Friday, 29 July 2011

Web View Experiences - Introduction

In the latest release of GuardIEn (8.1) that we launched this month, we introduced a web based user interface for viewing and managing Change Requests and Release Packs. Called WebCR, the primary purpose for developing this new interface was to provide an easy way of giving a wider group of users access to the change management functions of GuardIEn without needing to install the full client software on their workstation.

All of our products are developed with CA Gen, and we also wanted to develop the web interface using Gen so that we could maintain all of our code in a single tool, and share common logic between the GUI client and web interfaces.

In the past we had experimented with Gen's Web Generation capabilities, but decided that these did not meet our requirements. However with the introduction of Web View in Gen 8.0, we decided to re-evaluate Gen's capabilities and started an R&D project with Web View. The results were promising and the decision was taken to proceed with the full scale development of a new web based user interface for the change management aspects of GuardIEn.

The design criteria was to provide similar functionality as the GUI client and use the same servers as the GUI, so that a customer wanting to use WebCR simply needs to install the WebCR application in an application server and the user interface is up and running.

Whilst we wanted to provide similar functionality to the GUI interface, our research project indicated that there were some important differences between GUI clients and Web clients with respect to dialog design, window layout and performance. This meant that we needed to have separate client procedure steps for the web interface, although they could share the same servers as the GUI client and also common code.

In subsequent posts, I will describe some of our experiences of using Web View in more detail.

No comments: