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Lawson Smart Office brings WPF goodness to the enterprise

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Originally noticed as "a beautiful user experience in an enterprise application", Lawson Smart Office provides a distinctive personalized experience for someone managing their "information workplace".  Matthew Allbee provides a walkthrough of Lawson's first WPF application and shows how they use the are really taking advantage of the platform.

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  • Parag Mehtaiparag iParag.com
    Super Cool demo! It just means that we as application developers have a lot to do to make full use of WPF. But at present biggest deterent to adopt WPF is adoption rate of .NET 3.0, what is microsoft doing to increase adoption rate of .NET 3.0 in end-user's PCs ? Business domain is great for WPF, but increased adoption is the only way to make is viable for Retails products.
  • Johnjh71283 Throw new ​System.​Beverage. ​OutOfCoffee​Exception()
    Couldn't agree more with you iparag.

    The one thing that could have save MS from this istuation of having a 200MB installer for the new apps was the client profile, but that one was a complete balls up.

    If only they had done a little bit of user testing and feedback in the earlier stages, (especially here on C9 - a forum full of the target audience) they would have been told that it is of no use, as it targets only PC's with absolutely no net framework installed.
  • Vesuviusvesuvius Count Orlock
    That is one phenomenal application, and really could not have been pulled off by people starting to learn WPF. Adam can you not interview Lee Brimelow, or Frog design team? It takes far much more than developers to create an application like this, even though they are the adhesive.

    How to they go through the design stages, what were the pitfalls etc.. Apart from the Windows UX team, we never really get into the minds of the design teams. I know you've had Vertigo and the "I see dead people" one and the phenomenal Xceed grid (now with 3D), but we really need more from the design people.
  • Why isn't Vista's desktop like this?
  • Vesuviusvesuvius Count Orlock
    A possible answer may be in this thread
  • Allan LindqvistaL_ Kinect ftw
    now,now.. rare is the case when you actually need to download the full 200 mb.. that download is for all platforms and includes both x86 and x64 bit versions of .net.. .net 3.5 sp1 is really only ~56 mb for a fresh xp machine and for vista, where .net3 is included by default, its like 10 more mb that you need to download

    scott hanselman explains it all in this blogpost:
    http://www.hanselman.com/blog/SmallestDotNetOnTheSizeOfTheNETFramework.aspx

    what does suck however is the install time.. .net takes forever to install :/ its slightly better with sp1 i hear but theres a lot of room for improvment there..

    still, all vista machines already have .net so adoption there is 100% Smiley
  • Vesuviusvesuvius Count Orlock
    In jh71283's defence sometimes it pays to be a full up member of the cofeehouse, and participating in debate. Please read both threads, you will find that it is for more accurate than Hanselman. 
  • Adam KinneyAdamKinney Agent of Change

    Great idea, perhaps I can catch Lee at Adobe MAX and ask him Smiley

    We are working on putting together a series of videos that go through the design phases of building a WPF app.  I'm looking forward to it because I think it will really demonstrate the type of thinking you're looking for.

  • To iparag,  ubiquity of the framework is happening.. All new Windows Vista Machines ship with full 3.0 ... and when windows update kicks in these will be updated to 3.5 SP1.  Same for machines running .NET 20 - the number there is fairly large already.

    For the new users, we have client profile.   I agree that it has been confusing this month, we released it early (before the tools and before windows update)..  Mea culpa there... [not mine personally, speaking on behalf of WPF team]..   The reason we released it was for developers to start testing/planning...    messy for a few weeks, but shortly all that will be over and Client profile will still be a 200K bootstrapper that can have a .NET app and running in < 10 mins and a 28 MB download.  so it should help...

    aL_ -- hear ya on install time..  We will continue to improve that as much as we can.. but there is a lot going on at install (GAC, NGEN, optimize, etc.. ) ..  we are working on it is all I can honestly say..

    vesuvius, great advise; we do hope to get more designers on C9 along the way..  keep nagging Adam about it.. I will do the same!

    [Jaime Rodriguez, new to C9, thanks to Adam for the pointer to the thread]..

     

     

     

  • Don't get me wrong, I fully understand the hoops the developers had to jump through to design this, but the end results are so disappointing.

     

    It looks to me as though it is just an application that emulates a UI that we already have with the windows desktop - what new does this bring to the table?

     

    I have worked on 2 decent sized applications in WPF myself and I am finding the technology to be so immature at this point it has not been worth the effort. While I am sure the technology is capable, I have to compare it to writing assembly language code - true that there is nothing that cannot be done, but the effort to get there is ridiculous. Like HTML, visual design tools exists (Blend) but they often come up way short on actually accomplishing the goals and you must resort to hand coding most of the time. For my last project we got so frustrated trying to use Blend to hatch ideas we went back to Photoshop. I thought the idea was to avoid that?

     

    When will WPF move beyond being a 'does small fancy visual demos' release and become something useful?  The health care CUI is the only thing I have seen that looks headed in the right direction, but that too stops way short of actual functionality and is geared at just being a cute demo. The source for it has not been released and I would venture that it is because it is embarrassing to show how much work it took to make a non-functional application.

     

    Anyhow, someone at Microsoft needs to wake up.  Great idea, poor execution.

  • "Anyhow, someone at Microsoft needs to wake up.  Great idea, poor execution."

    That's a little harsh.  From my experience with WPF, including Windows Forms interop, WPF is great at two things: 1) completely redesigning an application to be form-less, and 2) using visual cues (animation, transparency, etc.) to enhance the UI in a traditional application.  I agree that it's not as mature as Windows Forms (or Win32), but that's to be expected given it's age.

    My guess for the reason why you're not seeing a lot of WPF source for LOB apps floating around is that UI controls are moving from being a commodity (i.e. a ComboBox = ComboBox = ComboBox) to being a differentiator.
  • Allan LindqvistaL_ Kinect ftw
    i dont see anything there that disproves anything hansleman says.. the fact remains that you rarly (and never on vista) will need to download the full .net framework.  you argue that .net is a part of windows, uh.. so? how is that a bad thing ? why not use windows update to distribute updates to .net? you argue that you still need to be online to install the compact framework (not sure about the validity of that but in whatever) .. uh, so? compact framework is about minimizing the time to get an app upp and running.. what happens after that is irellevant.. if youre going to do a offline distrubution, what does an extra 200 mb on a dvd? nothing thats what..


    -edit-

    also, you seem to think that wcf is just for servers.. thats just plain wrong Smiley wcf is exelent for inter procrss comunication though named pipes and also to talk to servers, something that most clients needs to do at some point Smiley

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