The blog of Eric Sibly; focusing on mountain biking, .NET development for the Desktop, Smartphone and PocketPC.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Rich client, poor client…

This would make a great title for a book ;-)

I know I have made the case previously for the Smart Client (rich) versus the Browser (poor). Here is a pretty good video from Channel 9 that supports this and demonstrates the benefits of looking for the appropriate application interface depending on your audience and they features they desire. It demonstrates the difference between an ASP.NET Web Application and a .NET Smart Client equivalent.

First up, let’s remember that the Rich Client is a concept, versus a product. The Rich Client can be a custom built application, or the likes of Office connecting to a Web Service or Database, etc.

There are times where “Reach” is important, being many users on any number of browsers and operating systems, then I agree the browser offers the best solution. However, if the user base fits the minimum Windows requirements for .NET, as most users do within corporate firewalls then a Smart Client should seriously be considered. Another reason many organisations build Browser applications is due to the misconception of deployment, agreed this was a nightmare in the old COM days, but with .NET and the likes of ClickOnce this is no longer an issue.

From a business perspective the benefits are significant:

  • Richer data entry experience; faster, more effective, more accurate data capture and richer UI controls
  • Reduced network access; less round trips – saved network/internet costs
  • Offline and synchronization; application works without network - supports mobility
  • Reduced development costs; Windows Forms simpler than ASP.NET

See the Dell Case Study to see how switching to a Rich client has improved their business.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE reading your blogs. You are a total genius with a fine body and extremely good taste in women.

6:25 pm


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