Use Components and the Internet for Easy Maintenance

I’m developing a database system for a distant customer with a slow Internet connection. The system imports data and generates reports. The problem with importing and generating reports is that, over time, both the import file’s format and the report’s layout change. I can’t send the whole system to him because it takes several hours to download.

To ease maintenance, I’ve separated the importing and reporting functions in an ActiveX DLL component of “Internet downloadable” size. When the customer asks me to make a change, I change the code and publish the ActiveX DLL component with a Package and Deployment Wizard to my Web site. I then send my customer an e-mail with a URL for the HTML file generated by the Package and Deployment Wizard. The updated importing and reporting functions are quickly downloaded and installed automatically on his system when he clicks on a hyperlink.

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