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Client Tier

Client léger / Client lourd

Comment choisir son type de client?

This section considers constraints on the client based on the platform and programming language.
  • Platform
    • Browser application
    • Stand-alone Java application
    • Other
  • Platform independence : Recently, browsers act much like platforms. In such cases, the application will still have to deal with differences in browser "platforms."
  • Language / Technology
    • Complexity / Facility of programming : Control a technology as java is easier than to adapt constantly to new emergent technologies.
    • Availability of expertise
    • Desire to integrate with other legacy application clients
  • Extensibility : Use a full oriented Object environment facilitate extensibility.
  • Modularity : Use a full oriented Object permit to make independent module that are easily shareable.
  • Maintenance : The latest technologies evolve quickly and quickly become obsolete.
  • Test : Check a Java application is more easier than test Web application.
    • Debugger : In web application, debugger can't use, or use with little options.
    • Unit test / modularity : A framework full object is easily realizable and can offer object with no bug.

History of the Java strategy

Java client side with Applet :
  • Advantages
    • Ability to download code over the network
    • Run it on a variety of desktops
    • Offering a rich user interaction
    • Secure
  • Disadvantages
    • Browser incompatibility
    • Slow download time
    • Sandbox environment to much restricted (Security)
  • Balance : The applet offered an attractive solution but with major disadvantages. So, Java morphed from an applet-based language into the programming platform of choice on the server.

Java server side with Servlet / JSP :

Focus shifted heavily from the client to the server side, using server-based technologies, it was easier from a program maintenance viewpoint to control from the server the user interface for the client. The user interface centers around markup technologies like HTML, XML, XHTML, and so on.
  • Advantages
    • Browser independent - can generate simple HTML document
    • Support for multiple kinds of clients, especially thin clients (Web, PDA, Phone, ...)
  • Disadvantages
    • HTML / XML Limitations (interactivity limited)
    • Must use DHTML for rich interaction (browser dependant) or Applet, other plug-in.
      DHTML is difficult to write and maintain and has notorious browser deployment problems.
  • Balance: This approach doesn't fit for rich interactive application. A browser-based email client serves as a good example. Although browser-based email clients are quite popular, traditional email clients are more prevalent, especially in the workplace, where there is a need to sift through lots of email, apply filters, and be able to work offline in certain scenarios.

Java comes back on the client (Java plug-in / JavaWebStart) :

Some of the ease-of-use and ease-of-programming features associated with Java Web Start include many advantages.
  • Advantages
    • Portability : Java Web Start is available on Windows, Solaris, and Linux, and is expected to be ported to other platforms.
    • Caching: Applications launched with Java Web Start are cached locally. Thus, an already-downloaded application is launched on par with a traditionally installed application.
    • Maintainability: If the remote application is updated, Java Web Start updates the locally cached version at the application's next invocation or immediately (depends on the configuration we want).
    • Easy launching: Java Web Start allows applications to be launched independently of a Web browser. The application can also be launched through desktop shortcuts, making launching the Web-deployed application similar to launching a native application. A web page can also launch application, it is the sane link that download and install the application the first time.
    • Ability to work offline: An application can be used in situations where launching through the browser is inconvenient or impossible. If all resources can be find locally, the application can work offline.
  • Disadvantages
    • Install Java Web Start with JRE (but automatic)
    • Time to download Client the first time and for new versions (but automatic)
  • Balance : The best of the 2 worlds : client/server - web application.

Le clients lourd

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