I deal with a somewhat similar situation. Even though we have fast VPN
connections among our various offices, each has been afflicted with a
different database structure (and software) which they cannot change.
What I suggest you do is use the kind of "pseudo-synchronization" that we do.
Use a local copy of the application and database on each PC (MySQL will do
fine on even a modest system). Timestamp each record when you create or change
When the user is back in contact with the office, extract all of the records
with timestamps newer than the last "synchronization" event and update the
Is this foolproof? Absolutely not, if there are conflicts between the changes
by different users. You'll be stuck with "He who write last, writes best"; but
I think that's as good as it's going to get for you.
How well this works depends upon the type of work. If the users have
non-overlapping "customers", or whatever, then it won't be too bad. You'll
have to judge for yourself.
Global Information Incorporated
195 Farmington Ave.
Farmington, CT 06032
860.674.8796 / FAX: 860.674.8341
Web site: www.the-infoshop.com
>From: Lord_Devi [mailto:lorddevi@stripped]
>Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 1:43 AM
>Subject: OpenOffice, Go-OO, ODBC, Offline Data Entry
> I am new to the mailing list here, so I'd like to introduce myself
>quickly. My name is Casey Quibell, and I am also rather new to the
>concept of programming a database (Or in this case, more specifically
>using an ODBC connector to tie OpenOffice into it.)
> Just a bit of technical preamble. While I am currently implementing
>this solution using Go-OO and MySQL, I am not tied to them. I like
>PostgreSQL as well, and there is little wrong with OpenOffice. Hell, if
>there are recommendations to be made even beyond these software
>selections I am listening.
> I have a project I have been commissioned to complete, and while the
>majority of it seems very simple and straight-forward to me, there
>remains an issue that has me concerned. Simply put, this agency which
>needs a database, has a large number of paper forms they have to fill
>out on a regular basis. Many of these forms ask the same questions over
>and over again. Using an ODBC connector and OpenOffice, I am able to
>create .pdf files that resemble very closely the forms they are already
>used to. By entering information into these forms, they are able to have
>the information parse directly into a SQL database which they can then
>create reports from later (A very important ability for them).
> In addition they are able to bring up an empty form to fill out, and if
>the relevant individual being processed is already in the system, it
>will fill out most of the 2nd form's fields for them; leaving only the
>remaining fields which are new and specific to the 2nd form. All of this
>is a massive time saver for them.
> Here is the catch. The SQL database itself exists at a 'home office',
>and these workers are wanting to be able to enter this data remotely; in
>an 'offline mode' as it were. Because they are required to fill out
>these forms away from the office, I have a logistical problem. If they
>could have WIFI or Internet access while away from the office, I would
>simply configure a VPN solution for them. However this is not something
>I can do; where they must go frequently has no Internet access at all,
>and a cell phone tether with a dataplan would just be inordinately
>expensive for this particular group.
> What options do I have available to me? I realize that while these
>workers are on-site, there is likely very little that can be done as far
>as the forms 'pulling' data from the office SQL database to auto-fill
>fields, but what about the other way around? I.e. Them going off-site,
>filling out the necessary forms, and then once they can get back to the
>office, upload the data to the database then?
> I don't know if maybe having a local SQL database running on each
>worker laptop which could somehow 'sync' the data would be a viable
>option or not... That is something I have never tried before. One option
>as far as that route goes that I have found is an application called
>Pervasync: http://www.pervasync.com/ which claims to be able to sync
>database material in this manner. However, it is commercial, and I am
>quite devoted to using only Open Source software.
> So far, it almost seems like I might have to tell the clients that it
>is simply not even possible what they are asking for. That they may have
>to enter the data twice: Once on-site, and a 2nd time when they get back
>to the office. Essentially copying the offline data, into the 'live'
> Thank you for your time and consideration. I appologize if my post was
>a little long, but I really wanted to try and be as clear as I could be
>as to my over-all intent, as the possible solutions are so very vague to
> Casey Quibell, <lorddevi@stripped>
>MySQL General Mailing List
>For list archives: http://lists.mysql.com/mysql
>To unsubscribe: http://lists.mysql.com/mysql?unsub=1
|• OpenOffice, Go-OO, ODBC, Offline Data Entry||Lord_Devi||18 Aug|
| • RE: OpenOffice, Go-OO, ODBC, Offline Data Entry||Jerry Schwartz||18 Aug|
| • Re: OpenOffice, Go-OO, ODBC, Offline Data Entry||Joerg Bruehe||19 Aug|
| • RE: OpenOffice, Go-OO, ODBC, Offline Data Entry||Jerry Schwartz||19 Aug|
| • RE: OpenOffice, Go-OO, ODBC, Offline Data Entry||Lord_Devi||19 Aug|