If you’ve been a reader of mine for awhile, you know that I’ve blogged about smart clients in the past (defined). It’s been great to see a fair bit of progress from Microsoft concerning more robust infrastructure for the development of smart client-oriented applications.Â Insufficient common plumbingÂ was a central concern of the Smart Client Architectures working group within the, now all-but-closed, Microsoft Architect Advisory Board. Each one of us in the WG saw numerous one-off efforts that would benefit significantly from a more capable, robust platform from which to build smart clients (e.g. focus more on the business/problem domain instead). The following efforts are yielding these anticipated benefits: Enterprise Library, Composite Application Block, Guidance Automation Toolkit and Smart Client Baseline Architecture Toolkit.
In case you’re not familiar with these Microsoft (and community) provisions, I encourage you to visit the following links:
- Enterprise Library (EntLib) – January 2006 release for .NET 2.0: GDN home, contributor blogs, the goods (bits), overview and core architecture presentations, and (3) ARCast recordings. I also recommend this good explanation of the Object Builder framework within EntLib.
- Composite UI Application Block (CAB): home, community, the goods (C# bits), hands-on labs (C#), and introduction presentation. CAB specifies a composition-oriented architecture and framework for the presentation layer. It is a smart client framework for building composite enterprise applications (versus small standalone applications), enabling solution developers to focus on their business domain instead of application plumbing. CAB has a dependency on EntLib.
- Guidance Automation Toolkit (GAT): home, a short history, and an article. If you’re familiar with Enterprise Templates from VS.NET03, GAT is like ET on steriods. GAT requires Visual Studio 2005 (i.e. its DSL support). DSL is short for domain-specific language. DSLs are an essential part of the Software Factories paradigm.
- Smart Client Baseline Architecture Toolkit (SC-BAT): community, history, drop 3 details, and (2) ARCast recordings. The Smart Client Baseline Architecture Toolkit provides comprehensive, end-to-end guidance for building common Smart Clients. The reference implementation of SC-BAT has dependencies on CAB (which depends on EntLib) and on GAT.