Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Blog migrated to Typepad

This blog has been migrated to http://architecture.typepad.com

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Rich Client Platforms - Analysis

There has been a lot of interest recently in ‘rich clients’, clients that enable a user to have ‘rich’ interactions with software applications. The richness is in contrast to ‘poor’ interactions in existing applications with a HTML-only web browser client.

Much of the literature today is focused on improved web browser based interactions, and not on what really the user needs. What users need is a way to interact with applications that automate their current business processes. Current business processes deal with information manifested as data, documents, images, video, etc. For instance, contracts, purchase orders, invoices, etc. are all documents. All the rich client platforms today address specific types of information, and are therefore not suitable for all types of applications.

The purpose of this paper is to first define a canonical model for ‘rich client’, define attributes that can be used to characterize various rich client platforms, and then define many of the existing rich client platforms using these characteristics. The hope is that it will be a useful guide for designing application interfaces and for deciding which rich client platform(s) would be most suitable for their needs.

Rich client platforms analyzed include

  1. Traditional
  2. General Interface
  3. Laszlo
  4. JackBe
  5. Asperon
  6. Nexaweb
  7. Isomorphic
  8. Java Desktop
  9. SAP Web DynPro
  10. IBM Workplace
  11. Microsoft Avalon
  12. Microsoft Office
  13. Adobe IDP

Comments and corrections are most welcome

More at http://www.nadig.org/technology/rcp/rich-client-platforms.pdf.