A new Technology section was launched yesterday on the visualwebgui.com website which explores the basic technology aspects presented by the Visual WebGui solution.
The first subject “What is Visual WebGui?” provides the initial background on Visual WebGui, its features, benefit and usage scenarios. Then there is a deep dive into the following technological aspects of Visual WebGui:
More than 1,700 users attempted to break into the Visual WebGui pipeline unsuccessfully during the $10,000 Security Challenge that ended this month after airing for over 3 months.
The contest offered $10,000 prize to anyone who could break into the Visual WebGui pipeline via the Visual WebGui NOC web application and required participants to provide a reproducible pathway into the Visual WebGui pipeline in order to claim the prize. Despite by more than 1,700 break-in attempts, Visual WebGui was not hacked and the prize remains unclaimed. The Visual WebGui "Empty Client" architecture is secure by design and provides bullet-proof security to AJAX and Silverlight applications. The Empty Client approach means that the entire application flow, UI logic, and validations are developed and processed on the server and virtualized on the browser while the web browser serves as a “display” for the output and a “receptor” for user input. Thus, only essential UI data is sent to the client, which includes no applicative or sensitive data, preventing the break in and theft of confidential information on the server.
Navot Peled, CEO and founder of Gizmox commented: "The fact that no one was able to successfully hack into the Visual WebGui pipeline shows that Rich Internet Applications developed with Visual WebGui are inherently safe and secure by design... As the Empty Client name indicates, the client holds no data or logic, and every action the client wants to take must be authorized by the server first. Not only does this significantly increase security, but the Empty Client design allows events to be raised on the server for every client action while also remaining flexible enough to make web applications responsive, scalable and customizable, enhancing the end-user experience."
Visual WebGui Studio Suite enables the building of enterprise-class rich internet applications with two open source products: The Professional Studio that offers subscribers unlimited technical support with enterprise-grade warranty and service level agreement (SLA) which is available for free download and the free Express Studio allowing absolutely free web development coupled with VS2008 Express Edition.
The new Professional Studio Suite also offers enhanced developer experience (DX), and simplifies all aspects of web development to a degree never realized in web development before. Apart from the VWG designer, the feature list also includes complete integration into Visual Studio & ASP.NET, the complete Windows Forms Controls toolkit, 3rd party controls wrapper wizard and more. All these enable you to leverage existing skill sets, software assets, and infrastructure providing an overall faster time to market and reduced development costs.
In addition, enterprise grade scalability and redundancy are available with server extensions and new enterprise-class services, such as prototyping, consulting, hot-fixes and more are available in order to optimize the development experience. Visual WebGui’s commercial Studio Suite will offer commercial deployments at absolutely no additional cost.
DataGridView bi-directional data-binding support added
Top-level property for a Form control implemented same as WinForms
Major Visual Studio Integration stabilizations.
Major Designer stabilizations.
Presentation layer selector added.
Ordering Tree-View functionality added
VB project templates set completed (as in C#)
Fully functional ImageList capabilities added
A large number of bug fixes and adjustments towards WinForms API and runtime behavior also included.
Free Download here.
Gizmox announces the release of version 6.2.3 of its SDK. This is a further stabilization and enhancement of the revolutionary 6.2 SDK which introduced the Visual WebGui Developer Experience with full Visual Studio integrationin, consolidate installation, incorporation of both the DHTML and the Silverlight in one package, and the ASP.NET wrapper wizard.
The new 6.2.3 SDK solves some issues that contribute to a smoother development experience. These are some of the issues solved in this version:
VWG-3493 - Theme registration and selection was changed. The developer can select one theme or none. An error provider was added to indicate theme rows with errors. These rows will be saved and can be selected as the current theme.
VWG-3484 - Silverlight theme registration bug fixed.
VWG-3483 - TextBox Max length property bug fixed. Now you can edit part of the text by selecting it after it reached the max length size.
VWG-3402 - RibbonBar - DropDownBox showing a js alert popup with the menu item name fixed.
VWG-3385 - Control drag image was added to all the themes.
VWG-3383 - WGLables.GetLocalizedMonthString null value protection on CurrentUICulture added.
VWG-3389 - ASP.NET Control Wrapper menu item missing problem fixed.
VWG-3481 - DataGridViewComboBoxColumn populates items when it is data binded problem fix.
VWG-3464 - Accessing the scalable service was separated to a different method.
VWG-3359 - DataGridView population problem on form load fixed.
VWG-3460 - DataGridView vertical scrollbar where shown even if not required.
VWG-3463 - Web_OnClick.objSource was not cleaned after click is being raised.
VWG-3378 - Form Box result was null even when value added.
VWG-3367 - FormBox Form property was not saved in Viewstate.
VWG-3348 - SearchTextBox Text property was not shown when set by code.
VWG-3366 - FormBox Form property can now handel string.empty.
VWG-3327 - Crystal report after wrapping had no properties in design time.
VWG-3466 - Double click and click events on datagridview fixed.
The new SDK is available for Download.
The following is the first part of a 3 parts series of articles ppublished on VisualWebGui website describing the various available migration options of desktop/smart client applications to the web using Visual WebGui migration tool.
In order to discuss the migration process of legacy desktop applications to the web, we should first agree on 3 different types of desktop applications:
- WinForms based desktop application (C#/VB.NET). The UI layer is coded using .NET languages – the business can be .NET, COM+ or any other interop.
- VB 6.0 based applications. The UI layer is coded with VB 6.0.
- Other desktop or smart client technologies (C++ MFC/ATL, Delphi, Java etc). Any other smart client technology based applications.
WinForms based desktop applications to Web
Normally, without Visual WebGui the migration process of a WinForms desktop application to the web will require a full re-engineering of the UI layer to fit the web architecture and capabilities.
If we take WinForms migration to ASP.NET for example using any AJAX 3rd party controls in order to provide a rich UI experience, we will have to consider:
- Entirely new API.
- Entirely new update approach.
- Entirely new look & feel – or work hard to customize the UI to look the same.
- Lighten the amount of data transferred to the client and presented at any given time to avoid severe latency.
- Compromise on features list due to the web limitations.
- Handling security holes created as a result of opening services consumed by client side AJAX and transferring business logics to the client.
Visual WebGui SDK is fully integrated with Visual Studio and provides the exact same API and set of tools/capabilities which are provided out-of-the-box with WinForms 1.0 and 2.0. This fact enables the native capability of simply copying any existing WinForms source code to a VWG project and providing a fully functional equivalent web application.
The basic 3 steps of migration (view a walkthrough tutorial):
- Open a new Visual WebGui application.
- Copy the code from your WinForms project into this new web application.
- Replace any reference to WinForms API namespace (“System.Windows.Forms”) within the code to Visual WebGui API reference (“Gizmox.WebGUI.Forms”).
Any standard WinForms application which is using the 58 WinForms out-of-the-box controls will then compile and execute as a plain web application.
The outcome of this short process is an ASP.NET based solution in terms of deployment and runtime and has the following properties:
- Deployment is copy & paste equivalent to an ASP.NET web site.
- Server infrastructure requires an IIS and .NET CLR only.
- The application can be consumed from any plain browser - no installation is made on the client.
- Minor static and cached footprint on the client ~200kb of plain JS and HTML code due to the Empty Client concept.
- Support for multiple presentation layers with the same code base (DHTML/Silverlight or Smart Client).
- Highly secured due to the Empty Client concept.
Considerations & Exceptions
There are 3 major setbacks you might have on the process which you can quantify in advance and estimate the amount of work that has to be done in order to migrate your application:
- Minor differences between the VWG API and WinForms which are mainly caused by architecture differences.
- The amount of 3rd party controls that are used in your application. This section describes a situation of using some non-WinForms out-of-the-box controls (for example Infragistics or DevExpress controls etc). In those cases you can select the most suitable solution from the following 3 options:
- Choose a similar control from the WinForms out-of-the-box, adjust your code to use it and then perform the migration process.
- Select an equivalent 3rd party ASP.NET control (Infragistics, Telerik, DevExpress etc.) which provides the same functionality, wrap it by a click of a button in VWG and adjust your code to use it.
- Write your own VWG custom control which will perfectly suit your needs and then adjust your code after the migration process to use this control.
- Thread safety – since a WinForms application can contain static members which are accessible to a single user, you should now consider one of the following:
- Replacing those static members to a synchronized multi-thread safe data structures.
- Lock critical read/write sections to protect concurrent multi user access.
- Remove the statics and find instance or DB based solutions.
- Memory load – in a desktop application, there might be places when the original consideration of the amount of memory in use was based on the assumption that the executing machine is local. therefore, many items are loaded to memory simultaneously without limitation.
Now, on a shared memory environment, when the server does the heavy lifting, the amount of memory consumed by each user will set the number of concurrent users that can be served by each server.
The following steps are recommended:
- Consider loading items to memory on demand (keep only the headers and the identifiers in memory).
- Remove any large objects read to memory – for example, don’t save binary objects to memory, instead write the binary to the response stream directly to the client.
- Prefer DB based paging on entire prefaces and memory based paging. Visual WebGui provides mechanisms to enable it easily.
Migration of any WinForms application to the web using Visual WebGui has the following advantages:
- In 3 simple steps you will be able to get very close to a working web application.
- The effort you have to make in order to accomplish a fully functional web application is measurable.
- The application can keep using the existing BL and DL layers, and only the UI is either migrated automatically or adjusted.
or to view the tutorial:
How to Migrate WinForms to the Web
Sun has released an early version of an Eclipse plug-in for JavaFX. It's still a bit buggy, but it's an opportunity for developers to kick the tires. The functionality is roughly equivalent to that of the Netbeans plugin.
Hot on the heels of the JavaFX release, Google has released a beta version (of course, what else?) of its own browser plug-in for--get this--running native x86 code inside your browser. It's called, appropriately enough, Native Client. If your security alarm bells are going off, take some comfort: the code is sandboxed in order to prevent untrusted code from freely accessing your computer. How effective the "static analysis" that the sandbox performs is an open question, but Google for its part seems to have thought through the problem: code is disassembled and run through a rigorous analysis to detect unwanted interactions, e.g. file I/O. Nevertheless, it is unlikely to ever be as secure as running code inside a VM.
While Java aficionados may scoff at the idea of running non-portable code inside the browser, one has to admit that x86 clients are nearly universal, at least on the desktop. In the mobile arena that's anything but the case so Native Client has a very specific target audience: desktops that need absolute performance. If this fits the requirements of your browser-based application, Native Client may just be the ticket.
Sun has just released the JavaFX platform, consisting of 3 major pieces: the JavaFX SDK, the Netbeans 6.5 IDE with JavaFX, and the JavaFX Production Suite (formerly Project Nile), a set of tools to allow designers the ability to import digital assets from design tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator.
All are available for download on the JavaFX site, which was redesigned (thankfully) for the launch.
As noted in the Sun blogs, JavaFX Mobile is currently in beta and expected to be released in February.
The 6.2.2 release provides compatibility to MS Silverlight RC0/RTW, and now supports development & deployment of web applications with the latest Silverlight technology. As stated before, Microsoft has released Silverlight 2 with weak backwards compatibility to previous Silverlight versions, which resulted in some presentation issues with the Silverlight layer that are now solved.
The new release also includes the Visual WebGui WinForms-like designer allowing simple and cost-effective Web development, and the new ASP.NET Control wrapper wizard introduced earlier this month.
Version 6.2.2 provides further stabilization to 6.2 which brought new standards in developer experience. for more information please read the official announcement.
The new Visual WebGui SDK is now available for download.
As announced before on Visual WebGui.com, the 6.2.2 release which is expected to be released later this week will provide compatibility to MS Silverlight RC0/RTW.
As you probably know, Microsoft recently released a new version of Silverlight which provides almost no compatibility backwards to older Silverlight versions. This means that all the released VWG Silverlight applications will not work with this new MS Silverlight version.
Furthermore, Microsoft triggered an automatic update mechanism inside Internet Explorer to have the Silverlight ActiveX update without asking. As a result, all computers with MS Silverlight client installed on it have the new version, unless the user manually removed it.
Since Microsoft released this incompatible version, our Silverlight development team has been working very hard on modifying Visual WebGui to get in line with those changes and support the new MS version once again. We were also promised by Microsoft director in Silverlight group that this was the last back compatibility breaking.
Learn more about developing Silverlight Applications with Visual WebGui