Understanding the Web browser client environment
Table of contents
At an elementary level, the Web browser client acts as the rendering device for the services provided by (in this case) the Domino Server. However, the Web browser client can offer a near-limitless functional capacity when we consider the rendering and integration capabilities that the "this client" affords the Domino Web Developer that understands the Web browser client environment. In leveraging this environment, we can provide our user community with rich applications that rival (and may even exceed in some cases) their Lotus Notes Client counterparts.
In this section, we review the Web browser client environment and how Domino Web application developers can use this environment to provide users with rich applications.
The Web browser client environment is your current prototypical client/server environment. A "thin client" (the Web browser client in this case) communicates to a server environment via direct calls to server-generated resources and services. This explains the relationship between a Web browser client and a Domino Server in our Domino Web application environments.
The Web browser client can act as a middleware or conduit solution, facilitating server and local computer data interaction. This data interaction and the combination of local computer and server-generated resources and services can be used to create rich "thin client" solutions. By understanding the bidirectional interaction of data and using its communicated and rendered content we can mimic the Lotus Notes Client and other "rich client" functionality in our Domino Web application development practices.
The Web browser client, most recently with the advent of AJAX
can use bidirectional data interaction via transport layers. The utilization of transport layers, the communication methods and channels that are present "between" the user interface and the underlying system architecture, can facilitate fluid and more enhanced user interfaces for our Domino Web applications.
Prior to the advent of AJAX, hidden iframe
elements were used to communicate between dynamic UIs and back-end services via now standard Transport Layer/Web 2.0 development methodologies. As AJAX becomes a more standards
-based approach to dynamic user interfaces and Web Service mashups
, the utilization of transport layers to combine local client data and server-based resources and services is becoming a global user community expectation for current Web applications and services.
On of the most commonly used facilities for locally caching reusable data is the HTTP Cookie. When used properly, the HTTP Cookie can store data strings that can be used throughout an application alleviating the repeated querying of Server-maintained or user input data.
The following example shows the common syntax for HTTP cookies:
NAME=VALUE; expires=DATE; path=PATH; domain=DOMAIN_NAME; secure
Note that in this example, all uppercase attributes are user-defined. The HTTP cookies are stored locally on the user device and are accessible throughout your applications.
For more information about HTTP cookies, see the following resources: