I wrote a program in vb2010 to assist in the organisation of my music school. It's fairly simple (as am I), uses a text file to store data, and is working fine; however, the various teachers have asked if it is possible for them to update the data when they've gone home rather than stay behind after teaching to do it.

I'm now well out of my depth here as I don't know where to start. Presumably this now has to be web-based?

Can anyone please point me in the right direction?

How do they access the program now? Taking turns using a single computer? Does each teacher have his/her own text file or do all of the teachers use one text file? If all teachers use one text file then there is potential for issues--you may consider using a database like mySql or SQL Server Express (not Access because it is single-user).

Some people use something like DropBox to store the file and then access the text file there. There are many possibilities.

  • Create a web-based program
  • Create a way for the file to be accessed on the network (ie: VPN, DropBox, etc...)

*Note: If your program is submitting sensitive information such as credit card numbers, you'll want to make sure you are using an encrypted connection (ie: SSL).

Thanks for that cgeier.
At the moment the program and the text file sit on one computer and the teachers access it individually on that machine. They all access the same text file.
I've never used SQL Server Express nor mySQL; are they easy to use?

Just looked at SQL Server Express 2012, but when I went to download it asked which file(s) I wanted:
Do I need them all?

For VS2010 you will need to use Sql Server Express 2008.

You'll want SQLEXP_..._Enu.exe and SQLManagementStudio. Although SQLEXPWT... may contain SQLEXP... and SQLManagement...

Thanks for that. I'll take a look at them and may have to come back on here if, given my limited knowledge, I run into problems.

If you host it on your computer you will need as static ip address. Or a domain name that will always resolve to your current ip address. If using a router, you'll need to forward the appropriate ports. Does each teacher use a pc? Or does someone use a mac or a tablet? You will need to implement user security. When a user is no longer employed their access needs to be revoked.