# Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I've heard people suggest that developing web applications is easier than building Windows applications.  Common sense tells us that this is not true - The tools for Windows applications are far more powerful and give us access to the entire Windows API as well as APIs that access the Internet).  In addition, we typically don't need to deal with messy things like viewstate and session state when writing Windows apps.  Because Windows apps tend to be stateful, this stuff is far easier to design and code.

What most people mean when they say that Windows apps are easier is that user's expectations tend to be lower for web application.  Most users understand the limitations of building a web app and will not be as demanding when requesting features.

However the tools available are changing that.  With tools like Silverlight and Flash, we can now build web applications that have a look and feel similar to fat clients.  And the advances in databinding controls make it far easier to manage state in a web app than just a few years ago.

As a result, user expectations of web applications are increasing.  Why shouldn't they demand the same rich user experience they get from their desktop apps? 

Take a look at the Cooper Mini site (http://www.miniusa.com) where you can find a dealer or build a cooper with the options you want. 
This site was built using Flash.

Or view the memorabilia collection at HardRock.com (http://memorabilia.hardrock.com/) where the developers used Silverlight to provide a very cool way of viewing the collection.

The User interface of each of the above sites exceeds that of most Windows applications.

Each quarter, the line blurs more between web applications and desktop applications.  Soon users will no longer temper their expectations based on the platform on which you develop.

Will you be ready for these increased expectations?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 2:26:34 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)