Web-based vs. Desktop

Poster
Message
Florida, USA United States
bdjolie
Kudos: 632
Joined: Aug 17, 2005
Web-based vs. Desktop
4 May 2006
Ok, I have gone back and forth between the issue as to which is best. I am sure the web-based vs. desktop issue has been addressed in the past, but I would still like to address it and get everyone's opinions.

First, I am interested in a total management solution because I want to run my business on autopilot as much as possible.

The problem that I have with web-based products is that I cannot do anything if my cable connection is down, which occasionally happens to me. Very frustrating!

After being without cable for two weeks because of Hurricane Katrina, I decided to go desktop. Nice to be able to work offline, but the drawback is that I have to leave my laptop on all the time for the scheduled listings to work. Don't want to start a computer maintenance debate, but I don't care to do this to my laptop.

Also, I travel about 3-4 times a year and would like to manage my auctions online from any computer I may have access to. Therefore, I am re-considering online solutions.

I believe MarketBlast is the best desktop solution out there, and will stick with them as long as I stay desktop based. They have reasonable priced software without those extra commission or monthly fees.

I use to think Channel Advisor was the best web-based solution out there until I found Mpire Builder (not their free version Launcher). They have a reasonable flat monthly fee with no other hidden costs or extra commission fees. Plus, I could tell they have a user-friendly interface after I watched their demo. I also like the fact that they are business building focused.

Anyway, here are some of my thoughts on the web-based vs. desktop issue. Would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks!

[Last edited: 4 May 2006]
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,664
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: Web-based vs. Desktop
4 May 2006
Personally, I prefer to use tools which are deployed locally, with data stored on my own server. Servers are designed to run 24/7, and you could remotely access it when away from the office. Responsiveness is also better, which is crucial with data-entry intensive business applications.

A middle way is possible, where the data is stored both on your own computer and on the provider's servers and replicated between them. You could then access the program from a desktop or web-based front end.

The downsides would include:

  • Extra development effort required to create two front ends. (Technologies which automate this are being developed e.g. XAML, XAMJ, UIML).
  • Replication conflicts, where the data stored locally doesn't match up with the data on the server.

  • Vendio Sales Manager does have web and desktop front-ends but I believe that the core data is stored centrally on their servers. eSellerPro is available as either desktop and web-based, but I don't know if it is possible to use both for the same account.

    [Last edited: 20 Sep 2007]
    Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
    Please follow on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+
    Florida, USA United States
    bdjolie
    Kudos: 632
    Joined: Aug 17, 2005
    Re: Web-based vs. Desktop
    5 May 2006
    Thank you for your reply.

    I have decided to go web-base because the benefit of having my files on another server with data backup and restore procedures is important to me. Especially, since I do a horrible job backing up my own personal files.

    I forgot that I was without my laptop for about three months last year because my computer crashed due to a fluke problem with the hard drive. It was devastating. I lost everything!
    Herts, England United Kingdom
    Andy
    Kudos: 11,664
    Joined: Jan 1, 2001
    Re: Web-based vs. Desktop
    5 May 2006
    In your case I think you have made the right decision.

    Hard drives do fail, accidents happen, break-ins happen. If you are not confident that your back-up processes can recover your data in these scenarios then it makes sense to go web-based and let someone else take care of it.

    I would ask your chosen provider what their backup, failover (aka redundancy) and disaster recovery strategies are - they have all the same risks plus will be bigger targets for hackers.
    Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
    Please follow on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+
    United States United States
    tekgems
    Kudos: 100
    Joined: Apr 13, 2006
    Re: Web-based vs. Desktop
    10 May 2006
    web-based total solution = more money, less do-it-yourself

    desktop = less money, more do-it-yourself

    you really can't be a cheap skate if you want to go web-based service. you also need to sell product in high volume with decent margin, or low volume with high margins. it won't make sense to go web based otherwise.

    ChannelAdvisor
    XSellco
    Volo
    Selro