Hi, I have a PHP application that stores sales transactions into database tables, etc - and we have decided to use this as an online service - which makes it great for the client. They aren't computer literate and their computers mysteriously die and disappear. Having off-site data and no software (save a browser) makes them happy.
The problem is that DSL lines often go out for days at a time, so they have asked for a way to at least view their data offline. We don't care about making transactions - they will manually record and enter them later - they agree to that.
The data would be similar to a set of rolodex cards. The cards would have client information and then information about the last few orders - of course it's all in multiple tables, but we can create a select that gets exactly what we need.
The first thought was to have a csv file dumped that they could download, but they would need to figure out how to use it. That seemed to be a show stopper there.
The second thought was to provide a simple html page that was a dump of the main data that they needed with tags so they could navigate around. The problem is that an unscrupulous employee could grab that file and take all of the client data. I'd love to be able to password protect an offline page, but not sure how feasible or functional that would be.
Another thought was to give the client a thumb drive with XAMPP or something similar that had a basic application that could show data from a local MySQL database. The issue is how do I get the data from my server to the client's thumb drive without too much interaction by them. Ideally they would pop in thumb drive, run the startup and launch a web page - click a button and wait for their database to be updated. Yes, I know, we have to rely on them to download/update/sync the data from a working system - so we need ease of use.
I could write code on their local thumb drive that read from the hosted site and wrote to the local, but that means that I need to have an id/password pair for MySQL that can access the data over the internet - I want to keep the localhost database access restriction on my site. I would also need to figure out how to update the code on their thumb drive in case we change our schema or requirements.
Just looking for some ideas or solutions that would be slick. The users of this system are not very savvy and even entering a password seems to be a challenge for them.