The Servoy Way: Autodeployment Tops AdvantagesBy Frank Ohlhorst | 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.
One of the biggest advantages offered by Servoy is in deployment. Deploying applications to end users is for the most part automatic. The Server portion of Servoy contains all of the intelligence needed to allow a user to pull an application down to the desktop. Scripting can be done that determines if the end user gets the smart client, browser-based or headless form of the application, and that can be initiated by something as simple as a hyperlink in an e-mail or on the company's intranet site.
The ease of deployment does indeed live up to expectations, but developers will need to be doubly aware of security requirements. When it is so easy to deploy an application, it becomes very easy for the application to wind up with the wrong users. Security should be a twofold task: Secure the end point and then secure the data source. With that accomplished, deployment can be better controlled, and if an application does wind up where it is not intended to be, the data will not be accessible.
Most applications need a way to present data beyond the input screen, and here Servoy offers a report generator, which uses plug-ins to create many optional output methods, from traditional print to PDF to e-mail. Plug-ins are also included to perform complex computations, for formatting and many other functions that make report generation available without any manual coding whatsoever. Again, a warning to the neophyte—with the ease of report development offered, it becomes far too easy to build reports that are confusing and even unrepresentative of the data accessed. Those designing reports with Servoy should be well versed in how a proper report should look and should understand the type of data representation an end user needs.
This quick test drive of the product only scratches the surface of what Servoy can accomplish. Books could be written (and some have already been) on the features that are available without generating any manual code, and if an expert wants to embed some manual code, most anything can be accomplished with Servoy.
Developers will find that Servoy does live up to its promises of code-free application generation that can be deployed in a number of ways and will find the product a powerful ally for creating custom applications for both internal and external use.