The architecture of the generated WPF application includes a client side application that runs on the end user workstation, and downloadable components that are deployed to an internal web server.
CTC WPF Application Runtime Architecture - Overview
The WPF solution created by the CTC WPF Client Generator consists of the following major components:
This contains the application main window that opens when the user starts the application. From this, the user navigates through the host EAE/AB Suite application and interacts with the ispecs. Included with the generator is a default WPF application that provides the basic look and feel. This can be customized to suit individual requirements.
A number of options for deploying the WPF Application to the end user workstations are available:
- Deploy via traditional setup program. Create a Microsoft Installer (MSI) setup by adding a Setup Project available with Visual Studio to the generated solution.
- ClickOnce Deployment. WPF applications integrate well with the ClickOnce setup feature of Visual Studio, which allows end users to launch the setup program from the browser. Applications that are installed through ClickOnce can be configured to automatically check for updates. ClickOnce can be added to the generated solution using the Visual Studio Publishing Wizard.
- Manual Deployment. All files required can be copied (manually or via a bat file) to directories on the end user workstation.
CTC WPF View Controller
The CTC WPF View Controller is a generic WPF control that manages all communication to the EAE/AB Suite host system. This control can be included on any WPF application from which access to an EAE/AB Suite host system is required. The CTC WPF View Controller includes an API that allows the WPF application hosting the control to customize the behaviour and get control at key events during the end user interaction with the ispecs. The default WPF application provides a starting point for customization if required.
The CTC WPF View Controller includes the following main modules:
This module manages the end user navigation through the application. The CTC WPF View Controller can be configured to automatically download the generated components, such as ispec forms/views, ispec models and view models as wells as images and other external files, to the end user workstations. Downloadable components are cached on the client side and subsequently retrieved from the local storage. They are not downloaded again until the ispecs are re-generated and re-deployed to the web server.
By default, ispec forms/views created by the CTC WPF Client generator are displayed. However, the CTC WPF View Controller allows specification of alternate views, which are forms customized outside of the EAE/AB Suite development environment to suit user interface requirements for an alternative interface. This allows users to design and paint forms using tools like Microsoft Expression Blend, and still take advantage of the runtime environment provided by the CTC WPF Client Generator.
CE Services Manager
This module manages the session with the EAE/AB Suite host system right from establishing a connection to displaying ispec forms/views, sending and receiving data and ending with disconnecting from the host system. It uses the standard Unisys Component Enable for the host communication.
CTC WPF Application Runtime Architecture - Details
The benefits of the CTC WPF Client Generator Runtime Environment include:
- Efficient forms processing
- Automatic distribution of changes
- Forms are downloaded once only and cached on client until changed
- End user satisfaction
- Modern desktop user interface
- Fast response time as a result of efficient forms processing
- Easy to manage, flexible environment
- Simple programming model based on the .NET Framework
- Ability to integrate with desktop productivity tools such as Microsoft Office
- Many options at different levels for customizing and tailoring to satisfy individual requirements
For further details see the CTC WPF Client Generator