I enjoy seeing people use EclipseRT technology in the wild. Recently I met and spoke with Austin Riddle from the Texas Center for Applied Technology (TCAT) about how they are using the Eclipse Rich Ajax Platform (RAP) and what applications they are building with it.
1. What does your application(s) do?
We have several live RAP applications that take the form of information dashboards. These dashboards allow decision-makers and analysts to disseminate information and produce a common operating picture related but not limited to global biosurveillance and large-scale emergency preparedness/management. Users can log in to our systems, customize their view of information via component and profile switching, visually integrate information within the dashboard and selectively share information between echelons of human infrastructure. Our US government customers have been very pleased with the power and flexibility of the systems.
2. Why did you choose Eclipse RAP?
We needed a powerful Rich Internet Application. We needed one that had to provide capabilities that frankly push the limits of what a traditional RIA could deliver. It also had to perform on older hardware and software. After working with and analyzing other options, including GWT, Flex, OpenLaszlo and others, we decided that RAP provided both the features we needed to fulfill our requirements, and the framework to develop custom features that empower our users even more. Being able to leverage other Eclipse Runtime Technology in our applications greatly reinforced our decision.
3. How did single sourcing benefit your project?
Our organization has a significant investment in Eclipse RCP capabilities that we needed to leverage in order to meet our dashboard requirements. It was amazing to see elements from our desktop systems just “appear” in our RAP application after just “dropping” the bundles in. Also, during our development process, we actually wrote capabilities in our RAP application that could be used in our desktop RCP applications. This “reverse” single sourcing was a pleasant surprise!
4. In the end, how did RAP help and benefit your project?
Most impressively, we were able to implement a first working prototype of a dashboard system in 30 days! RAP gave us the ability to rapidly prototype and ultimately provide solid systems that have withstood the scrutiny of rigorous government security evaluations. Currently, we are looking into bringing even more of our eclipse-based desktop investments to the web.
Cool stuff, huh?