Saturday, November 27, 2004

Study Paper - Web Application Development

Concepts and Technologies

In a client-server scenario like browser based application development, the Three Tier Model is of extreme importance and is therefore base of the technological discussion within this document.

With the first tier - the presentation layer - accessibility issues and the need to serve client-specific content is discussed. It is explained how template technology helps with the maintenance process of a web-based application and how it is incorporated efficiently into the concurrent development model.

On behalf of the second – the application layer - the overcoming of the statelessness of HTTP is delineated together with related issues such as handling user sessions. In that context also security considerations are discussed at length as they remain very critical to web-based applications, mainly operating on user submitted personal data.

For the data tier the usability of file-based systems is evaluated against database

systems. In this context it is important to understand the meaning of company-spanning data exchange. XML and its transformation via XSLT will be outlined as will unified formats for data exchange. As automated communication of software system is becoming more and more important several methods to do so including SOAP and web-services will be introduced.

After dealing with the technological aspect this document will dive into system

engineering and design. As the main factors influencing web-based application design are the business plan, estimates, communication, usability and maintainability they will be analyzed as to their current importance.

The last topic will deal with the unstructured, the structured and the extreme

programming approaches common in application design. A discussion of their respective

advantages and drawbacks is followed by a concluding assessment of each.

Altogether this document is supposed to give the reader an overview of today’s technologies and concepts dealing with application design in general and web-based application design in particular.

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