data needed, if it can't find anything it is supposed to put a message in the box saying the database is empty...It simply failed. But worked in the debugger...I don't get it...