Yes, PHP runs on a server. A real one or an emulation such as Wamp. (Wamp simulates a Linux server)
You were not clear on how it was planned to be used until now. If you are just going to use it on another
computer, I would stick with .NET. Just create your VB.NET or ACCESS.NET and create an install file that will
also create your directories that are needed.
ACCESS.NET is really designed to use a database and create reports from the data. If that is only what you
need, then, I would just use that. Just create an install file for it and it’s done. If your plans for the future
is to scale-up the system or allow for users to access the system over the internet, then, you need one PC
to become your server which would hold the database.
So, from what I have read, you really only want to have a program (application) that runs on one system
and has the database on that one system. And, you want it to have zero footprint until it is being used.
Well, that is the description of program or application. Not a shared application nor web system. In that
case, you do not need a server.
Not needing a server brings you full-circle to using a desktop system. Something like VB, ACCESS, Java or
other language that can be compiled into a distributable runtime package. The ACCESS program you now
have can do that. Just compile the program into an install file and distribute that to the other(s) computers.
they could be zipped up and unzipped on the other machine. Not a secure system as anyone can alter the
files, so again, little security there. But, if the other systems are trusted users and systems, less of a worry.
Not sure if all that helps or mixes you up further. With that said, Ruby-on-Rails is a framework, so there is
overhead on that somewhat. Normally when someone mentions “database” on a PHP site such as here, it
means unsaid internet or server or shared machine thru a LAN. So, that is why there was confusion earlier
Well, more fuel for the fire? Sometimes design is the worst step in the project… Good luck!