Tuesday, October 21, 2008

AjaxWorld keynote: Charles Kendrick

Beyond widgets: what a RIA platform should offer

RIA for business should offer specific capabilities for end users: richness is not an end in itself. Aim to cover the traits that enterprise apps should exhibit.

Smartclient product

Data agnostic data binding. Data abstraction – data source – provides four basic CRUD actions. Avoid controller classes, use SQL-like protocol. Can mock data-sources in early development, switch to production data later.

On the fly (client side) filtering: nice, but does not work with production data loads. Often smart filtering gets turned off. With SmartClient: can dynamically switch between performing operations on client or server; knows whether it has a complete cache of the result set. Reduces the number of requests that the server has to handle.

Cross-browser support. Not either/or, but a continuum. Smartclient tries to be fully capable of insulating the RIA from all browser quirks.

Debugging support is important. Should debug application, not just JavaScript. E.g: why is a component in the wrong place or at the wrong size? Complement to FireBug.

Schema driven components. Grid uses schema to configure columns, whereas form uses the schema to drive the fields. Schema shares metadata across widgets. Can import metadata from SQL, XML schema, object model. [No mention of RDF/OWL -ijd]

Data relation awareness. Declare a foreign key relationship between datatypes. Widget can use that to drive behaviour.

Summary: rather an extended product pitch than a general talk, but interesting capability. Free version of platform is LGPL.

del.icio.us: ajaxworld, ria, conference, notes.

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