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Brice Leblevennec @ FOWA Feb 07

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Brice Leblevennec speaking at Future of Web Apps in London, February 2007.

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Brice Leblevennec @ FOWA Feb 07

  1. 1. The GWT bet ... Brice Le Blévennec Chief Visionary Officer ContactOffice.com FOWA 02-07
  2. 2. Hello ♣Brice Le Blévennec, Internet Serial Entrepreneur. ♣In 1991 founded Emakina (Alternext ALEMK) now belgium largest Interactive Agency (100+ staff), of which I am Chairman. ♣From 1996 to 2004 I produced and hosted CyberCafe, a weekly show about Internet and technologies on belgian national broadcast television and radio. ♣1999 co-founded ContactOffice, Collaborative & Messenging Web Application, of which I am Chief Visionary Officer ♣In 2007 co-founded Tunz.com, a mobile payment provider of which I am Chief Visionary Officer. ♣(more on brice.org)
  3. 3. 10 minutes only ♣ContactOffice ? ♣Collaborative & Messenging Web Application ♣Features set ♣State-of-the-art ♣Reengineering the interface ♣Selecting an AJAX of Flash framework ♣Google Web Toolkit (GWT) ♣Overcoming limitations ♣Adding Drag & Drop to GWT ♣Beta launch TODAY
  4. 4. ContactOffice ? ♣Collaborative & Messaging Web Application ♣Founded in 1999 by 4 Belgian serial internet entrepreneurs
  5. 5. How big ? ♣1 million registrations ♣350.000 active accounts (feb 07) ♣250.000 paying accounts ♣Global, 6 languages ♣Profitable since 2003!
  6. 6. Functionalities
  7. 7. Functionalities
  8. 8. Collaboration & Messaging WebApp State-of-the-art Groups Organiser State-of-the-art Messenging Documents Repository Web upload or WebDAV RSS & Vod/Podcasts, Public sharing Collaboration Calendar (+ RSS) Mail (+ RSS), Contacts, IMAP4 & POP3(s), To Do, SMTP, Webmail, Notes, Forum, Wiki, Antivirus & AntiSpam, Bookmarks (+ RSS), Bulletin Board, SMS, Fax, Alerts & Chat Synchro ... Phone Calls, ...
  9. 9. Everything can be shared with users and groups! Sophisticated Access Right Model at user level Applications : Individual user, Families, Associations, Companies, Departments, All kind of teams, ...
  10. 10. ASP & Licence Models ♣Hosted, Security, SLA ♣Personalised, Private Label versions ♣SSO : LDAP, CAS, RSA ClearTrust, ... ♣API : XML-RPC
  11. 11. Technologies OO Architecture : ♣Object Oriented Database ♣Pure Java Backend (POJOs only) ♣Build for scalability ♣Clients abstraction layer: Web (HTML & CSS) ♣ Pocket Explorer + Symbian ♣ Wap (WML) ♣ Voice XML (prototype) ♣
  12. 12. Some happy customers
  13. 13. Reengineering the interface ♣Objective: Interface upgrade to present standards ♣Approach: Migrate 1999 interface to 2007 state-of-the-art GUI ♣Weakness: Obsolete Client Architecture (thousands JSP files) The 1999 Server Architecture (POJOs + OODB) ♣Strength: is still state-of-the-art Desktop like, Web 2.0 style, HTML + JavaScript + Frames Drag & Drop, Widgets, ...
  14. 14. Selecting a framework / technology Many goo solutions ♣Own framework ? ♣ Cost of supporting what others might doing well ? ♣Ajax vs Flash ? ♣ OpenLazslo, Adobe Flex ♣ Flash plugin dependency ? ♣Ultra lightweight client + server-side Java ? ♣ echo2, zk, ... ♣ Do they scale well ? ? ♣Existing JS frameworks ? ♣ Dojo, Scriptaculous/Prototype, ... ♣ JavaScript language ? ? ♣The JavaScript nightmare Fun but language is too flexible (global vars,...)  Requires an extremely strict discipline (convention) for a team  JavaScript How to handle efficiently tens of Klocs ?  Browsers quirks 
  15. 15. Google Web Toolkit (GWT) ? ♣ What is GWT ♣ GWT is a Google framework for building AJAX apps in the Java language ♣ Open Source Apache 2 Licence ♣ Java --> JavaScript translation ♣ 'Industrial' software engineering Tools ! Tools! (IDE Eclipse & GWT hosted mode + svn integration perfect for teams)  Standard Java refactoring, debugging, testing, source code manipulation  ? Compile time vs Run time errors detection  ♣ Advantages Google Performances:  Webtool Aggressive caching, code optimization, compression Kit Clean backend integration:  Efficient Java RPC mechanism Portability:  Generates platform-specific code Native JavaScript is still reachable:  JSNI (JavaScript Native Interface) Developer Community:  Large (Forums : 6900 users, 250 contributors) and active (+20K posts) JavaScript ♣ But... Java knowledge required for UI designers ♣ CSS only is not realistic
  16. 16. CO enhancements to GWT  MV(C) framework Strict model/view separation • ContactOffice Necessary for even driven interfaces (AJAX is asynchronous) • Enhancements Side effect : ease collaboration between presentation • and business logic developers  Drag & Drop “Hey Luc, I took a look at your demo - prety cool stuff!” Rajeev Dayal (Google) Google  Attractive look & feel Webtool ContactOffice use GWT styling possibilities to the fullest Kit  Contextual menus  Marquee selection  Draggable splitters  Data grid JavaScript  Enhanced dialogs, property pages
  17. 17. Current Interface http://www.contactoffice.com
  18. 18. New GWT based Interface http://beta.contactoffice.com Help and extra information Indication of new + total number of items in lists Dashboard giving quick access to main features Navigation repeated on left
  19. 19. New GWT based Interface http://beta.contactoffice.com Click to sort or resort Folder organization Email
  20. 20. New GWT based Interface http://beta.contactoffice.com Quick search List contacts Organize contacts per type
  21. 21. New GWT based Interface http://beta.contactoffice.com Click to sort or resort Multiselect documents Documents Folder organization
  22. 22. New GWT based Interface http://beta.contactoffice.com Quick navigate Filter Group calendar Export Details
  23. 23. New GWT based Interface http://beta.contactoffice.com Click to sort or resort Folder organization Group bookmarks
  24. 24. Beta Launch TODAY!
  25. 25. Try it now : http://beta.contactoffice.com
  26. 26. Questions?
  27. 27. Contact Us! info@contactoffice.com www.contactoffice.com blog.contactoffice.com

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