Thursday, April 30, 2009

Smart Client Applications

Just read this blog entry about Smart Client technology and an architect's dilemma to choose an appropriate client UI technology. I had blogged about Smart Clients earlier here

In the blog posts, Philip discusses the scenarios where-in a thin web-based client makes sense. For SmartClient, he says that 'offline' applications are the best fit where it makes sense to use a thick client. I feel there is another strong reason why one would want to select Smart Client UI - a rich user experience. Even with cutting edge Ajax solutions, it is impossible to get the same look and feel of a desktop application over a browser.  We also have powerful WinForms/SmartClient third-party controls such as those from Infragistics that enable you to slice-n-dice thousands of records in a grid. Such raw power is not available over a web interface.

Other important point raised by Philip was the security aspect of Smart Client applications. How would we protect the client code and data from being compromised? Possible solutions:
- Encrypt all data
- Obfuscate the dlls
- Resolve data concurrency errors and database replication errors.