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Recently I browsed INETA to seek for some group and was really surprising. There is no Smart Client user group registered there. Maybe there is a reason? Let’s understand what Smart Client is?
According wikipedia, the term "Smart Client" is meant to refer to simultaneously capturing the benefits of a "thin client" (zero-install, auto-update) and a "fat client" (high performance, high productivity). However, I think, that this term is much wider. It is not only thin-fat client application, it’s also most of applications we’re using today.
We always want to provide our users with best experience and increase their performance. However we are (as developers) want to avoid complicated development and deployment. This why we should know as much as possible about user’s system, when users do not want to have real footprint in their systems. That’s dilemma. Is it possible to solve it? Let’s look deeper…
Are we really need installation? Most of old software installations put things in registry. It because you were never sure what client has in his system and were our application can put files or temporary data. Today, when we have local application or user isolated storage, so we not really need to use registry. Maybe only for our own ego – this is cool to have something like “HKLM/Software/MYNAME” in 1,000,000 user’s computers…
No installation is good, but what to me with maintenance. We want our system connected…
Could you imagine your user to visit product site twice a week to see what’s going on? I can not. However I know, that if I’ll ask him first about automatic updates and he’ll agree to forget about application maintenance, his experience will be much better.
So,we are connected. What now? I want to make time reporting system. Web service? Maybe some kind of distributed application. Maybe, even Twitter? This way we can be sure, that our data is safe and if user reinstall whole system, he do not really need to care about backups.
But users not always have internet access. Sometimes they are offline. How to solve the problem of occasionally connected users? I do not want him every lunch want for two minutes, until I realize, that there is no internet connection and will not even give him a chance to use the application?
So, we also want our system to be useful offline. But what’s up with Web 10.0? We want millions. We want very broad reach for our application. Also we want to be able to manage application updates remotely?
This is exactly what Smart client designed for. Technologies such as .NET, WPF, Silverlight from Microsoft, Flex, Thermo from Adobe and others tries to make you to be there with your application. But how to do it? How to answer all those hard questions, I asked?
I want to announce new (currently virtual) user group, dedicated to Smart Client development. I do not want to restrict this group geographically, due to fact, that current infrastructures allows us to forget about distances and be together. Join today “Smart Client development” user group.
In order to join, just send me an email to tamir [at] khason.biz with information about you. I put the request to create this user group in INETA. Once it will be opened, I’ll send everyone email to register and connect them selves to this group.
Be in touch.