For some applications it seems to me that the web interface may be at it is limits. For those applications that need large amounts of data on display on a single screen that also include calculations and database updates a Single Click Deployment may be a better option. With more updates, calculations and data on a web interface, the more bloated the page becomes. When the page is bloated, it means the updates and page refreshes become slower. It doesn’t matter if the page is using AJAX, it is still bloated. As a test, load all the data the user needs and check the page size. Most of the page size will probably be found in the ViewState.
In my cases, I had applications that needed ViewState to exist and placing the ViewState in the database or at the server levels did not help the load or refresh times.
Single Click Deployments are a method of deploying a desktop application to multiple workstations on a network. This means when the developer deploys an update, the update gets pushed out when the application starts on the workstation. This works well on a closed network or VPN, but it can be rolled out to internet users. Generally speaking the web interface is stateless while the desktop version is live data and holds state. The advantage is the Single Click Deployment allows for heavy calculations and heavy data displays to take outside the confines of a web browser and to use the users resources instead of the IIS (Web Server) resources. This means the user does not have to wait for updates and refreshes.
Note: If rolled out to internet users, you will have to deploy using WebServices to fetch and update data.
I am not saying to stop using the Web Interface. In fact I do use it; however, for those applications that require large amounts of data, calculations, look-ups and updates, I tend to push towards a desktop application using Single Click Deployments. The user has been found to be much happier and less support calls.
More to come…