The Progress® WebClient® product is a major addition to the Progress® Software Corporation product line. WebClient® enables the development of true ‘thin client’ applications to be distributed, deployed and maintained over networks without ever doing any work on the client machine. The automatic deployment and update mechanism supports and implements the Application Service Provider (ASP) model where end users ‘rent’ applications on a pay-as-you-go basis and are automatically ensured of running the latest version of the application.
When organizations started deploying their WebClient® applications over the internet significant performance bottlenecks became apparent. While the applications do have acceptable performance over Local Area Networks and Intranets, traditional Progress® development environments prove to be too slow for delivery over the public internet, often still accessed by users through dial-up modems. When faced with the task of providing thousands of dial-up users access to central databases over the internet,Netsetup quickly recognized that an entirely new architecture was required to achieve this goal.
Extensive measurements revealed that traditional Progress® architectures suffer from three major bottlenecks when faced with internet deployment: too many AppServer calls, excessive data exchange, and large r-code deployment to the client.
The Dynamic WebClient® Architecture is based on the union of a single ‘Business Logic’ object on the server and a single ‘User Interface’ object on the client. Together, these two objects are capable of delivering full-blown Windows applications to the end user with sub-second response times over dial-up internet connections.
The use of bandwidth is typically much lower than a comparable HTML-based web application. A single user interaction results in just a single AppServer call, even if that interaction returns a screen full of browser and viewer data. Due to the stateless architecture a single application server can support thousands of concurrent users.
As a matter of fact, with the Dynamic WebClient® Architecture you do not have to wait for UMTS frequencies to become available to provide wireless access to your Progress® applications; a standard GPRS connection is sufficient to run DWA applications on your laptop. Even a 9.600 baud GSM connection can be used to access DWA applications from anywhere in the world. This claim leaves the major industry players out in the cold.
A development team led by internationally renowned Progress specialist Peter van Dam was instituted to develop a new WebClient® architecture for the internet.
The answer was found in the combination of a completely ‘dynamic’ approach, highly compressed intelligent data transfer, sophisticated caching techniques, and the use of a central repository to store application definitions.
Stateless AppServers ensure virtually unlimited scalability. The result is an internet deployment architecture for Windows applications with unparalleled performance: the Dynamic WebClient® Architecture.
The Dynamic WebClient® Platform is the development environment for applications based on the Dynamic WebClient® Architecture. This environment enables developers to rapidly (re)develop Progress® based Windows applications for deployment over the internet.
Using the Dynamic WebClient® Platform does not mean that the existing applications are to be completely rewritten. Often it is sufficient to redevelop specific key parts of the front-end, leaving the rest of the application intact.