Web-based vs. Desktop

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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 - Not specified -
Andy
Kudos: 12,773
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
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    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 - Not specified -
    Andy
    Kudos: 12,773
    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
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    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.

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