Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Adobe Flex, ColdFusion, Machine Learning , Release Management

Adobe Flex: Article

Three RIA Platforms Compared: Adobe Flex, Google Web Toolkit, and OpenLaszlo

Strengths and weaknesses evaluated in three Report Cards

GWT Report Card:

  • Language Syntax: B-
  • Development Process:B+
  • Widgets/Features/Power of Toolkit: B
  • Ease of Deployment: C
  • Server-Side Data Integration: A
  • Client-Side Performance: A-
  • Platform Flexibility: B+

Notes:

GWT has a lot of very cool, fascinating features that I have only begun to scratch the surface of. Generally speaking, if you like Java and your server back end is going to be Java, then GWT is almost certainly the way to go for you. GWT apps are written in Java, which allows you to use existing knowledge in that area to get started fast and get others up to speed quickly. You can develop GWT applications with your favorite Java IDE and debug them just as you would a regular Java app.

GWT apps integrate very well with Java server back ends by providing the best remote object style integration of any of the frameworks. GWT is also technically agnostic when it comes to retrieving server-side data, so support for other web service types is available as well. The JavaScript created by the GWT compiler performs well (see Gmail), and the finished product ends up looking pretty nice, if not on the same level as a Flex application. The generated JavaScript also protects the developer from browser quirks (for the most part), and functions very well cross-browser, giving GWT apps solid flexibility.

The big knock on GWT for me is actually what is touted as its greatest strength - the fact that you write UI logic in Java.  I am a huge fan of Java on the server side, but laying out components for display in procedural code gets tiresome very quickly (see this post for more on that topic).  But for registered Javaphiles that want to take advantage of their existing skills and IDEs, you can’t beat GWT.

OpenLaszlo Report Card:

  • Language Syntax: B-
  • Development Process: B-
  • Widgets/Features/Power of Toolkit: B+
  • Ease of Deployment: B-
  • Server-Side Data Integration: B
  • Client-Side Performance: C
  • Platform Flexibility: A+

Notes:Open Laszlo, without any heavy hitters advocating and supporting its development, is less polished than the other two frameworks on this list, but provides some features and characteristics the other two lack. IDE support is non-existent, but luckily Laszlo features an interactive debugger that lets you inspect your application’s state in the browser window and execute arbitrary methods, which is handy. Like Flex, it allows very fine-grained control over component look and feel, but lacks a CSS-type means of skinning all components in an application. But Laszlo’s main differentiator is that it is runtime agnostic, and is meant to (eventually) be compiled for all kinds of platforms, such as Flash and DHTML (currently supported), and in the future Java ME, iPhone, Silverlight, you name it. If you’re looking to run the same code on a lot of different devices and platforms, Laszlo is worth a look.

The main deficiencies of Laszlo are apparent in its lack of polish when compared to the other platforms. The out of the box widgets look shabbier and the animations are not as smooth as a Flex equivalent. In my personal experience, some of the components don’t work exactly as advertised, which requires a lot of message board hunting at times when problems arise. And client-side performance is an issue, as the Flash binary that gets generated by Laszlo does not perform as well as a Flex 2 equivalent, and the DHTML versions are a little pokey at times as well. For those that need the platform flexibility Laszlo provides, it really is the ticket. But in other areas, Laszlo does not have much to recommend its self over the other frameworks on this list.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this will help you start to evaluate for yourself the strengths and weaknesses of the various RIA platforms that are out there, particularly these three. All are generally serviceable for most RIA applications, but sometimes optimal choices can and should be made given the requirements of a project. If you’re looking for maximum control over presentation and the best possible appearance for the finished product, I would say Flex is probably the way to go. If you’re a Java developer using Java on the server side, or you just can’t stand the thought of having your app run in the Flash player and would prefer JavaScript, GWT is probably going to work out very well for you. Open Laszlo is going to offer a great deal of platform versatility, but at the expense of some polish and features available in the other two frameworks.

Godspeed on your next RIA development project…

More Stories By Kevin Whinnery

Kevin Whinnery is a core contributor and Technical Evangelist for Appcelerator, an open source Rich Internet Application framework. Prior to joining Appcelerator, Kevin has been a web developer on both the client and server side for ERP vendor Lawson Software and technical consultancy Perficient, Inc. Kevin is also the author of the upcoming book "Appcelerator In Action" from Manning Publications.

Comments (2)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of San...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
If a machine can invent, does this mean the end of the patent system as we know it? The patent system, both in the US and Europe, allows companies to protect their inventions and helps foster innovation. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be set to disrupt the patent system as we know it. This talk will examine how AI may change the patent landscape in the years to come. Furthermore, ways in which companies can best protect their AI related inventions will be examined from both a US and...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
Chris Matthieu is the President & CEO of Computes, inc. He brings 30 years of experience in development and launches of disruptive technologies to create new market opportunities as well as enhance enterprise product portfolios with emerging technologies. His most recent venture was Octoblu, a cross-protocol Internet of Things (IoT) mesh network platform, acquired by Citrix. Prior to co-founding Octoblu, Chris was founder of Nodester, an open-source Node.JS PaaS which was acquired by AppFog and ...
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...