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Appframe, the bridge between application and database

Introduction

Appframe is an Application development framework that provides an uniform platform for design and development of database driven applications.

Appframe includes:

  • A set of standards and guidelines, such as application layout, naming conventions and various other design guidelines
  • Integrated Source Control and Deployment concept
  • A set templates, controls, classes and methods making development efficient and standardized

Appframe is based on SQL Server 2000 or 2005 and Microsoft’s .NET technology, and offers both browser based and windows based clients. Appframe forms the basis for all PIMS applications, but is also supplied as a separate product.

Web enabled

One of the main goals of Appframe has been to expand the concept to integrate Internet technology in its applications. This allows more flexible and comprehensive solutions.

A major aspect of Appframe’s strategy lies in its use use of Internet technology, not only for pure websites, but as a combination of different elements to create a best suitable concept. The WinForms based CR3 client allows the end-user to connect to the database by utilizing the secure HTTPS protocol and access infirmation from the web*

Efficient Development

Appframe main clients are web browsers and Windows Applications (WinForms). Appframe also supports using other clients that are capable to communicate with SQL Server (e.g. MS Access, MS Excel). Both users requirements and location together with the application functionality should substantiate the choice of client platform. The CR3 client was released Q2 2008, and is built based on Microsoft .NET 2.0. It includes several GUI controls that makes the end-user environment user friendly as well as powerful. Controls available includes a grid control (server-mode based), charts, pivot etc. The CR3 client may initially be distributed using Microsoft’s Click-Once concept or MSI packages. Any updates to the application is automatically distributed through Appframe distribution concept, where forms and reports are loaded on demand. Web based clients are mainly based on the AJAX technology, which increase the responsiveness and interactivity of the web pages, by exchanging small amount of data with the server “behind the scenes”.

Ease of use

Appframe is built on top of Microsoft SQL Server (2000 or 2005). By utilizing SQL Servers’ built-in functionality we can benefit from one of the most comprehensive and reliable database servers available. Even if we are database dependent, we do not limit SQL Server to be the applications’ only source of data. We are able to communicate with all systems providing any of today’s standard interfaces.

Security

The Appframe security model consists of two main layers. Most importantly the data in the database is secured by implementing the security in the database itself. A user will need to be granted specific permissions to be able to access or update any data. Appframe has a row-level based security model, which allows the administrator to grant access down to certain groups of data, or even individual rows if required. The next layer is to secure the communication from the client to the database. This is supported by using established standards like https and ssl. The requests from the clients are also validated to avoid any kind injections from the end-user or client.

* Accessing the data from the web requires the end user to have the appropriate access, and that the infrastructure allows for outside access, e.g. through a DMZ/Extranet concept.

(taken from PIMS.no)

Filed under: English, Software

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