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This document will describe the typical processes used to initiate, develop, build and deploy a Google Web Toolkit (GWT) application at Emory.  It will outline the general steps and link to other more in-depth documentation on the framework itself.  We'll discuss how to establish a central build and package environment and discuss the typical deployment patterns and processes.  Given the evolutionary nature of frameworks like GWT, this document will evolve as well.  We've tried to be as specific as possible when describing how we do certain things because there are often several ways of accomplishing similar tasks.

It is also important to remember the high-level goals we're trying to accomplish from an "enterprise perspective."  One goal we're trying to accomplish is to establish the necessary infrastructure that will allow us to integrate systems quickly and efficiently as time goes by.  Given that, one fundamental tenant of our approach is that all web applications will communicate with back end data and logic sources via some sort of "service" layer.  This layer is responsible for tying the client side of the web application to the back end services that are needed for the application.  It is important to note that "services" does not always mean "web services."  Sometimes, they will, but when we refer to services we're really referring to anything that exposes back end data or logic that will be leveraged by this application's service layer.  Since it can sometimes be confusing, we'll provide some definitions for use throughout this document.

The strategy used in this document involves two things:

  1. A completed sample application (reference implementation) that you can look at throughout the course of the document.  This is an application that allows authenticated users the ability to maintain biographic and demographic information about people.  That is, they can retrieve people by some identifier, they can modify information about those people, they can create people and they can delete people.  We'll continue to expand this reference implementation as time goes by and our frameworks evolve.
  2. A step-by-step guide to create that same sample project yourself. We'll start by treating the app as our version of a typical "hello world" app and then, we'll extend it to demonstrate solutions to much more complex problems and requirements

This way, you should have an idea of what the project looks like at the end as well as specific steps to get you there if you choose to follow these instructions.

Comments and Suggestions

If you have any comments or suggestions to improve this document, feel free to make those comments directly on the page.

Document History

  • November 2010 - Initial Version, click here to read the previous version
  • September 2011 - Evolution 1
    • Added description and samples covering Activities and Places (browser navigation)
    • Added description and samples covering Building user interfaces with UiBinder
      • Creating a multi-target view
      • Widget/page initialization
      • Event processing
    • Added description and samples covering Using GWT Designer (creating a project using GWT Designer wizards)
    • Updates to project organization (developing for multiple target devices)
    • Brought up-to-date with current GWT SDK (2.4.0)
    • Added Useful Eclipse plug-ins child page
    • Sample app updates (child page)
  • March 2013
    • Working through some link/anchor issues
    • Added GWTRG Compliance Evaluation Template (work in progress)
    • Moved RequestFactory section to a new section (Topics Under Review or Construction)
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