Enterprise app. development with Ajax & XUL. XTECH Sebastian Schürmann - PDF

Enterprise app. development with Ajax & XUL XTECH Sebastian Schürmann What youre g onna hear now! Why Sixt adtopted XUL Why we use AJAX (-X +J) What dev. Tools you can use for it Which

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Enterprise app. development with Ajax & XUL XTECH Sebastian Schürmann What youre g onna hear now! Why Sixt adtopted XUL Why we use AJAX (-X +J) What dev. Tools you can use for it Which components the framework consists of What kind of widgets we use and how they are constructed What Application(s) have we build Team Structure at Sixt Lessons we learned on XUL MAYFLOWER GmbH What is M ayflower/ Thinkphp PHP service provider over 30 employees distributed on 2 sites: Munich and Würzburg 4 associates: Johann-Peter Hartmann, Albrecht Günther, Björn Schotte, Gregor Streng deep-rooted with the PHP-Community developer driven company PHP projects for various Enterprises as Sixt, Hypovereinsbank, Vaillant LAMP-Stack experts MAYFLOWER GmbH Presenter developer since 1999 Mayflower team member since 2005 jack of all trades: Development to QA working in the XUL Project for over a Year part of various opensource projects (Mainly as QA) Postnuke (cms) PnCommerce (ecommerce) me: MAYFLOWER GmbH What is XUL? XUL is XML GUI Markup Own widgets like tree / XUL runs in the Gecko Engine (Mozilla/Firefox) Styling via CSS Events and so on with DOM- Javascript Could speak of it as a pimped XHTM L MAYFLOWER GmbH XUL development tools MAYFLOWER GmbH Dive into XUL The Broswer supports the most important dev. Tools as browser ext. Firebug as debug console Debugger (Step Debugging avail. as ext.) DOM Explorer for XML Structures Paranoid javascript.options.strict Eclipse and JSEclipse + XMLBuddy as dev. Plattform Happy vi users reported MAYFLOWER GmbH M ay I XUL? Do you XHTML? Do you CSS? Do you Javascript? Do you C++, python..? MAYFLOWER GmbH The Requirements Find a way to implement modern GUI applications on top of a COBOL based enterprise architecture without rewriting from scratch and be fast with it. MAYFLOWER GmbH The Contenders/Inhouse G UI Technolog ies CO BO L Only terminal based applications Limited developer ressources avail. hundreds of Applications Sixt Powerbuilder Not open source, long development cycles Island applications as result Java Very limited number of deployed Sixt High development costs MAYFLOWER GmbH The Solution Use XUL/XML/Javascript as G UI layer aka develop a browser based application (view & controller) Re-USE the stable in house CO BO L architecture via AJAX based access. (model) Develop a framework to provide advanced GUI components (g rids, trees) Establish simple Deployment Processes as the Sixt company is used to them. As far as possible: Give Sixt the complete control over the resulting product MAYFLOWER GmbH The first Project Incident Handling Companywide use: from callcenter to the legal department (different kind of users!) ~ 40 GUIs to enter and process data Connected to various serverside systems PDF document generation server services DTAUS bank file generation service Plattform: Mozilla on Cytrix dektop to minimize deployment issues. MAYFLOWER GmbH Technica l Elements of Sixt XUL Apps. Ajax Cobol/PHP/SQL connector object Excel like datagrid for serial data Treewidget Data dictionary with length and fieldtype definitions for clientside validation Enumerations (e.g. country lists) Helper API (data formats, comparisons etc.) Page controller API (DOM events and operations) MAYFLOWER GmbH AJAX in Sixt XUL Data serialization with JSO N Serverside JSON C M odule for performant (de-) serialization N Cobol-method calls in one http-request (batching ) Easy handling of dependent AJAX-Requests Large amounts of data transferred with no performance headaches. Simple PHP backend archictecture COBOL, SQL and PHP methods usable Cobol and SQL Calls mixable into one request MAYFLOWER GmbH N -method calls in one request? Data retrieval of ~ 30 Cobol Methods on in itial loading of a incident case Special dependencies (car-contractor-credit cards) make use of dependant calls Optimal Re-use of the CRUD and other Cobol Methods in Data-Grids MAYFLOWER GmbH An Example... Request Batching Why? Save request instantiation and authentification Reduce concurrency Problems Use database transactions in AJAX-SQL Simplify errorhandling issues Better performance in high latency situations Delivers data of multiple function calls at once MAYFLOWER GmbH Pag econtoller and helper API Objects that live in every XUL Page Events already bound in there, no need for DOMattributes like onclick Allows clean partitioning of XML View and event dispatching Data validation with one line of Javascript code Form data-delta checks to avoid useless AJAX Requests eases routine developer works MAYFLOWER GmbH Datag rid MAYFLOWER GmbH Tabular Data The Datag rid Allows to edit data in a Excel like spreadsheet style Allows textfields and selectboxes Field based validation when data is changed without a request to the server Optimal usabillity for large amounts of data Automatic determination of changed data (deltas) and contol over resulting storage operations MAYFLOWER GmbH Tree MAYFLOWER GmbH Hierarchic datastructures - Tree Simple JS API to Build trees Attach event code to tree-nodes Read tree data Open and close subtrees NO Implementation as XUL/ -tag/XBL Several DOM performance optimizations Eases complex tasks (list to hierarcy) MAYFLOWER GmbH Whats so web 2.0 about all this? Mashup of several services in the Sixt IT Landscape Cobol data services PDF generation DTAUS file generation Mailservices Browser based application Scripting language for GUI and glue layer (PHP) Rapid Development Process (RAD) MAYFLOWER GmbH The Second Project: Styleg uides and QA Straight naming conventions for XML-attributes and Javascript notation rules (BSD-Style!) Clear documentation for Project Managers what is possible and what not. Review of subprojects and refactoring of code and markup Limitation of possibilitiesover all to streamline the complete sourcecode. Guidelines for: XUL markup Javascript code Interface design-guidelines and usabillity MAYFLOWER GmbH The Third Project: Developer Tra inig s New Team was formed Summer 2005 ~ 10 people working on Sixt Different backgrounds and history of candidates Web + Scripting Langs Cobol Powerbuilder One Week of training for the newbies First productive work started after 2-3 Weeks MAYFLOWER GmbH M ore Projects Car leasing application (price calculation etc.) Leasing contract systems International money transfer via dtazv Connector to the datawarehouse Extensive security & permission checks, down to the DOM-Level. Different users have different rights in the same application context. etc, etc, etc... MAYFLOWER GmbH Lesson 1: Code Issues Even if its just Javascript, it needs to be clean and performant. NO warnings in any JS Code or CSS Markup needs to be clean too Use or write Frameworks, dont re-invent the wheel, better fix it ;) Use a performant and warning-free framework Complex async-ajax Requests require a bit more complex code. Make Sure every developer knows how to Program functional in Javascript use the.prototype keyword (NOT the framework) MAYFLOWER GmbH Lesson 2: Process Issues Ajax Apps and the XUL-Framework are very agile, behave like it release early release often don't do big Prototypes start to be really productive in a early stage don't fear refactoring Scrum as agile management method fits well to this kind of application development Use the right tools, instead of the well known ones Automated tests help finding side-effects of changes to the codebase MAYFLOWER GmbH Lesson 3: Desig n & Performance Issues Serverside Methods, if re-used (optimal situation), might need a additional Layer on the client side (model layer) Trade more performance in async requests for complexity in the code Do not re-invent the serverside wheel in the client Even clients (browsers) might have limited processing power and RAM MAYFLOWER GmbH M ore Infos mayflower.de xulplanet.com developer.mozilla.org MAYFLOWER GmbH Thanks for listening ;) Sebastian Schürmann Mayflower GmbH Sendlinger Tor. 42a München +49 (89)
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