Developing RIAs

RIA development is becoming mainstream and we have tools for you to simplify the task. We started with the integration server and our product offering grew to be a solid RIA development and runtime platform. Being developers ourselves, we recognize the importance of having the right tools for the job. The ease-of-use and elegance of the APIs are equally important to us. The most important quality is developer productivity and we hope it clearly shows.  The following represent a few ways we can help you.  Please visit individual product pages too.

Getting started with something new is very exciting but challenging step. We wanted to make it easier and created Visual Studio project templates for those who work with Silverlight and .NET. Eclipse users working with Flex can use the same project wizards included with FlexBuilder or FlashBuilder. We have created several helpful tutorials showing how to configure FlexBuilder and FlashBuilder with our products.

Visual Studio (2005, 2008 and 2010)

All editions of our server software include project templates for Visual Studio. For instance, WebORB for .NET installs Visual Studio templates for creation of the WebORB-enabled websites and Silverlight project using WebORB client. The screencasts below will walk you through using the templates.

  • Creating a WebORB-enabled ASP.NET website
  • Creating a Silverlight project to connect to .Net, Java, or PHP

Flex Builder and Eclipse

If you are working with FlexBuilder or FlashBuilder, it is very easy to get started with WebORB. Make sure to download the WebORB product suited for your server environment. We have the following options available: .NET, Java, PHP and Rails. The following demonstrate how to configure FlexBuilder and FlashBuilder to work with WebORB:

Code Generators

Code generation can be an important tool when it comes to producing repeatable blocks of code or functionality. It saves development cost and time and reduces time-to-market. Our products contain two types of code generators: remoting code generation and data management.  Version 4 of our software includes support for custom code generators.

Remoting Code Generators

Remoting code generators available in WebORB create client-side code enabling invocations of remote methods of a given service class. These generators are available in all implementations of the WebORB product. The following client-side code styles and frameworks are supported:

  • Flex/ActionScript 3
  • Flex/ActionScript 2
  • Silverlight (C#/VB.NET)
  • AJAX
  • Cairngorm
  • PureMVC
  • Mate
  • Swiz
  • WSDL-based Web Services
  • Custom

Command Line Generator

The command line generator provides the same functionality as the graphical one. The tool can be used for automation of the code generation procedure, inclusion into the build scripts or quick prototyping.

Data Management Code Generator

Developing data-driven RIAs is very common. The majority of the applications deal with relational data one way or the other. The development tasks for bringing the data into a rich client, making updates, creating or deleting database records in most cases result in very similar code. After all, the process of running a query, processing database result and serializing it to the client is very similar regardless of the database type or the complexity of schema. This is a perfect scenario for bringing a code generator to the rescue. WebORB data management system consists of a poweful code generator capable to produce not only the server-side code, but the client-side functionality as well. The process is very simple - select your database tables, set the namespace and package names for the code and run the code gen. You get a ZIP file with all the generated code, plus a sample application demonstrating how to use the API.

Watch a screencast demonstrating the code generator in action.

Service Browser

Service browser is one of the key components for the client/server RIA development and integration. WebORB service browser visualizes the deployment structure and graphically shows all deployed .NET assemblies (WebORB for .NET), jar files, Spring beans, EJBs and class files (WebORB for Java), PHP classes (WebORB for PHP) and (soon) ColdFusion components - CFCs (WebORB for CF). The display hierarchy includes classes and the contained methods. There are many other features tied into the service browser including code generators, invocation test drive and security configurator.

Real-time Deployment View

Whether you work with .NET, Java, or PHP, being able to see and work with the backend service available for your rich client is very important. Information displayed in the service browser provides access to all available services and components as well as the methods contained therein. When new services become available or changes occur in the existing components, you can simply refresh the view without reloading the service browser application.

Watch this screencast to see the Service Browser for the .NET edition of the product.


Invocation Test Drive

Service browser enables developers to test remoting services before any client-side code is written. The component includes an intuitive interface for invoking server methods in available services. For a selected method the interface creates a dynamic form where method argument values can be entered. The "Invoke" button issues an invocation. Return value is rendered in a tree view structure, so all elements of the response can be inspected.

Watch this screencast to see Invocation Test Drive in action.