The Servoy Way: Autodeployment Tops Advantages

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.

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.
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

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