OK! So as the devil is in the details, let me now consider some of those server side requirements. As it turns out my background has been in the world of automation, including remote control and data acquisition, and has also been very tied to the intel world. Everything from little embedded machines with 386ex CPUs, and no OS (unless I wrote one) to modern windows machines. So just to cut my learning curve I likely would be working with a PC based server. Unfortunately my background has also left me with a lot of tunnel vision, having worked mostly with custom applications.
So as you can likely tell, I'm trying to mentally navigate replacing parts of such systems, where everything is a custom app, to systems where the custom work is concentrated where its really needed. So now that I'm seeing where browser based control panel displays can interact with a server side database via AJAX, I assume that whether it is done via timed poling or events, I could both pull and push data from and to that database, correct? So if that's true, and the database can be PC based, it remains now for me to first consider what database would be best, and to educate myself as to what server side apps and coding would need to be done, to complete the data flow between to that database. Next I'd be looking at the PC apps that would do the device communication, using the database as a kind of middle-man data pool.
on that last point, I still have a lot of education to catch up on, especially about database interaction. Heck, the last time I wrote code to directly interface with a database it was a Microsoft ACcess database, and I'm reasonably sure I'd be better off these days working with something my mySQL or maybe postgGess?
I'm definitely not allergic to coding or even working with languages new to me, I just know I've re-invented way too many wheels in my life. As a now out of work programmer and electronics guy whose skills are constantly becoming obsolete or at least dated, this kind of assist in understanding newer technology I can put to use right "out of the box" is very much appreciated.