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I am creating a service to be exposed on the internet. One of those things you would normally say "Web 2.0", but that I want to expose as a SOAP webservice, with desktop clients.

I know that it may sound a little bit outdated, but despite the apparent "uncool" factor, is there any real reason why this approach shouldn't work?

Yes, I will buy a VPS for this thing, it's an experiment for now - but who knows the future.

I am just wondering, well, what you think of it :)


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The only weakness I see to your approach Andrea, is that the deployment of the application is harder. What if you need to install in 100 PCs, and then you need to upgrade the application, and then the program stops working in 3 of these PCs, etc.

For the previous reasons, if your software functionality can be implemented in a Web Application, I would definitely be headed in that direction.

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Be this said without any bitterness, but I really do not understand how cross browser problems can be any less painful than a handful of PCs that cannot start the application :) It's actually quite the contrary: they are generally worse, in my experience, but your mileage may vary. – Andrea Raimondi Jun 8 '11 at 16:20
@Andrea You are correct, but that is something that can be solved before putting your system to production. – Marcelo Jun 8 '11 at 16:23
@Marcelo I have been bitten by the firefox updates more than once... and I still remember the pain. I think programmers some times do not give the right importance to things like that. Not implying anything, just stating what to me seems apparent. – Andrea Raimondi Jun 8 '11 at 16:27
If you're in the .NET stack, click-Once deployment pretty much puts an end to deploying the application as an issue. – Walter Jun 8 '11 at 16:49
@Walter In most part yes, but you still have to make sure that the right version of the .NET framework is installed in the clients, firewall is not blocking your application, user doesn't delete shortcut of application, etc. – Marcelo Jun 8 '11 at 16:54

A lot of applications have been built this way and still get built this way. It's been proven to work and can be very reliable and secure. We've built a number of desktop applications this way and have had a lot of success with it. And given the right circumstances, I'm sure we would do it again.

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