All About the Smart Client

The MSDN Webcasts Weblog reports that David F. Anthony, a Senior Software Architect at Techhead LLC, will be giving a series of webcasts on Windows Forms development. There are 14 webcasts that run through December, and they're drawing for some Xbox game systems.

Continuing with the theme, a new episode of the .NET Show discusses what a Smart Client is and how it might appeal to those of us who would like the power of local processing combined with the deployment and maintenance characteristics of a web-based application. You'll also see a demonstration of some upcoming Windows Forms capabilities and hear about Visual Studio Tools for Office.

Although I did years and years of web-based development (and enjoyed it), my heart has always been on the client, if only because I can deliver a much more responsive and rich experience to the user. Web-based applications are good for reach, deployment, and maintenance, but it still takes a lot more effort to deliver web functionality that is only a fraction of what a client application can perform. After all, the web was designed as a document delivery platform, and it has been extended to act like an application platform. With a Smart Client, we can experience the best of both worlds...and Longhorn will only make it better.

As a strange aside, I'm now running into career developers who only know how to write web-based applications. The idea that a client application maintains state is almost completely foreign to them.