Client-side code and UPK
By firstname.lastname@example.org on Apr 09, 2010
There is a long running discussion in UPK Development regarding the use of any client side code as part of the end-user playback. By this I mean anything which requires an install including ActiveX controls, browser helper objects, stand-alone applications, things that run in the task bar, etc. We all have grown to love zero-footprint applications over the past ten years, but there are some things which are not technically feasible using HTML alone. One example of this is the functionality provided by our SmartHelp in-application support component. This allows the user to launch context sensitive help without making modifications to the target application. (If you are unfamiliar with SmartHelp, more information can be found in the "In-Application Support Guide" in the UPK manual directory)
We always try to implement everything we can using only HTML but there are many features which have been requested over the years that would require some client-side code in order to work. When these come up for discussion, there is always a spirited debate about the acceptability of a client side solution.
I thought it would be interesting to ask for feedback from a wider audience. What do you think about client-side components? Would your organization consider them? Do you already deploy SmartHelp? Is there a large hurdle to clear for these to be worth the deployment costs?
Let us know.
Mark Overton, VP Development for UPK