Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Scott Bampton, Anne Buff, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, SOA & WOA, Virtualization

Cloud Expo: Article

Why Thick Clients Are Relevant in Cloud Computing

Return of Thick Clients

Thick Clients
Traditionally thick clients have been used for providing rich user interface functionalities and also for mobile workers who would like to execute functions without connecting to the network or firewall. The major characteristics are;

  • Offline Working
  • Higher Multimedia Requirements

However, enterprises have slowly moved away from thick clients due to the fact that building business logic and intelligence on fat clients and keeping it updated is a difficult task, as the business rules change more often than the user interface and multimedia needs and keeping it in sync with several client machines is a daunting task.

The term thick clients can be interchangeably used with ‘fat clients' or ‘rich clients.'

Cloud and Thick Clients
With the concept of delivering ‘Everything as a Service' and access to information using standardized interfaces, cloud computing opens the doors for rich thick client applications to be part of application landscape again for specific needs. Some of the features of cloud computing that support the usage of thick clients again are:

  • Cloud is here to be consumed not only by traditional multi tiered applications, but more for smart devices, which are typically thick clients
  • Standards-based API support the creation of thick clients using multiple technologies and rendering devices
  • SaaS-based applications will allow the thick clients to concentrate on rich user interface functionality and rendering while leaving the business rules with cloud, leaving the maintenance much simpler than earlier.
  • Users can access both cloud and conventional computing services
  • Mobility and offline use. Fast Internet access is still not pervasive. Users can work with locally installed applications even when offline
  • Performance and additional capabilities. Users can run graphics and compute-intensive workloads on the client. Without local execution, this would be slow or impossible.

Popular Thick Clients That Could Emerge Out of Cloud
1. WPF - Windows Presentation Foundation:

  • As always Microsoft's dominance on the rich client and desktop is reflected in the features and ease of development of WPF applications
  • Provides a unified support for:

o Graphical interface, e.g., forms and controls

o On-screen documents

o Fixed-format documents

o Images

o Video and audio

o Two-dimensional graphics

o Three-dimensional graphics

  • WPF based clients can access the APIs exposed by Windows Azure and hence can access the business logic on the Cloud

2. Widget / Gadget Framework:

  • Windowscontains mini-programs calledgadgets, which offer information at a glance and provide easy access to frequently used tools. For example, you can use gadgets to display a picture slide show or view continuously updated headlines.
  • The Google Desktop APIs let you create gadgets, indexing plug-ins, and more for Google Desktop. You can also integrate Google Desktop search into your own applications.
  • Google Gadget APIs can be used to create Gadgets that can run on multiple smart devices as thick client and yet connect to Cloud to access the enterprise data
  • The Gadget APIs can connect to Cloud using the APIs exposed, making them highly extensible, while providing the flexibility of running it locally

3. Applets / Application Clients In Java EE World:

  • A web page received from the web tier can include an embedded applet. Anappletis a small client application written in the Java programming language that executes in the Java virtual machine installed in the web browser. However, client systems will likely need the Java Plug-in and possibly a security policy file for the applet to successfully execute in the web browser.
  • Anapplication clientruns on a client machine and provides a way for users to handle tasks that require a richer user interface than can be provided by a markup language. It typically has a graphical user interface (GUI) created from the Swing or the Abstract Window Toolkit (AWT) API, but a command-line interface is certainly possible.
  • With the support of Web Services and SOAP-based APIs as part of Java EE, thick clients in Java EE can connect to Cloud to provide the desired functionality

Summary
Application software of the future will likely have a piece that runs on clients and a piece that runs in the Cloud."... "The client piece needs to be useful when disconnected from the cloud and need to get the data from the cloud on a need basis. This makes the return of thick clients real for the enterprise applications with specific characteristics.

Several of the cloud management tools are targeted to be Thick clients for above mentioned advantages. Thick clients complement cloud computing, providing localized processing to optimize the user experience as well as mobile and offline computing.

More Stories By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

I am passionate about ownership and driving things on my own, with my breadth and depth on Enterprise Technology I could run any aspect of IT Industry and make it a success. I am a Seasoned Enterprise IT Expert, mainly in the areas of Solution,Integration and Architecture, across Structured, Unstructured data sources, especially in manufacturing domain. My recent work is on Natural Language Processing, Semantic Enrichment of Unstructured Data, Data Mining and Predictive Analytics. However I have a strong footing across all tiers of Enterprise IT spectrum. I am geared to handle the massive flow of data by Internet Of Things with appropriate platform, tools and processes.

@CloudExpo Stories
When an enterprise builds a hybrid IaaS cloud connecting its data center to one or more public clouds, security is often a major topic along with the other challenges involved. Security is closely intertwined with the networking choices made for the hybrid cloud. Traditional networking approaches for building a hybrid cloud try to kludge together the enterprise infrastructure with the public cloud. Consequently this approach requires risky, deep "surgery" including changes to firewalls, subnets...
Ixia develops amazing products so its customers can connect the world. Ixia helps its customers provide an always-on user experience through fast, secure delivery of dynamic connected technologies and services. Through actionable insights that accelerate and secure application and service delivery, Ixia's customers benefit from faster time to market, optimized application performance and higher-quality deployments.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratogent will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Stratogent is a custom managed services organization based in San Mateo, California. We design, implement, and support mission critical infrastructure 24x7 on premises, in datacenters and in the Cloud. Since 2005, we have acted as an extension of internal IT teams, achieving a customer reten...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Harbinger Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Harbinger Systems is a global company providing software technology services. Since 1990, Harbinger has developed a strong customer base worldwide. Its customers include software product companies ranging from hi-tech start-ups in Silicon Valley to leading product companies in the US a...
SYS-CON Events announces a new pavilion on the Cloud Expo floor where WebRTC converges with the Internet of Things. Pavilion will showcase WebRTC and the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices--computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will con...
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudian, Inc., the leading provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudian is a Foster City, Calif.-based software company specializing in cloud storage. Cloudian HyperStore® is an S3-compatible cloud object storage platform that enables service providers and enterprises to bui...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual C...
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP’s Printing a...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, will discuss how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP ...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., will show what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AIC, a leading provider of OEM/ODM server and storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AIC is a leading provider of both standard OTS, off-the-shelf, and OEM/ODM server and storage solutions. With expert in-house design capabilities, validation, manufacturing and production, AIC's broad selection of products are highly flexible and are conf...
We are all here because we are sold on the transformative promise of The Cloud. But what good is all of this ephemeral, on-demand infrastructure if your usage doesn't actually improve the agility and speed of your business? How must Operations adapt in order to avoid stifling your Cloud initiative? In his session at DevOps Summit, Damon Edwards, co-founder and managing partner of the DTO Solutions, will highlight the successful organizational, process, and tooling patterns of high-performing c...
SYS-CON Events announced today that O'Reilly Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurri...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue bu...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace. ...
Seagate has a strong track record of collaborating with others to develop better cloud solutions. The Seagate Cloud Builder Alliance program, for example, leverages the company’s knowledge of storage and cloud-optimized solutions to give cloud service providers the customized, flexible and scalable server and storage solutions to meet the high levels of service their customers demand. Seagate also is a member of the OpenStack Foundation and Open Compute Project to help define and promote open-so...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce t...
What process has your provider undertaken to ensure that the cloud tenant will receive predictable performance and service? What was involved in the planning? Who owns and operates the data center? What technology is being used? How is it being supported? In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Dave Weisbrot, Cloud Business Manager for QTS, will provide the attendees a look into what it takes to stand up and stand behind a highly available certified cloud IaaS.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gigaom Research has been named "Media Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, will also lead a Power Panel on the topic "Choosing the Right Cloud Option." Gigaom Research provides timely, in-depth analysis of emerging technologies for individual and corporate subscribers. Gigaom Research'...