When planning your composite application, ensure that all components provide value at the default size in the composite application. Also make sure the visible data is clear and of value, without resizing.
When building a composite application, you might consider using one of several interaction styles:
- A “Web-like” (also called “one tab”) interaction model whereby only one tab is ever opened, and the contents of the tab always “overwrites" what was in the tab (see figure 1). This model does not have much of a rich client feel, so use it only if you feel strongly that the nature of the application requires it or that you need to have interaction similarity between the same application on the Web and in a rich client.
- A “separate tab” approach in which each document gets its own tab.
- A “hybrid” in which some composite application pages open in a new tab or window, in addition to documents (see figure 2).
There is no one layout style that is better than another; it all depends on the components you are putting into your composite application and on the other applications that people are using. If it makes sense, use a consistent layout style for all your composite applications. Also, do not confuse these interaction styles with the different window management styles for which users can set their own preferences.
Figure 1. Composite application interaction style — one tab (compapponetab.gif)
Figure 2. Composite application interaction style – hybrid (compapphybrid)