Rest back-end and UIs

We have been spending the last four months moving our Win32 stand-alone applications to a more service oriented architecture. This new back-end  can be scaled to handle a wide variety of  TV Broadcasting enterprises. It has been a major movement from us, as many domain logic that was previously hardcoded into the desktop applications is now implemented into this back-end and shared among all clients. The logic is customizable per client basis through an scripting system.

We have targeted two desktop operating systems, MacOSX 10.6 and WindowsXP+ (in this order). These led to a new problem: developing a front-end that would offer the most user-friendly experience to the end user. Cocoa and WPF were the best choices and Monobjc provided a nice bridge to handle the Cocoa interface through Net/Mono. Silverlight was the third choice to those interfaces that could be also used from the web. The RESTful back-end allows us to easily develop and deploy any user interface while maintaining full compatibility within the installation with other clients.

Compared to AJAX and HTML5, Silverlight was the most cost-effective technology for us as we are used to write .Net code and we could use a large .net library we have already developed. So we have software (desktop applications for video editing, video review and cataloging) that share a common back-end and offer a native interface through Cocoa and WPF and some Web applications using Silverlight that also target MacOSX and Win32 clients but are more suited for the Web.

This huge project has been fun and having the chance to take part in almost any part of the new architecture (I have designed and implemented  part of our back-end and also being in charge of evaluating and teaching  Cocoa/Monobjc).


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