This simplifies both development and testing substantially. Finally, the application code will execute primarily in the robust server-side environment.
This might seem like a paradox at first; however, using the right development methodology can get you as close to that goal as you wish. ActionScript, SWF and the Flash player were originally not designed for full-fledged rich client development. Moreover, there is a homogeneous server-side programming model, and no need to distribute the application code between client and server, nor between different programming languages. Partial screen updates Asynchronous communication Server push Widgets supporting direct manipulation Multiple coordinated windows Modal dialogs Menus Keyboard navigation RIA technology provides rich client capabilities in a web infrastructure. Given the hype for these terms, it is difficult to differentiate between products.
Fat-client or hybrid approaches may be appropriate for certain scenarios. But for industrial strength characteristics, a pure thin-client architecture is preferable. Crucial questions are, therefore:.
RIA products that are based entirely on Java have the best foundation for industrial strength. Reliability, availability, scalability and security are given on a wide array of platforms. There are comprehensive, customizable widget toolkits for desktops as well as mobile devices, and numerous third-party libraries.
The most important questions are:. The initial low-level library AWT has been complemented with the high-level Swing library, and the latter has substantially improved over the years.
RIA products offer the functionality of high-level libraries. Yet, some of them have chosen to implement the high-level functions themselves and use low-level libraries on the client. This has pros and cons. On the downside, the low-level approach will lead to a layer of proprietary software that needs to be maintained. With a high-level library, the proprietary depth of a product can be reduced to a minimum. Such an RIA product will have a minimal proprietary footprint and will profit from enhancements of the standard Swing library as it evolves. Essential drill-down questions on the UI libraries are:.
Java standards are a key driver for reducing the proprietary share in a software stack. Similar assessments can be made for the server-side part of RIA products, and the communication between client and server. Moreover, EJBs disallow multi-threading that is not managed by the container, thereby ensuring that scaling measures like clustering can be handled by the J2EE infrastructure.
In general, a product that fully leverages the Java standards should have no function of its own if that same function can be delegated to the standard infrastructure. The following questions help in assessing standards leverage:. Flash has its main strength in animations. This is not surprising, because it was created to animate websites. The core Flash technology includes an execution environment the Flash player , a binary file format for movies SWF , and a scripting language ActionScript. Comfortable end-user tools that generate SWF and support ActionScript programming are available for designing movies and websites.
This might seem like a paradox at first; however, using the right development methodology can get you as close to that goal as you wish.
He also presents detailed application case studies, including a start-to-finish update of a non-AJAX application that addresses everything from feature improvements to changing usage patterns. Sending a Request Using a Cookie 2. The Firefox Counter 4.
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