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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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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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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Information as a Service: Service-Oriented Information Integration
As organizations grow organically, they often implement multiple systems that contain information that is redundant, conflicting, or distributed across their organization. As such, the seemingly simple task of trying to gain a single view of the information contained in the enterprise is a significant challenge. The requirement for single view, aggregated views, or shared information cuts cross the value chain from sales leads, orders, to products, inventory — including e-government initiatives in public safety, health and defense. While many application integration approaches attempt to solve this disparate information challenge by removing the barriers to accessing information, the challenge still remains of how to gain intelligence from the disparate data in the enterprise. Previous approaches to information integration have fallen short. Tightly coupled data or application integration approaches that mandate point-to-point connections between systems are too brittle to handle continuously changing business requirements. Message buses and business process management approaches…

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NexaWeb: Rich Client for High Performance Web Services
Two of the often conflicting desires in IT is the need on the one hand for rich user interfaces that maximize a user’s productivity and on the other hand, the desire to decentralize computing so that a user can gain access to the widest base of IT assets at the lowest possible cost. These two forces are at odds because rich client interfaces, until recently, have only been possible in certain limited scenarios in which the business logic and computing resources were combined with the interface. However, a new class of presentation layer is emerging. This rich client interface to Web Services provides an end user experience that is similar to client/server applications, with a rich graphical user interface, responsive performance and highly interactive functionality. In this vein, Nexaweb provides a software platform that combines the richness of client/server and desktop applications with the ability to interact with high-performance,…

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ZapNote: JackBe – Implementing Nimble and Quick Interfaces
Companies originally moved to adopt standards-based technologies like the Web and other Internet technologies as a way to achieve distributed computing functionality at a very low total cost of ownership. But these companies were forced to trade off the user interface and productivity advantages that other distributed computing methods, such as traditional client/server applications used to give them. JackBe aims to solve these rich client challenges while simultaneously offering the lowest possible cost of ownership through its aptly named NQ (“Nimble and Quick”) suite. The NQ Suite offers rich client interaction using standard browser-based technologies such as HTML, DHTML, JavaScript, XML, and XSL and standard server-side web and application server technologies.[hide -1]Download File[/hide][hide +0]Register to Access this Document[/hide]…

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StrikeIron Recognized as a Web Services Thought Leader
“StrikeIron is changing the way companies use Web services by making them more accessible to a wider audience,” said Jason Bloomberg, Senior Analyst at ZapThink LLC. “We’re very excited about the StrikeIron Web Services Analyzer, as well as StrikeIron’s upcoming new products and services that will advance the utilization of Web services and the construction of Service-Oriented Architectures.” Read more at: BusinessWire…

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Resurrecting the VAN: The Web Services Network
Both software vendors and enterprise end-users have always looked to make business-to-business interactions automated, reliable, and secure. While many companies currently seek a set of products and specifications that improve B2B interactions, many large firms will tell you that they’ve been accomplishing the goals of reliable, secure, guaranteed interaction between companies for decades, in the form of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). However, it’s not EDI’s technology (which today is both arcane and obsolete), but rather its infrastructure that’s given it such longevity. We’re talking about the Value-Added Network (VAN) here — a set of capabilities offered by third-party network providers to guarantee the required level of interaction between any two participants on the network. A Third-Party “Network” for Web Services In the 1980s, companies found that their primary challenge in trying to automate their business connections was managing point-to-point electronic relationships with dozens or even hundreds of suppliers.

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ZapNote: DreamFactory – Server-Less Rich Client for Web Services
Users are coming to expect increasingly greater interactivity from their distributed applications. They are demanding a set of rich user experience capabilities from their Web and composite applications that include visual interactivity elements and instant access to information they have become accustomed to as part of their desktop computing experience. In addition, businesses want to gain the operational and cost advantages of deploying applications over the Internet, but don’t want the limitations that Web browsers impose on user interfaces. DreamFactory hopes to eliminate the trade-offs that companies must make between rich client interfaces and low-cost distributed computing by offering a 100% client-based rich client solution that leverages XML, Web Services, and Internet protocols. Rather than requiring a proprietary server or other server-side technology, DreamFactory’s solution enables companies to build rich client solutions based on WebSphere, WebLogic, .NET, and other standards-based applications and platforms.[hide -1]Download File[/hide][hide +0]…

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2004: A Leap Year for Service-Oriented Architectures
The standards are maturing, the products are on the market, and the architects have figured out what Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs) are all about. Now that it’s 2004, it’s time for the rubber to hit the road. ZapThink has even seen several significant, albeit frequently tentative, implementations of SOAs that have already realized return for the companies that implemented them. Even more companies have architecture teams actively planning out their SOAs. Yet, while 2003 showed tentative steps in SOA adoption by end-users, 2004 will prove to be the break-out year for the technology. For end-users, this means a certain set of action items to make SOA a reality. For vendors, this means that 2004 will be a do-or-die year for their products. Beyond the pilot project and on to the incremental project One of the steps companies took in 2003 towards SOAs was to implement focused Web Services and/or…

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