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Web enabled apps/Thin client apps

I'm writing an article and I need your informed opinions, so I ask you this:

1. Doesn't the web-enabled app generally run slower for one reason or
another?
2. Isn't the fact that application graphics must be limited, just proof of
#1, especially with low bandwidth situations?
3. Aren't the web-enabled apps really less feature rich because the
developer has to emulate the controls of a thick/fat client app, and
sometimes you just can't reproduce the features you find in a client PC or
server based app?
4. Isn't the user's internet connection speed (or lack of) at least a
significant bottleneck to app speed?
5. Isn't a very fast internet connection with a good web-enabled app still
slower by quite a bit than the app that is resident on the hard drive of a
good PC such as desribed below?

These are my basic questions and I can't imagine a web app that will run as
fast as one installed on my 2.4 Ghz PC with a hair over 1 Ghz of RDRam.

Thank you !

Richard Choate
Jul 19 '05 #1
2 2490
In additional to the three points below:

a) if the app needs to be changed, then, with a web-app, you just change
things on the server. With a fat-client app you need to push a updates to
all the client machines

b) cross platform: a basic browser is pretty much available for every
platform. Writing an installer for every platform (and even variants for
each platform, eg Win16/32 or Win95/98/ME -vs- WinNT/2k/XP) is problematic

An "inbetween" option is to look at thin clients, where the app is hosted.
Citrix MetaFrame or Windows Terminal Services etc. We run our PeopleSoft
system over Citrix so as to cater for the large number of client platforms
within the organisation.

Cheers
Ken

"Curt_C [MVP]" <Software_AT_Darkfalz.com> wrote in message
news:uK**************@TK2MSFTNGP11.phx.gbl...
: 1) slower then a client/server app...yes.
: 2) yes
: 3) yes
: 4) yes
: 5) yes
:
: The main reasons for web apps are (as I see it):
: 1) to avoid an install exe
: 2) to allow access from ANYWHERE
: 3) to allow "customer" access.
:
: Basically if a client app serves your needs then by all means use it. If
: your clients are "remote" then a web app may fit your need. It's a
specific
: use....Don't "webify" your app just "because".
:
:
: --
: ----------------------------------------------------------
: Curt Christianson (Software_AT_Darkfalz.Com)
: Owner/Lead Designer, DF-Software
: http://www.Darkfalz.com
: ---------------------------------------------------------
: ..Offering free scripts & code snippits for everyone...
: ---------------------------------------------------------
:
: "Richard Choate" <rc********@NoSpam.com> wrote in message
: news:#i**************@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
: > I'm writing an article and I need your informed opinions, so I ask you
: this:
: >
: > 1. Doesn't the web-enabled app generally run slower for one reason or
: > another?
: > 2. Isn't the fact that application graphics must be limited, just proof
of
: > #1, especially with low bandwidth situations?
: > 3. Aren't the web-enabled apps really less feature rich because the
: > developer has to emulate the controls of a thick/fat client app, and
: > sometimes you just can't reproduce the features you find in a client PC
or
: > server based app?
: > 4. Isn't the user's internet connection speed (or lack of) at least a
: > significant bottleneck to app speed?
: > 5. Isn't a very fast internet connection with a good web-enabled app
still
: > slower by quite a bit than the app that is resident on the hard drive of
a
: > good PC such as desribed below?
: >
: > These are my basic questions and I can't imagine a web app that will run
: as
: > fast as one installed on my 2.4 Ghz PC with a hair over 1 Ghz of RDRam.
: >
: > Thank you !
: >
: > Richard Choate
: >
: >
:
:
Jul 19 '05 #2
Its also true that a web app will be coded significantly differently in
order to work around the major bottlenecks (client server communication and
lack of complex graphics such as drawing lines).
I write web apps for a living (mapping, thematic layer rendering, data
search and retrieval etc.) and I've generally found that graphics aside
(this can be worked around with server side graphics creation in most cases
or a simplified approach using absolute positioned elements) it is generally
possible to make good responsive user interfaces with asynchronous messaging
to the server.
In some respects it's often possible to do more in a web app than in a
classic application because the speed of development is that much quicker
and the maintenance issues just melt away if you're careful to write it
properly. Speed of the initial load can be optimised through caching (eg.
..js files).
XMLHTTP is the key component for me (and the corresponding Mozilla
components) allowing me to use XML and XSLT to generate the majority of the
HTML output with small data items that require server processing done with
the XMLHTTP asynchronous calls.
In fact - I love it - I often wonder why I bother doing classic apps now
(it's a data processing speed thing and access to client side resources
obviously). A classic app *is* a lot faster when it needs to be. However,
the vast majority of applications sit idle most of the time doing odd bits
of CPU work when the user presses something!

Just my thoughts as a classic VB developer having moved to web applications
using XML, XSLT and COM+ DLLs on the server.

Cheers,

Chris.

"Ken Schaefer" <ke*******@THISadOpenStatic.com> wrote in message
news:uk**************@TK2MSFTNGP11.phx.gbl...
In additional to the three points below:

a) if the app needs to be changed, then, with a web-app, you just change
things on the server. With a fat-client app you need to push a updates to
all the client machines

b) cross platform: a basic browser is pretty much available for every
platform. Writing an installer for every platform (and even variants for
each platform, eg Win16/32 or Win95/98/ME -vs- WinNT/2k/XP) is problematic

An "inbetween" option is to look at thin clients, where the app is hosted.
Citrix MetaFrame or Windows Terminal Services etc. We run our PeopleSoft
system over Citrix so as to cater for the large number of client platforms
within the organisation.

Cheers
Ken

"Curt_C [MVP]" <Software_AT_Darkfalz.com> wrote in message
news:uK**************@TK2MSFTNGP11.phx.gbl...
: 1) slower then a client/server app...yes.
: 2) yes
: 3) yes
: 4) yes
: 5) yes
:
: The main reasons for web apps are (as I see it):
: 1) to avoid an install exe
: 2) to allow access from ANYWHERE
: 3) to allow "customer" access.
:
: Basically if a client app serves your needs then by all means use it. If
: your clients are "remote" then a web app may fit your need. It's a
specific
: use....Don't "webify" your app just "because".
:
:
: --
: ----------------------------------------------------------
: Curt Christianson (Software_AT_Darkfalz.Com)
: Owner/Lead Designer, DF-Software
: http://www.Darkfalz.com
: ---------------------------------------------------------
: ..Offering free scripts & code snippits for everyone...
: ---------------------------------------------------------
:
: "Richard Choate" <rc********@NoSpam.com> wrote in message
: news:#i**************@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
: > I'm writing an article and I need your informed opinions, so I ask you
: this:
: >
: > 1. Doesn't the web-enabled app generally run slower for one reason or
: > another?
: > 2. Isn't the fact that application graphics must be limited, just proof
of
: > #1, especially with low bandwidth situations?
: > 3. Aren't the web-enabled apps really less feature rich because the
: > developer has to emulate the controls of a thick/fat client app, and
: > sometimes you just can't reproduce the features you find in a client PC
or
: > server based app?
: > 4. Isn't the user's internet connection speed (or lack of) at least a
: > significant bottleneck to app speed?
: > 5. Isn't a very fast internet connection with a good web-enabled app
still
: > slower by quite a bit than the app that is resident on the hard drive of
a
: > good PC such as desribed below?
: >
: > These are my basic questions and I can't imagine a web app that will run
: as
: > fast as one installed on my 2.4 Ghz PC with a hair over 1 Ghz of RDRam.
: >
: > Thank you !
: >
: > Richard Choate
: >
: >
:
:

Jul 19 '05 #3

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