Coarse-grained Delivery Units: from HTML pages to XML leaflets

Web applications traditionally follow a thinbrowser architecture whereby all of the application control resides on the server, and the browser is only used for rendering purposes. This makes sense for B2C applications where no control is held on the browser configuration. However, this architecture can overload the server and slow down the promptness of the site. B2B applications, which are characterized by a establishment of tighter links among partners, can gain benefit from a thick-browser architecture where moving responsabilities to the browser can lead to a reduction in network traffic and an improvement in the promptness of the site. This paper explores this kind of architecture and proposes a coarse-grained delivery unit: the leaflet. A leaflet is a cohesive set of data from a browsing perspective (e.g. a catalogue). This work outlines the definition of a leaflet, presents a leaflet interpreter, and provides some time figures to assess the feasibility of this approach. The outcome is, that this architecture can pay off in a B2B setting where relationships tend to be more stable that in a B2C context. Thus, a business partner might be willing to install a plug-in if better efficiency can be obtained while accessing one of its partner sites in the future. The leaflet interpreter has been fully implemented and its use is illustrated by designing and delivering a conference site.

  • 3rd ACIS International Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Networking and Parallel/Distributed Computing (SNPD'02)

  • June, 2002

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University of the basque country