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I want to develop a paperless application in .NET to reduce paper usage at my university. It will contain Exchange data and reporting.

What do I need to study before I start?

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What is 'paper'? – Job Jul 7 '11 at 17:30
I think you'd want to clarify what you mean by 'paperless' here. Are you talking moving all records into a database, or do you mean document imaging, converting all paper into images/pdfs to make docs easily accessible? Or something else? – GrandmasterB Jul 7 '11 at 18:47
If you're only looking for a way to keep all notes, scans (images, ... consider using OneNote (default in Office 2010) and place notebook on your skydrive (or dropbox) so it's backed up. – Bart Jul 7 '11 at 20:32
Paper-less applications are less green than paper-based ones. It takes a ridiculous amount of electrical power and chemicals to produce your gadget, and instead of recycling it gets dumped on an African coast somewhere. With paper you can at least be sure that you can throw it away safely. Wasting paper is not as big of a deal as some other forms of pollution. – Job Jul 7 '11 at 22:55

Things you will need to learn about are data integrity and protection. You want a system that is paperless - without paper, your data is the only proof of things happening in your business. How will you ensure your data is secure? Safe? Uncorrupted? You may want to consider an automatic backup feature in the program. You'll also need to plan back-up and restore infrastructure and look into off-site storage. Also important is presentation of data. If you don't have paper forms, you have to have some other way for them to be filled out, or viewed.

Most of the high-level research will probably be platform-independent (i.e. it won't matter if you're using .NET or not). For presentation of data, you may want to look in WPF.

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You only need to learn two things:

  1. What the paper system does for its users
  2. How to reproduce that functionality digitally

Without more details of (1) it is difficult to advise on (2).

Presumably you'll need mechanisms to collect, update and store the information. In which case you'll need a UI, database and reporting tool.

Who are the users? In what contexts do they use the paper system? nswering this will help choose platform and UI technology (i.e web-based, desktop, portable device etc), and security measures.

How structured is the data? Does it change regularly? The answers will help determine what data storage needs you have.

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Learn your favourite .NET language and start implementing a solution. I don't think the "paperless" aspect factors in too much. It depends on what your application is replacing (i.e. what paper trail you are looking to eliminate).

My suggestion is learning C# and implementing your solution using ASP.NET.

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i learned C# .And the Application will operate locally ,So why i should learn ASP.NET ? – wasim Jul 7 '11 at 16:56
ASP.NET will create a web application - and people like being able to work from home without installing software. – rlb.usa Jul 7 '11 at 17:07
ASP.NET will allow you to develop a web application. In a "paperless" context, this is an advantage because if Bad Things happen to workstations and everything is paperless, the data is still safe on the server. Of course, you could have client/server applications that are not web-based, and not all applications need to be web-based (sometimes it doesn't even make any sense) so suggesting that someone use ASP.NET without knowing more about the requirements is not the greatest suggestion. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Jul 7 '11 at 17:08
OK ,What about Sharepoint ? – wasim Jul 7 '11 at 17:20
@wasim SharePoint would be a good resource to store the "papers" but you would need to create a solution for automatic load to SharePoint if you want to scan them in. There is a SharePoint stackexchange site for any questions you have on SharePoint. – sange Jul 7 '11 at 18:23

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