Client Application Development using .NET
Organizations are seeking to extend their enterprises and provide knowledge workers
with ever-greater mobility and access to information and applications. Powerful
new computing and communications devices along with wireless networks are helping
provide that mobility. This has sparked the creation of "smart clients,"
or applications and devices that can take advantage of the power of local processing
but have the flexibility of Web-based computing.
Smart clients are computers, devices, or applications that can provide:
The best aspects of traditional desktop applications, including highly responsive
software, sophisticated features for users, and great opportunities for developers
to enhance existing applications or create new ones.
2. The best aspects of
"thin clients," including a small form factor, economical use of computing
resources such as processors and memory, ease of deployment, and easy manageability.
A natural, easily understood user interface (UI) that is high quality and designed
for occasional connectivity with other systems.
4. Interoperability with many
different types of devices.
5. The ability to consume Web services.
can start building and using smart client applications today with a rich array
of Microsoft products and tools that eliminate barriers to developing and deploying
smart clients. These tools include:
1. .NET Framework
2. Compact Framework.
Visual Studio .NET
4. Windows client operating systems
5. Windows Server
RICH CLIENTS, THIN CLIENTS AND SMART CLIENTS
Rich clients are the usual programs running on a PC locally. They
take advantage of the local hardware resources and the features of the client
operating system platform. They have the following advantages:
1. use local
2. provides rich user interface
3. offline capable
5. responsive and flexible
the impressive functionality of many of these applications, they have limitations.
Many of these applications are stand-alone and operate on the client computer,
with little or no awareness of the environment in which they operate. This environment
includes the other computers and any services on the network, as well as any other
applications on the user's computer. Very often, integration between applications
is limited to using the cut or copy and paste features provided by Windows to
transfer small amounts of data between applications. They have the following limitations:
Tough to deploy and update: Since no network connection is available the applications
have to be installed separately on each system using a removable storage device.
"DLL Hell" (Application Fragility): When a new application is installed,
it may replace a shared DLL with a newer version which is incompatible to an existing
application, thereby breaking it.
The Internet provides an alternative to the traditional rich client
model that solves many of the problems associated with application deployment
and maintenance. Thin client, browser-based applications are deployed and updated
on a central Web server; therefore, they remove the need to explicitly deploy
and manage any part of the application to the client computer.
clients have the following advantages:
1. Easy to deploy and update: The application
can be downloaded over the internet if the URL is provided. Updating can also
be done at regular intervals over the internet.
2. Easy to manage: All the
data is managed on a single server, with thin clients accessing the data over
the internet - providing ease of data management and administration.
the distributed functionality provided by thin clients, they also have some disadvantages.
1. Network dependency: The browser must have a network connection
at all times. This means that mobile users have no access to applications if they
are disconnected, so they must reenter data when they return to the office.
Poor user experience: Common application features such as drag-and-drop, undo-redo,
and context-sensitive help may be unavailable, which can reduce the usability
of the application.
the vast majority of the application logic and state lives on the server, thin
clients make frequent requests back to the server for data and processing. The
browser must wait for a response before the user can continue to use the application;
therefore, the application will typically be much less responsive than an equivalent
rich client application. This problem is exacerbated in low bandwidth or high
latency conditions, and the resulting performance problems can lead to a significant
reduction in application usability and user efficiency
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