• banner

    “The PCA crew is leagues above
    the competition” - Pepsico

  • "a prior vendor failed to develop
    the application, which (Practical) delivered." - Franklin Park

  • "the application (is) easier to use, with a
    much simpler, more intuitive use interface" - Royal Administration Services

  • "Sometimes it's the things you don't ask for
    that are important" - Royal Administration Services

  • "PCA turned our raw data and algorithms into easy to use
    and understand features and reports." - CareScout

  • "The quality and professionalism ... has been
    so outstanding that we want to send you a letter of thanks." - USALCO

  • "PCA people and applications stand out by
    far exceeding our expectations." - USALCO

  • "The resulting application greatly increas(ed)...
    our business effectiveness and efficiency." - The Advest Group

  • "PCA completes projects
    efficiently and effectively" - Pepsico

MS Smart Client and .NET Consulting

Practical Computer Applications (PCA) has developed many different custom Smart Client business solutions over the years because they are often less expensive to develop than MS Access-based applications and are approximately half the cost of Browser-based applications and with a SQL Server back-end and  .Net front-end user interface, the Smart Client provides the same high level of application security, reliability, data integrity  and scale advantages oas the Client-Server method, is fully Internet-enabled like a Browser-based application, and supports the full User Interface of MS Windows applications. 

Smart  business decisions require fast access to the latest data.  This data must be consistent throughout your organization, and potentially to clients and suppliers (Smart Cloud computing).  It must be secure.  And, the users of the data want to use responsive software with a familiar user interface.

Unlike stand-alone desktop or browser-based applications, Smart Clients combine the advantages of centralized database control with the power and flexibility of desktop computing.  The advantages are significant:

  • Enterprises can manage database security and make sure that all users have the same up-to-date copy of the information wherever they may be located.
  • Individuals can process, sort, and filter information using the processor on their PC without waiting for a centralized web server using a familiar MS Office-style interface.

Smart Client applications (a.k.a. “Rich Internet Applications”) look and perform just like Microsoft Office desktop applications.  But, they are deployed, automatically maintained, and enable real-time SQL Server Database sharing directly over a secure Internet.  Said another way, Smart Clients are robust business solutions that use the Internet as a worldwide LAN with true Desktop functionality and performance.

Because Smart Client applications are built on the standard Microsoft Business platform, and cost far less to develop and maintain than browser-based applications, the Smart Client approach makes good economic sense as well.   Here is a comparison between Smart Clients, browser-based applications, and MS Office applications:

Smart Client Comparison

Capability MS Office Applications Browser-based Applications Smart Client Applications
Internet No Yes Yes
Installation Setup.exe None Installs via URL to Desktop
User Interface Great UI Low Quality UI Great UI
Security Secure, Trusted Secure, Not Trusted Secure, Trusted
Speed – Performance Fast Slow (reload UI with every click) Fast
Data Local Data – Unconstrained Centralized Data – Flat (Lists) Centralized Data – Relational (Forms)
Versions / Updates Version Headaches No Versions Auto Versions / Updates
Exploits local CPU Full CPU Display-only Full CPU (highly scalable)
Webserver N/A Powerful / Expensive Server Standard / Inexpensive Server
Development Cost Expensive Expensive Inexpensive (3-5x Lower Cost)
Users Business Consumers + Business Lite Business Heavy (B2B)
Integration Server Only Server Only Server and Local PC (Desktop Office Apps)
Offline Computing Yes No or Pay Extra Yes
Bandwidth N/A Med-High Low (Minimal)
Scalability N/A Server- and User-dependent Server-dependent
Standards Based No Yes Yes

 PCA can quickly figure out how to map your business model into a database-model with an easy-to-use Interface while re-using existing software components whenever possible to keep costs down. Call us today if you are considering a Smart Client Solution at 617-527-4722. or request a free initial consultation.