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What's the best way to have clients in different locations connect to our Oracle back-end?

I'm doing a project on Oracle and Visual Basic. The clients have to connect to the Backend. The clients are at different locations (within 500 kms). How can I connect the Backend to the Front-end for this? Which components should I use?

First off, I am assuming that you have some form of physical connection between the client machines and the servers - a modem, the Internet or something that handles the basic level of connection.

If your clients are connecting directly into your office via modem, virtual private network (VPN) or via some other technology then you can use a variety of technologies. Oracle has a proprietary network mechanism (I think called SQL*NET) that allows their ODBC drivers to connect to the database.

Alternately you may be able to use the OLEDB provider directly (I don't know if it needs SQL*NET or not). If you are designing your application so the clients use COM objects running in MTS or COM+, then you can simply use DCOM to talk to those server-side components.

If your clients are connecting via the Internet then you need to take security into account. The options I just covered are typically not deployed across the Internet because they are hard to secure. Instead, you may want to look at using SOAP or Remote Data Services (RDS) to allow your clients to communicate with your servers using web protocols, which are easier to secure. Both of these technologies provide functionality similar to DCOM - allowing your clients to make method calls on COM components running in either MTS or COM+ on your servers.

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