Thursday, January 18, 2007

CodeMash - Day 1 - Smart Client fun

I have to admit that I stayed in my comfort area of .NET apps today. I'm starting to regret not hitting the Ruby session but I did learn a bit from the two Smart Client sessions I hit today. My main reason for going to the sessions was to validate some work I had done on a previous client as well as see what other items I could be doing better with Smart Client development. My current client is probably going that route so a few more tips couldn't hurt.

Keith Elder did a fairly good job of showing why ClickOnce development is one of the best technologies that Windows developers don't know about and why there is still a lot of room in the world for Smart Clients (of course my favorite Smart client application is Battlefield 2142 right now so that has some bearing on the discussion). He also pointed out that Smart Clients are the best WYSIWYG development environments out there and that you really only have to know one language to develop Smart Client applications (no CSS, Javascript, etc). Smart Clients also have the advantage of using installed apps on the machine (word/excel).

The only thing I wish he had covered (and he may have if he wasn't rushed for time in the first session) was some general guidelines of when Smart Clients are/are not the right thing to do. If you have a homogenous Windows environment then Smart Clients are a perfect for Intranet applications...and that's about it.

The second session had Keith showing off how to incorporate SOA into Smart Clients. It was a pretty good session as well but it seemed like he lost focus towards the end as it became more of a "Why Enterprise Library kicks ass session" (not a bad thing). Would have been nice to have a few more SOA examples but I'm not really sure how that would work out. Still a fantastic session though and I learned a few little tips for the new client.

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