Implementing rich Internet applications by using WCF RIA

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School of Science | Master's thesis
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Content on the internet has evolved from simple text based content to interactive, service-oriented offerings: Rich Internet Applications. These applications need robust frameworks to handle the interactions and data transfers between the client and the server. There are several software solutions for constructing services for Rich Internet Applications. Most offerings are built upon the existing technologies of SOAP or JSON for relaying messages. In this thesis we will explore the applicability of Microsoft's RIA Services for constructing a service layer for a Rich Internet Application. RIA services have two quite unique features; it uses its own .Net based binary format for messages and it projects code to the client to minimize the need for manual plumbing code. The thesis is based on a reference implementation where we evaluate how well the RIA Services concept can be applied to a specific business case. The findings are based on the implementation and comparisons to established coding conventions and software patterns, as well as the authors own judgement. The implementation is also evaluated and approved by a third party. Our findings came to support that the development RIA Services is at least as fast and efficient as other offered platforms; It f1.'isisted us in making a secure, efficient and error free software solution. By generating most of the plumbing code for transferring data, we could focus our efforts on more critical sections of code. Similarly the patterns offered assisted in enforcing rigorous authorization and authentication mechanisms in our implementation. We also found that while RIA Services uses the REST syntax for service calls, it goes against many of the general REST conventions. This had direct implications on service reuse and data caching. We came to the conclusion that the difference was a conscious trade-off between user experience and standard service design.
Saikkonen, Heikki
Thesis advisor
Hirvisalo, Vesa
Suokas, Mikael
RIA services, design mönster, silverlight, mjukvaru arkitektur, design patterns, software architecture, MVVM, .Net, SOA, REST
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