Before describing solutions available for rich client application
development, it would be a good idea to explain what exactly a rich client
application is and which rich client topologies can feasibly be built using
the Java platform.
In the main, a rich client is a part of a software system that contains a
user interface (UI) and whose front end is "rich," i.e., the user interface
has rich graphical content and is highly interactive; a rich client
application is also called a desktop application, since it provides content
and functionalities that are usually provided by applications on the desktop
of your own PC (access to local resources, complex user interface, the
capability to connect to remote services, etc.).
Enterprise applications are an example of applications that require a "rich"
front end, that is, applications employed in enterprises to manage some
In Part 1 of this article, I introduced rich client development, available
architectures for developing rich client applications based on the Swing
toolkit, and technologies that could be used to make development more
In this second part, I'll compare the most popular IDEs and evaluate them
with an eye to Swing development for rich client applications.
Swing-based Rich Clients: Support for Java IDEs
There are many development environments available for the Java platform, each
of them provides all sorts of features that can be applied in developing
various kinds of Jav... (more)
The Java development platform always provides limited support for application
development based on a graphical user interface, an area where more
traditional languages and integrated development environments (IDEs) such as
Visual Basic or Delphi have based their success.
Today the Java SE distribution offers essentially the same features it
offered in 1999 with regards to Java graphical components: the Swing toolkit.
Swing provides graphical components like grids, trees, text fields, checkbox,
radio button, combo-box and others. Anyway these components have changed
little and no... (more)
4WS.Platform is an open source product that can be used to graphically create
starting from a web designer through which it is possible to define both the
business logic and the
graphical user interface.
The target of this platform is the creation of enterprise applications having
a small-to-middle complexity level.
This goal can be accomplished through the combination of rapid development
techniques based on a rich
user interface and the chance to embed custom code when needed.
In this way there is no limit in the requirements of the application to