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Cutting Development Time and IT Costs with the Empty Client Framework

The Empty Client architecture provides enterprises with a realist cost-saving solution that saves money and expands application development capabilities at the same timeIT budget cuts has become a major topic in many areas in the past couple of months. Everyone, including CIOs and IT Managers are looking for realistic solutions that can save money and expand their technical capabilities at the same time.

On that note, the old phrase 'Time is money' is relevant now more than ever as IT projects are increasingly evaluated for their ROI and the projected development time.

Searching for technologies: that provide dramatic cost savings brings up the 'Empty Client' architecture. This approach suggests that the entire application flow, UI logic and validations are developed and processed on the server while the client remains empty. As opposed to fat client and even thin client, the Empty Client projects the server state on the client but does not require any specific client installation. This allows a complete utilization of the server for development process as well.

As a result, the Empty Client architecture provides the ability to use the ultra productive desktop methodologies and development patterns in the creation of advanced web UI's. Compared to using current web development tools, the incorporation of desktop tools for web development can save up to 90% in development time thanks to the adaptation of desktop tools such as Windows Forms.  The exceptional productivity is possible due to server based technology which simplifies web design and provides further advantages. The Empty Client architecture succeeds in focusing the many layers of web development into a single development layer. This contributes to improved productivity and decreases the proficiency levels required to develop complex web applications.

Since the Empty Client architecture uses desktop technologies, it is theoretically possible to take an existing desktop application and port it to the Web without the need to rewrite.

Therefore, if implemented correctly, migrating WinForms or VB6 applications can be done simply and extremely fast. Visual WebGui is a framework based on the Empty Client architecture that applies this concept in the real world of application development. Thus, it is successfully provides Windows Forms API and designer for developing complex ASP.NET application or migrating existing WinForms applications.

In a similar method, upgrading existing ASP.NET applications is also possible with the Empty Client platform. Moreover, leaving all processing on the server allows the ability to create several applications from the same source code without having to rewrite. This allows organizations to run applications in a number of environments or modes at no increased cost and with no additional development time. For example, an application can run in both desktop or web modes using the same source code. Another scenario involves running an application in several different presentation layers such as DHTML, Silverlight or WPF.

It is well-known that time-to-market and development costs are major issues in the decision-making process of organizations and CIO's these days. With that said, the Empty Client has the potential to provide everything needed in order to cut down development time and save on overall development costs. This makes it an extremely attractive technology to developing organizational applications, in addition to its many additional advantages in the area of performance and security.

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