Web app vs .net4 app in
Thoughts on 10 years of IT support/development for health care
applications. If you follow this blog you’ll know I’m not the best
writer. These are kind of free form thoughts on the subject.
- App Deployment
- My first job in Healthcare IT support and dev was a
discipline specific EHR application. It was/is a .net
application that had 2 parts, a server app that connected to
a database, and the client software that ran on each users
machine. Performing installs required me to set up the
client on each machine. I came up with a few ways to do it
quickly, but any time the users called we had to trouble
shoot both the client machine and the application server.
Larger institutions would set up the client on their Citrix
application server, but most locations did not have this
option. Keeping track of app versions was such a pain at
smaller client locations.
- My current project is a web application that runs
internally at a hospital. It’s great. 1 system to deploy on,
1 system to trouble shoot. Short cuts to the app are saved
bookmarks. The citrix admins love it, since they only have
to support the browser and not a whole new application. IT
loves it since they only have to track 1 server.
- MS Sql Server is great. That’s the only part I script for
on the project. I have no idea why I mention this, I’m just
fond of MS SQL Server. Setting up a new instance is easy,
even when deploying the Linux version (ok the Linux version
was just for me to poke at, not deployment).
- Larger institutions usually have a MS SQL instance set
up, so we don’t need to do this our selves.
- Personal Sanity
- Issues are easier to trouble shoot. Instead of installing
software on 30+ machines, we only have to trouble shoot 1 VM
when issues come up. IIS is pretty stable, and Windows
Server has pretty high up time.
- .net 4 apps have these weird load up times where it
complies itself on execution causing slow down.
- yes it’s been a while since I worked on this project,
so this could have changed with the latest version.
- There is some support issues when users decide to try
Internet Explorer with the app, but that was easy to fix:
our app does not allow a user to log in when using IE.
- Every browser maker seems to be moving to Blink/Chromium.
So dev work focuses on that. Personally I’m not a fan of
everyone allowing Google to set web standards, but IT
departments are on board with Edge switching to Chromiuim,
so “buy in” is pretty easy.
- Application automatically works on iPads and Android! We
don’t have to develop a separate app for these platforms.
Users like being able to pick what kind of device they
access the application from. I used to hear constant gripes
about the old app “I want to use my mac” or “this would be a
great iPad app”.
- Fun Learning Curve
- The best part is when you show that, yes, the web server
needs to have 4+ GB of Ram to handle all the users and you
get to have the “memory requirements are not suggestions”
Internal web apps are much easier to support and deploy. I see
Hospital applications have moved/are moving in this direction.
There’s a good chance these internal web apps will move to the
“cloud” around the same time. Hospitals really like the
flexibility this gives them.