Process, Presentation, and Integration
Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), just like any other software architecture approach, is difficult. Because enterprise SOAs can abstract a broad, heterogeneous set of applications and systems, building an SOA that provides agility, flexibility, and reuse to the business user is particularly challenging. The challenge for software vendors looking to offer SOA solutions to the market is to put the control of the business into the hands of business users. Users must have a flexible interface that allows them to build, modify, and manage the business processes in the enterprise. The underlying infrastructure should be invisible to the business user, yet respond quickly and efficiently to changes in the business environment. SOA solutions must therefore tie together the presentation layer, business process, and the underlying infrastructure, enabling business users to create and manage composite applications. Netherlands-based Cordys is a global enterprise solutions vendor who is tackling three key elements of…

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Webalo: Enabling User Interactivity as a Service
Once companies successfully address the challenge of Service-orienting their critical systems, they are still faced with the challenge of delivering those Services to the widest set of Service consumers. It is clear that at some point all organizations will have to grapple with handling heterogeneous Service consumers as well as Service producers. Webalo’s User Proxy Server (UPS) focuses on solving this problem by providing a user interface abstraction layer that intermediates between task-oriented processes requiring human intervention and user interface devices. The UPS enables companies to deliver the value proposition of Service-Oriented Architectures to disparate, heterogeneous consumer devices through a user proxy that abstracts user interface capabilities as Services and provides a user context across multiple Service interactions. [hide -1]Download File[/hide][hide +0]Register to Access this Document[/hide]…

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Laszlo Systems: Rich Client Capabilities Based on Macromedia Flash
In the past, companies had to forego many of the user interface and productivity advantages that other distributed computing methods, such as traditional client/server applications, used to give them. Companies looking to implement rich client technologies across a heterogeneous IT infrastructure will be most interested in a new breed of solution focused specifically on providing rich user interaction across standards-based, loosely coupled distributed computing environments. This solution set is the class of rich client-focused technologies. Laszlo Systems has produced its own server-side offering called the Laszlo Presentation Server and XML-based development language called LZX to that provides rich client interaction and consumption of Web Services through the delivery of interactive Macromedia Flash SWF files to end-user clients.[hide -2]Download File[/hide][hide +1]Purchase: $495[/hide]…

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The Rich Client: The New Interface for the Next Generation of Distributed Computing
Companies originally moved to adopt standards-based technologies like those underlying the Web and the Internet as a way to achieve distributed computing functionality at a very low total cost of ownership. However, these companies had to forego many of the user interface and productivity advantages that other distributed computing methods, such as traditional client/server applications, used to give them. As a result, companies continue to struggle to address the issue of how to realize the benefits of rich clients in conjunction with the benefits of distributed, low-cost applications. While companies have long delivered application functionality to Webbrowsers, users are now coming to expect increasingly greater interactivity from this presentation tier. They are demanding a set of rich user experience capabilities that include visual interactivity elements and instant access to information, interaction with distributed and remote applications, and integration with local desktop applications. Businesses today want to gain the operational…

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Focus Software: Making Forms More Intelligent
Web-based forms are a particularly crude way of soliciting data from users. In HTML, the fields of data that a form solicits, the presentation of that form to the user, and the way that form elements bind to data and send them back to the server are all tightly coupled to each other. It is very difficult to separate the way that a system represents a form from the information that the form contains. The W3C hopes to change this reality by introducing an XML-based specification called XForms that separates form presentation, form logic, and data binding to form elements. In addition, vendors like Focus Software are building XForms-based solutions that enable companies to build and deploy dynamic electronic forms to a wide range of endpoints and devices such as Web browsers, cell phones, and interactive voice systems.[hide -2]Download File[/hide][hide +1]Purchase: $495[/hide]…

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Macromedia Flex: Expanding on Flash to Provide Rich Client Capabilities
Companies originally moved to adopt standards-based technologies like those underlying the Web and the Internet as a way to achieve distributed computing functionality at a very low total cost of ownership. However, such companies had to forego many of the user interface and productivity advantages that other distributed computing methods, such as traditional client/server applications, gave them. This fundamental drawback to thin clients like Web browsers let to an emerging class of vendor that offers rich client solutions that provide the optimal combination of rich, low-cost interaction through standards-based distributed computing. Macromedia was one of the early pioneers in rich user interaction across the Internet. In 1997, they made a splash in the market with their Flash product, and as of the date of this report, over 90% of Web browsers and 500 million users are equipped with the Macromedia Flash player. Continuing this legacy, Macromedia has introduced its…

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Curl: Pioneering Rich Clients for SOAs
A new class of presentation layer is emerging to solve a range of user interface challenges. Users are demanding a rich client interface to Web Services that provides an end user experience similar to client/server applications, with a rich graphical user interface, responsive performance and highly interactive functionality. The goal of this emerging rich client solution is to provide the optimal combination of rich, low-cost interaction through standards-based distributed computing. Curl is a veteran to the market of rich client solutions for distributed Internet applications. The basis of their solution is their own runtime environment called Surge that provides an executable environment for the Curl language. Curl also provides a language that supports a rich set of user interface capabilities that users can extend to provide additional functionality, from simple macros to direct control over the positioning of subcomponents. [hide -1]Download File[/hide][hide +0]Register to Access…

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ZapThink: Client-side Web Technologies Inadequate to Meet Evolving Needs of Web Services
ZapThink: Client-side Web Technologies Inadequate to Meet Evolving Needs of Web Services New Class of Rich and Smart Clients Evolving to Solve Next-Generation Computing Needs WALTHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–March 3, 2004–The Internet and Web have provided immense scalability and manageability benefits to computer users for a decade now, but at a price – poor support for rich interactivity. Now, companies are increasingly demanding a rich set user experience capabilities that include visual interactivity elements and instant access to information, interaction with distributed and remote applications, and integration with local desktop applications. ZapThink concludes in its report entitled “Rich and Smart Clients for Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs)” that today’s Web technologies are wholly inadequate to meet the needs of emerging standards-based, loosely coupled, distributed applications. “Simply put, today’s corporate portals must move beyond Web-based thin client technologies,” said Ronald Schmelzer, senior analyst with ZapThink. “Rather, companies must leverage the…

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You Can Never Be Too Rich or Too Thin
In the early days of computing, the only interfaces to application functionality were text-based terminals and printed output. As personal computers evolved, interfaces became more visually appealing and intuitive. Fundamentally, in these early systems, the interface was tightly coupled to the presentation logic. Simply put, an application controlled both its user interaction as well as the underlying business logic to process that interaction. Any changes to the user interface would necessitate recoding the underlying application, possibly resulting in changes to the business logic as well. This tight coupling of user presentation to business logic extended through the client/server era as companies sought to separate systems that consumed business logic from those that served up the applications. It was only the emergence of the Web that changed this paradigm by introducing the thin client as a means of providing user interface capabilities on top of distributed computing functionality. The use of…

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Rich and Smart Clients for Service-Oriented Architectures
Key Points: Rich clients will supplant portals as the primary interface to Web Services and Service-oriented functionality in the enterprise by the end of 2007. The total opportunity for rich clients for SOAs is over $923 million by 2010 realized by new entrant and incumbent vendors. The window of opportunity for new rich client entrants will start to wane when Microsoft makes the Longhorn wave of OS improvements generally available in 2006, at the earliest The increasing adoption of devices, mobile computing, and sometimes-connected systems, movement to asynchronous computing, and adoption of e-Forms will mandate widespread and rapid adoption of rich clients. Table of Contents: I. Report Scope 4 II. The Evolution of the Presentation Layer 5 2.1. The Need for the Rich Client 6 2.2. Why the Portal is Not Enough 8 2.3. Will Applications Deliver their own UI in the future? 9 2.4. Understanding the Presentation Layer Requirements…

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