Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Kevin Benedict, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, JP Morgenthal

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: 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

Highly passionate about utilizing Digital Technologies to enable next generation enterprise. Believes in enterprise transformation through the Natives (Cloud Native & Mobile Native).

@CloudExpo Stories
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of Soli...
The speed of software changes in growing and large scale rapid-paced DevOps environments presents a challenge for continuous testing. Many organizations struggle to get this right. Practices that work for small scale continuous testing may not be sufficient as the requirements grow. In his session at DevOps Summit, Marc Hornbeek, Sr. Solutions Architect of DevOps continuous test solutions at Spirent Communications, explained the best practices of continuous testing at high scale, which is rele...
Hardware virtualization and cloud computing allowed us to increase resource utilization and increase our flexibility to respond to business demand. Docker Containers are the next quantum leap - Are they?! Databases always represented an additional set of challenges unique to running workloads requiring a maximum of I/O, network, CPU resources combined with data locality.
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"A lot of times people will come to us and have a very diverse set of requirements or very customized need and we'll help them to implement it in a fashion that you can't just buy off of the shelf," explained Nick Rose, CTO of Enzu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
As software becomes more and more complex, we, as software developers, have been splitting up our code into smaller and smaller components. This is also true for the environment in which we run our code: going from bare metal, to VMs to the modern-day Cloud Native world of containers, schedulers and micro services. While we have figured out how to run containerized applications in the cloud using schedulers, we've yet to come up with a good solution to bridge the gap between getting your contain...
"We host and fully manage cloud data services, whether we store, the data, move the data, or run analytics on the data," stated Kamal Shannak, Senior Development Manager, Cloud Data Services, IBM, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, discussed the impact of technology on identity. Sho...
"Operations is sort of the maturation of cloud utilization and the move to the cloud," explained Steve Anderson, Product Manager for BMC’s Cloud Lifecycle Management, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Due of the rise of Hadoop, many enterprises are now deploying their first small clusters of 10 to 20 servers. At this small scale, the complexity of operating the cluster looks and feels like general data center servers. It is not until the clusters scale, as they inevitably do, when the pain caused by the exponential complexity becomes apparent. We've seen this problem occur time and time again. In his session at Big Data Expo, Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ...
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
"We got started as search consultants. On the services side of the business we have help organizations save time and save money when they hit issues that everyone more or less hits when their data grows," noted Otis Gospodnetić, Founder of Sematext, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
Updating DevOps to the latest production data slows down your development cycle. Probably it is due to slow, inefficient conventional storage and associated copy data management practices. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, in Product and Solution at Tintri, will talk about DevOps and cloud-focused storage to update hundreds of child VMs (different flavors) with updates from a master VM in minutes, saving hours or even days in each development cycle. He will also...