Nina Krmac (2008) EVALUATION OF REPORTING TOOLS AND LIBRARIES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF BUSINESS APPLICATIONS. EngD thesis.
With the growing popularity of the World Wide Web and the increasing usage of broadband connections web applications are also developing and are getting more diverse and perfected. There is a trend of exchanging classic desktop applications with web applications even in closed local networks for business usage. The goal of this thesis is choosing a framework and additional libraries which would allow us to implement a series of business reports. We weren't completely satisfied with our previous solution, which was implemented using Birt, an open source reporting tool. With Birt we came to a point where our demands were greater than its capabilities. We want to avoid trouble with licensing and different business intelligence tools so the goal is choosing a web technology that would allow us to build those reports and integrate them seamlessly in our application. This thesis includes the challenges that the development of such an application includes and there's an emphasis on user interfaces and their components. There is a specification of goals that we would like to achieve, the novelty of Web 2.0, its perspective on the development of the World Wide Web and user demands. There is also some reflection on rich internet applications and the psychological aspect of user experience. A big part of this thesis that is dedicated to the creation of a decision model, which would help us choose a framework in which to work. To facilitate this process I used DeXi, a program for multi-attribute decision making. This type of decision process requires a number of criteria. All the options are then evaluated based on the criteria and finally we get a definitive choice based on these values and utility functions. In the process of this decision making three prototypes were developed. The actual usage of different frameworks and libraries helped in their evaluation. The implementation of those prototypes is accurately described and so are the reasons for the assigned values, while some general information was obtained directly from the tools web pages. Additionally a what-if analysis was made which brings new light on the reasons for the final decision.
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