What We Will Cover
The remainder of this book is split into five sections, with each incrementally building on the ones before. Figure 15 gives an illustration of the application that will be developed.
FIGURE 15 Screen shot of the final application.
As you know, Curl is a language to create rich graphical interfaces that are executed over the Internet. It requires the support of a Web server and an enterprise application server to execute business processing and serve up data to the Curl front-end. The Curl application we are going to develop will mimic the use of an application server by obtaining XML files stored locally on the developer's machine. It is outside the scope of this book to show you how to create server-side code in Java, the Microsoft .NET environment, an IBM mainframe, or any other server-side environment.
Section 1 is entitled "Getting Started," and here I'll discuss the application we'll be developing. I'll also introduce a number of design and development ideas specific to Curl. These recommendations and guidelines are based on my experience of working on a number of Curl development projects in large organizations, and might be considered best-practice approaches when working on your first Curl project.
Section 2, "Main Application Components," will work through the development of a number of key application framework elements, such as the logon process, the application frame, and the menu.
Section 3, "Presenting Data," moves on to discuss how to create a typical search criteria interface that sends a user-specific query to the application server and accepts a returned XML response. It then discusses how to extract data from the XML message and display it within an Excel spreadsheet-like grid, which has client-side sorting, column re-ordering, and filtering capabilities.
Section 4, "Presenting Data Graphically," describes another mechanism for showing data within 2D graphs. It also introduces an approach to data mining, linking multiple graphs together to drill down for a more detailed view of the data.
Section 5, "Web Services," concludes with an illustration of how you might make use of the built-in Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) support in Curl, by illustrating the code required to make calls to a complex third-party SOAP interface.