I'm in the process of writing a new front end to replace the VB6 one I wrote for this company: http://pmkeepsakes.com/index.html
Their system will consist of one or more Windows 7 machines, along with a few older XP machines that we'll use as workstations.
I had been planning on using a simple Apache-PHP platform. They're using an old version of Access which will eventually need to be replaced, but it will be easy enough to write the new system to make that transition without any issues. When it's time to convert the database, I'll go with MySQL unless I can find a good reason to use something else.
They have some printing issues that I'm not sure I'll be able to handle with what I had initially planned. The most straightforward way via Apache-PHP is to have PHP generate PDF files and have the client print them. We may run into quirks with different PDF reader software on different platforms, among other issues. They also have some documents that they'll always want to print multiple copies, which could get clumsy with that setup.
If I instead do all the printing server-side, all those issues go away. I can use Apache Tomcat as my platform, and have Java Servlets that do the actual printing. The documents themselves are pretty basic - just plain text of about a dozen data fields per report.
In theory I could have Tomcat just as my "print server" and use Apache-PHP for everything else. IMO it makes more sense to put the whole thing under Tomcat. It's a little tedious to setup all the mapping for the servlets and whatnot, but it's really not much more effort to do that work for 20 pages instead of 10.
So, my questions (for now) are:
- Has anybody here used Apache Tomcat? I tinkered with a previous version a few years ago. I believe it can handle my requirements, but I've never even written a modest-sized test site on it.
- Are there issues with my server-side printing solution that I've failed to notice/address? From my perspective, it seems too easy, so I must be missing something.