I have the following dilemma. We have developed a sophisticated system in VB.NET that takes in a few parameters and then generates result files as an output to those parameters.

We want to be able to to "feed" these parameters to this "engine" from the web (preferably some ASP page), have the engine generate results, and then be able to display (pickup) the resulting files and show them to the web user.

What is the best way to do this? Is there a way an ASP page can call an executable and get its results? If so, how does the ASP page know that the EXE has finished?? We control the VB.NET, and can compile it with no UI if that's required, but we don't know how to tie-in ASP with EXE.

...OR.... should we make our EXE "engine" as a web service and then have the ASP page access the web-service. If so, how can one do the web service with VB.NET? (sorry if its a stupid question, but I have never done that before). How would ASP use this web service?

Would any/all of the above options or approaches require us to setup a custom server with our web hoster (1and1), or can this be somehow made with a "regular" or simply hosted site where we can upload something to the site?

Sorry for so many questions, but we are somewhat at a loss on what is the best way to get this done so that our "engine" can be used from the web.


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I would move alot of the VB code over and just create a web page that does the same work.

Most of the code-behind will be identical, you will just need to re-create the controls on the web page, depending on what kind of controls your app uses.

I wouldn't depend on an external program to spit info at you, except a database.

ZeroZen is right in his answer. If you can move it all to server code managed (and called) directly by the aspx page then do it.
A web service can work just as well, better in fact if you want different websites/services to call it. Your webpage calls the web service, sending its data and gets the result back as JSON or similar.

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