We've got another guest blog post, this time from Russell Ivanovic, Software Developer at Groundhog Software. He's here to talk about his experience building a new product using GWT.
In 2006 Groundhog Software partnered with education specialists to deliver an electronic portfolio solution. As fate would have it, GWT was released by Google during the R&D phase of this project. Groundhog recognised that, even in its infancy (version 1.0), this was a product that could deliver the usability, scalability and ease of development that we needed. A proof of concept prototype was built successfully, and after funding was secured, full scale production began.
Today, Groundhog Software's solution ePo Builder is successfully deployed in a pilot of over 80 schools, catering for over 16,000+ users.
So what benefits did GWT bring to the table? Let's look at a few:
Scalability & Bandwidth
With over 16,000 users in the pilot phase alone, it rapidly became obvious that ePo had to be scalable. The beauty of GWT is that the client loads all of the presentation code in one hit (about 380kb) when the user first logs in. Once loaded (and cached by the browser) only very small packets of data need to go back and forth. Compare this to the traditional model of sending all your display code as well as data every time the user clicks on something, and you can quickly see how GWT saves us bandwidth, and makes it much easier to scale. This has the added advantage of making ePo 'dialup speed friendly' with none of the long page load times associated with sending your HTML code to the browser every time. This might seem trivial, until you consider that some of the most active schools on ePo share their bandwidth across many users, and are located in remote areas of Australia.
Focus on Usability, not Browsers and Syntax Errors
Easy, Light AJAX
GWT Magic - RPC and ImageBundle