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Web 2.0 : Article

Rich Clients Warming Up Web Browsers And Applications

Rich Clients Warming Up Web Browsers And Applications

The interaction between Web browsers and applications, which has been a matter largely out of Web users' hands, is being developed through application of rich clients, along with increased use of XML, dynamic HTML, and JavaScript. Nexaweb recently introduced upgraded development offerings for XML, including updates for building thin-client applications with rich features originating from users' desktops.

Based in Cambridge, Mass., Nexaweb's Client 3.3 has been fitted with support for searching XML, and, according to CEO Larry Geisel, part of the application can be taken off-line. Developers can create small XML-based applications, so-called "rich applications" - which can in turn work with local data, enabling limited communication with a server instructing it to accept or deny real-time data, or any other data. This can create applications more keenly tailored to users' demands, expectations, and programming requirements.

As an example, many of Nexaweb's clients, including various hotel chains and other hospitality providers, use rich interfaces so guests have an easier time accessing services. At the Watergate Hotel in Washington, for instance, guests have the ability to check a calendar listing available dates, reserve a room, and process a credit card transaction, all from one page, resulting in greater convenience and customer satisfaction.

Nexaweb Client 3.3 can run in any J2EE application server, allowing developers to use various coding structures to build XML user interfaces, including JavaBeans, JSP, and other coding structures. Using XML rich client technology can allow enterprises to lower their development and maintenance complexity.

To show the point, Nexaweb said its client, Best Western, used the company's toolset to replace an HTML-based reservation, room rate, and inventory application. The highly portable XML-based interface allowed Best Western's servers to process changes made across the company's nearly 4,000 properties. Employees looking at data could be assured what they are seeing represents actual conditions.

Giesel said the company has plans to update its Nexaweb Studio add-in for third-party development environments by including a visual Java Server Pages (JSP) editor. The company intends to add a .NET client and open source accessibility by next year.

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