Chapter 7. Collecting Data: A UiApp-Style Web App

It was a fine mess they had gotten themselves into. Scattered across the country, databases in various states of update and version, but not one location knew what the other was doing or if it could count on the “main hub” to have data that was less than a year out of date. That’s when they called you.

You are the expert they place all their hope in, who can bring the worn and tired infrastructure back from the grave. As you gaze into the endless abyss of rot and decay from a thousand rickshaw contractors who went for a quick buck by adding another Band-Aid to the hemorrhaging artery, you realize that the days of the local copy are over—and you will be the one to usher in a new era.

The Installed App Has Died

Your coworkers will likely never know what goes into making a database work or the hardship of keeping it running. Fortunately, times are changing, and the days of building a frontend, installing it, maintaining it, and trying to keep everyone connected are rapidly coming to an end. The internal network has been replaced by the Internet, and cellular networks extend connections far beyond the reach of copper.

Today’s databases are hosted in massive data centers that rarely fail to serve requests and cost almost nothing for storage. Frontend “installed” applications have been replaced by a browser, and connections are made globally. The data is always in sync because it is all in the same place, or appears to be, as the great ...

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