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Poll to help my decision...

Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15302

I have created a Help Desk application for my department where I work. Originially it was an applet. Then I made it into a Desktop app to lose the sandbox. Then, I decided to make it into a Web App to make updates easier on me. Over the course of the different development stages I think I have gotten a pretty good grasp of how a good Help Desk application ought to work. And now I want to take that knowledge and build a really nice Open Source App. The question is now:
1. Create a Swing Desktop App
2. Create a Web Application (JSP/Servlets, probably STRUTS)
If anyone could just voice their opinion as to which one and why they would prefer it that way, that would be great. Thanks.

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Tim Baker
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Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 541
i prefer web-apps because they don't require installation of anything client side (except a decent mozilla browser ) and so version control and patching isn't an issue and web app interfaces tend to be easier and more usable to everyone!

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Bear Bibeault
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 63865

If your app is easily expressable in the limited UI constructs available from the browsers, I'd go the web app route.

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Craig Jackson
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Joined: Mar 19, 2002
Posts: 405
I kind of like the Web application version better, because the help desk can be accessible by anyone who has an internet browser, for the most part. The standalone application you have to worry about the different variables of the installation of the application, on each persons PC i.e. what operating sysytem, the correct version of java, etc.
Just one of many opinions, I am sure.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15302

I wonder if I had asked this in the SWING forum if I would be getting different opinions.
I agree with all of the above statements. But I'm still not conviced either way. But since all so far are votes for Web Apps, I will play your advocate.
We can all agree that Web App UI's are somewhat limited. And that a SWING app could be have many more features than a typical Web App.
As far as updates are concerned, with the exception of minor patches, how often do your companies upgrade their applications to the newest versions, Web App or Desktop App? If they are anything like the company I work for, it's not very often if ever. If it aint broke....
Please keep the opinions comming though. I appreciate them.
Phil Chuang
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Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 251
Actually, if designed modularly enough, it could probably be done BOTH as a web app and a client/server app. I'm currently rolling my own web app framework (for the heck of it) that can (theoretically) be accessed from web pages or from a swing app and provide the same abilities. I'm only half done implementing the web app portion of it, so we'll see how well it's designed whenever I get around to developing the swing app for it
Michael Fitzmaurice
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Joined: Aug 22, 2001
Posts: 168
I would also vote for web app, assuming you do not need a really rich user interface. Another reason I tend to prefer these, all other things being equal, is that it allows me to pool database connections in one place and have a bit more control over where and when the db gets accessed from.
Where I work we have some VB & Java fat client apps on desktops holding open lots of database connections unnecessarily. We have also found, as other people have already mentioned, that rolling out new releases and patches is a bit of a pain for the fat clients. Releasing to 160 desktops as opposed to one web server is definitely slower, more difficult, and more error prone, even if it only happens a couple of times a year.

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Andres Gonzalez
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Joined: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 1561
I think webapp is more accessible to users.

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Malli Raman
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Joined: Nov 07, 2001
Posts: 312
I feel web application is easy to made compared with applet/swings.
Even all the J2ee people will suggest the same. All web application servers are changing from swing format to web application format
I am not sure about the performance, but i observed that in Websphere application server 3.5(WAS3.5 is swing based),deploying a ejb took more time compared with current WAS 4.0(web application).
William Brogden
Author and all-around good cowpoke

Joined: Mar 22, 2000
Posts: 13037
Its going to be a lot easier to add extra functionality to a web based system - images, video, sounds, URL links outside the system, etc. etc.
I agree. Here's the link:
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