[thelist] Designing a Centralized System to Handle Decentralized Data

Eduardo Kienetz eduardok at gmail.com
Fri Apr 20 18:02:58 CDT 2007

On 4/20/07, Randal Rust <randalrust at gmail.com> wrote:
> OK, hopefully the subject line at least raised some eyebrows. Here is
> the situation.
> We have 30 agencies that server thousands of service providers
> throughout the state. Each agency processes payments that go out to
> the service providers every month based on attendance records that are
> submitted every billing period.
> Right now, all of the providers submit their attendance records by
> paper. They physically mark the attendance for each child and then
> mail it in. Then the agency manually enters it into the application to
> process payments.
> What we'd like to do is create a centralized system that allows the
> providers to enter their attendance.
> Here are the issues we are faced with.
> 1. All 30 agencies are on different networks
> 2. The databases are not connected
> 3. The existing system is an old client/server model, so there are no
> webservers in place
> What I am thinking is that we'd have to create a centralized site that
> allows the providers to login and enter attendance. Then every night,
> a cron job would have to run at each agency that would pull the
> attendance data down. There would probably be some data that would
> have to be sent up to the attendance database as well.
> The big concern is that the data doesn't get handled in real-time. At
> least not from the end user all the way back to the agency.
> Any suggestions?
> --
> Randal Rust
> R.Squared Communications
> www.r2communications.com

I work at a software development company. We have 50+ clients
(clinical analysis labs, shops, etc). Majority has ADSL with VPNs with
us (almost all Linux servers).
Some clients have multiple stores (here we get near to your case),
which at linked with headquarter through an ADSL+VPN too. Most of them
work online directly into headquarter's system through SSH/text (some
have web-based versions). We almost never get into network problems
(ADSL down), so it is pretty ok, but depending on the reliability you
need, you might need to have an off-line system ready as backup
procedure and export data in-bettween failure back to headquarter when
connection is back.
Depending on how much you can afford, some high availability solutions
could be applied.

Well we do it here in Brazil you might as well do it there (and at
cheaper prices)


Eduardo  Bacchi Kienetz
LPI Certified - Level 2

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