public interface ClientServerIntegration
First you must create
DataSources that describe the objects from your object model that will be loaded or manipulated within your application. All of Smart GWT's most powerful functionality builds on the concept of a DataSource, and because of Smart GWT's databinding framework (see
DataBoundComponent), it's as easy to create a DataSource that can configure an unlimited number of components as it is to configure a single component.
DataSources provide a data-provider agnostic API to Smart GWT Visual Components that allow them to perform the 4 CRUD operations (Create, Retrieve, Update, Delete). By "agnostic" we mean that the implementation details - the nuts and bolts of how a given DataSource actually retrieves or updates data - are unknown to bound Smart GWT components. One effect of this is that DataSources are "pluggable": they can be replaced without affecting the User Interface.
When a visual component, or your own custom code, performs a CRUD operation on a DataSource, the DataSource creates a
DSRequest (DataSource Request) representing the operation. "Data Integration" is the process of fulfilling that DSRequest by creating a corresponding
DSResponse (DataSource Response), by using a variety of possible approaches to connect to the ultimate data provider.
There are two main approaches to integrating DataSources with your server technology:
Server-side integration: DataSource requests from the browser arrive as Java Objects on the server. You deliver responses to the browser by returning Java Objects. The various server-side integration possibilities are discussed later in this article.
Client-side integration: DataSource requests arrive as simple HTTP requests which your server code receives directly (in Java, you use the Servlet API or .jsps to handle the requests). Responses are sent as XML or JSON which you directly generate.
Smart GWT supports, out of the box, codeless connectivity to various kinds of common data providers, including SQL and Hibernate. Smart GWT also provides functionality and tools for accelerated integration with broad categories of data providers, such as Java Object-based persistence mechanisms (JPA, EJB, Ibatis, in-house written systems), and REST and WSDL web services in XML or JSON formats. Ultimately, a DataSource can be connected to anything that is accessible via HTTP or HTTPS, and also to in-browser persistence engines such as Google Gears.
Choosing a Data Integration Approach
This section aims to help you decide which of the many possible data integration approaches is best for your particular circumstances. The recommendations given here will guide you to the approach that involves the least effort.
SQLDataSource vs JPA/Hibernatein order to understand the large benefits the SQLDataSource provides
autoDeriveSchemafeature, or from Java Beans via the
schemaBeanfeature. Or, use the
Admin Consoleto generate tables from DataSource definitions you create by hand
schemaBeanfeature to derive DataSource definitions from any Java bean
custom DataSourcethat provides the CRUD operations you want to support.
DMI, or any combination of the two:
OperationBindingallow you to dynamically set data values at transaction-processing time, using built-in
validate()method of the DataSource to provide extra custom validations - just call
superto obtain the list of errors derived from Smart GWT validations, then add to that list as required with your own custom code
execute()method of the DataSource to add extra processing either before or after the Smart GWT processing
Transaction Chainingto dynamically set data values according to the results of earlier transactions
SQL Templatingto change, add to or even completely replace the SQL sent to the database, and to implement special query requirements
custom JQL queriesto implement special query requirements
custom HQL queriesto implement special query requirements
the server integration overview.
RPCs: Unstructured Server Communication
Smart GWT also supports "unstructured" client-server operations. These
RPCRequests (Remote Procedure Call Requests) are a low-level, very flexible mechanism for custom client-server communications. In an nutshell, RPCRequests:
RPCManager.send()), and have their responses handled by custom code (the callback passed to
RPCRequests are relatively rare. Most client-server communications are better done in a structured fashion using a
DSRequest (DataSource Request). Note that any RPCRequest can alternatively be framed as a
DataSource fetch; depending on the circumstances, this may be more convenient.
RPCManager documentation for further information on RPCRequests.