Last year at TechEd, I was interviewed for ARCast TV about selecting the right client technology for your application, which I also gave as a breakout session at the conference. I don’t know why it took almost a year to produce, but that interview is now available. You can check it out here:
Some of the key points from the discussion included:
– WPF is really your best choice for any new smart client application development over Windows Forms if you care about building your team’s skill set where it matters for the long term.
– Windows Forms is still relevant for evolving existing applications, and even for new applications that are intensive on data editing but not visualization, where you have an existing team with deep knowledge in Windows Forms but no experience with WPF, and where you can justify that you will never need to have enhanced graphics, user experience, or advanced data visualizations.
– Silverlight is the way to go for anything where you want both broad reach in the browser and rich graphics. Particularly with the announcements of features in Silverlight 3 since this interview occurred, there are many applications that in the future with Silverlight 3 will be just as well off as a Silverlight application as they would be with WPF for businesses.
– ASP.NET (using AJAX features for better user experience) can still go a long way in delivering what you need for broad reach applications, and is certainly the way to continue if you have a good investment in web application development with .NET.
– Mixing ASP.NET and Silverlight for where their strengths lay is the sweet spot for web
– Starting to invest in WPF knowledge now is the right choice for the future with smart client development
Nothing too earth shattering will cause Nostradamus to rise from his grave, but hopefully helps cement some tough technology choices for people who were not sure which direction to head.