Tom Ortega II

SmartClient: An impressive Ajax solution

In Ajax, Programming, Technology and Software on May 23, 2007 at 7:44 am

The folks at Isomorphic Software have this Ajax product known as SmartClient (http://www.smartclient.com). One team inside eBay uses the product for internal projects, and so invited them down to demo for the rest of us. I was there and I have to say, the tool looks powerful. The company has been around for a while and if you look at their homepage, they’re client list is rather impressive.

There are two things I’d like to call out that were demonstrated.

  1. The OLAP CubeGrid: This nifty little tool let you quickly and easily view your OLAP data in a datagrid. Any toolset can do that, right? But then, SmartClient let’s you just drag and drop new elements into the datagrid to further enhance the views. I’ve been in corporate America for quite sometime and the number crunchers out there would go crazy for a tool like that.
  2. XML Schema-driven Form: I know Eclipse and other tools have had something like this for years, but not being a Java head, stuff like this still impresses me. The tool will take an XML schema and automatically bind it to a datagrid and create a corresponding form on the fly. The form will have the elements properly typed, show which are required and even populate drop downs. If you’re using XML extensively, that’s a pretty attractive feature.

As you can see by the sidebar of their site (if you clicked one of the example links), there’s tons of other stuff they do right out of the box. With over 210 Ajax frameworks to choose from, it’s probably pretty hard to figure out which one you want to use. If you’re investigating/using Ajax, give SmartClient a look.

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