Servoy Blurs Line Between Web Apps, Desktop Apps

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print

For those tired of maintaining separate code bases for Web and desktop applications, Servoy offers a way to consolidate those code bases and cut development time in half.

Web-based applications are all the rage. That's great news for application developers, who are making a tidy living off of developing those fancy browser-based applications, but where does that leave those developing traditional client/server rich desktop applications? The situation for those developers is quickly becoming "evolve or die." The shift to Web-based applications has started and it is unstoppable.

While traditional desktop-based applications have proven their worth with stability, security and maintainability, that is not enough to stem the tide, and businesses of all sizes are being forced to develop rich applications for the Web.

For many, Web application development using AJAX, .NET and other technologies (or architectures) has meant maintaining two separate code bases, one for the Web and one for the desktop. Usually, it also means more than doubling overall development costs and, in many cases, staffing levels. That is only a small part of the problem. Keeping two code bases synchronized and development goals on track usually adds another layer of management and tools, along with exponentially increasing the likelihood of bugs and broken applications.

Of course, the simple answer is to not have two code bases. With a single code base, most of those problems can be eliminated and costs can be contained. Regrettably, consolidating into a single code base has pretty much been impossible, mostly due to the unique challenges presented to developers by both the desktop and the Web, each with its own specific requirements and rules for building functional applications. That creates a big decision for many: Should development efforts be focused on the Web or the desktop?

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com