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Backbase 4 RIA Development

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Ghica van Emde Boas, Sergey Ilinsky

Create Enterprise-grade Rich Internet Applications using the Backbase client framework
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Book Details

ISBN 139781847199126
Paperback488 pages

About This Book

  • Create modular and extensible web applications with the Backbase Client Framework
  • Use XML-based UI components from the extensive Backbase UI library such as tabBox, grid, calendar, comboBox, and toolTip
  • Create your own UI components using the powerful object-oriented Tag Definition Language
  • Use powerful data-binding options to create data-driven applications with detailed data grid examples

Who This Book Is For

This book is for web developers who want to develop applications using the Backbase Client Framework. It may also be interesting for web developers and web application architects who want to know more about XML-based web application architectures.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Hello Backbase!
What is Backbase?
The Backbase Explorer
Setting up a web development environment
Download the Backbase framework
The Backbase page skeleton
"Hello Backbase" in four variations
XML and namespaces
A basic page layout
Summary
Chapter 2: User Interface Development
Squaring the circles of web applications
The Backbase Reference
UI markup languages
XHTML
The Backbase Tag Library
The BTL abstract elements
The layout widgets
Styling techniques for GUI widgets
A BTL Exerciser
Summary
Chapter 3: Writing the Application Logic
The application programming model
Overview of the Backbase APIs
Events
Backbase utility functions
The Backbase XML Execution Language (XEL)
XPath
Commands to manipulate the DOM or elements
Info and Notify BTL widgets
A Backbase Command Exerciser
Summary
Chapter 4: Client-server Communication and Forms
AJAX
Asynchronous communication
Working with forms
AJAX and architecture
The C3D travel blog site
Summary
Chapter 5: Data-bound Widgets
Why is data binding important?
Data-binding fundamentals
Make an HTML element data bound
The data-bound widgets
Continue the development of the C3D application
Summary
Chapter 6: More Dynamic Behavior
Behaviors
Commands for the behaviors
Broadcaster/observer
Animating the UI
Summary
Chapter 7: Creating UI Components
Component models and technologies
Introduction to the Tag Definition Language (TDL)
Simple widgets
Widget event handling
Widgets as objects
Behaviors
Uses
The limits of creating UI components
Summary
Chapter 8: Widget Wrap-up
Action and menu widgets
Data-bound menus
Windows and dialogs
Multimedia widgets
An example with menus and windows
Miscellaneous commands
Summary
Chapter 9: Debugging, Optimization, and Deployment
Debugging
The Backbase debugger
Application optimization
The TDL Optimizer
Deployment on a server
Summary
Chapter 10: Framework Comparison
The landscape of client-side technologies
Backbase and other client-side GUI frameworks
An integration example
AJAX toolkit reference
Summary
Chapter 11: The Square Web Application
What is a square web application?
Complete the C3D example
Usability aspects
What will the future bring?
A square puzzle
Summary

What You Will Learn

  • The benefits of using an XML-based user interface definition
  • An overview of all Backbase libraries, with examples
  • Use of comprehensive sample applications utilizing the Backbase UI libraries
  • How to develop effective client-server (AJAX) communication in an MVC-based client-server architecture
  • What data binding is, what is available in the Backbase framework, and how to use it
  • Performance and deployment tips

In Detail

Backbase is a very powerful and complex JavaScript library, with many user interface components to help make web development easier. It allows the development of Rich Internet Applications (RIA) that run within all major browsers but its powers and complexity mean that the choice of component can be overwhelming. Understanding when and how to use the right component might not always be straightforward. This book makes that easier.

This is a practical book that teaches you how to use the Backbase Client Framework effectively, with a complete overview and many examples. A core developer of the framework puts the technologies used into a wider perspective of existing web standards and a seasoned software architect explains why XML-based UI definition produces better web applications.

The transparent use of AJAX technologies, for example to submit forms, or to retrieve updates for data grids, can be taken for granted with the Backbase framework. Packed with examples, the book shows you how to get the most from the library of UI components, and then extend the library with its own custom language. With this book in hand, it is easy to enable AJAX within your web application. You will be able to use the Backbase framework effectively, from basic applications to complex, custom-defined UI components.

This book contains a complete overview of all the UI libraries available within the Backbase framework and shows examples for each element described.

The Backbase framework offers an innovative Tag Definition Language (TDL), which allows developers to create new UI components that can be used as XML elements, in the same way as using the built-in GUI library. Using TDL brings considerable development advantages, and this book explains how.

Significant attention is also given to architectural aspects of designing a web-application, showing sample applications using a model-view-controller approach.

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