Desktop apps and Web - what makes sense?

Doug Easterbrook doug at
Tue Aug 10 17:28:00 UTC 2021

Doug Easterbrook
Arts Management Systems Ltd.
mailto:doug at
Phone (403) 650-1978

> On August 10, 2021, at 6:54 AM, Grzegorz (Greg) Pasternak <gpasternak at> wrote:
> Running the risk of being redundant, I am wondering if anybody of you can help me out in this beautiful summer of 2021.
> I am seeking the experience based short solid answers for few questions.
> 1. Is Desktop App a thing of the past?

my opinion, no.       The research I’ve seen says that even on mobile devices, people prefer apps specific to the task than something that runs in a browser.   eg, there is a facebook app….  people don’t use facebook on a browser in a phone .. because the experience isn’t that great.

we have had very issues with venues where we say its a download able thing.    mind you, we have built in a very cool auto update process for both 
- replacing out libraries
- using OW3 workers to download complete installers when need be, so that the user just need to double click an install at some startup when we see a newer installer available.  it takes all the crappy download, save, install process out of the way.

users have to do that with chrome and firefox anyway…. so no different

We have only lost a couple of potential new clients in a couple of years because we were not wholly browser based.    I think, mostly, those venues didn’t really care about client server —  what they cared was a webby like interface with fewer options to chose from.

on the other hand, we still get clients that say ‘wow — great reports and great excel exprot — we have to write those ourselves cause the webby app’s don’t do that so well’.

Note:   client server (with background workers) can be optimized to load all data in the same amount of time as a web based app — and oyu need to do that to make the app appear that it is not slow.   


so, thats a design thing.  Regardless — mobile apps will still exist.   desktop apps will still exist —   we just need to design slightly differently to meet user expectations.

> 2. Is it making sense to keep existing Desktop App and develop complementary Web App?  

see above.     Mostly, I’d be hoping that the universal copy of omnis that runs on the M1 might also be adapted to run on mobile devices.

javascript based apps - we have found, are not really well received

> 3. Is it perhaps better to develop Web App replacing Desktop App completely using non-Omnis technology?

depend on your use case.     we love client server.    if we can run on M1 mobile devices, then we may use a thinned out interface talking to 3 tier architecture.

we will only use stateless apps that connect and disconnect to servers for each request (again to 3 tier, probably using http services.   we we are thinking of making postgres work over OW3 at some time).

this lets us have push technology.

and for the backend, we are committed to python for serving —  since its designed very nicely to do that.

> 4. Is there a place for Omnis to be relevant part of Web App design?

the stack:
- database is postgres
- access to the database (libpg/dams.   or  ow3 workers/rest api — with a migration, if we can, to only http access to the database as a goal)
- omnis is our client server / reporting engine on desktops
- a key want is for omnis to run native on mobile devices — without javascript client. failing that, we’ll use something else.  and it is all predicated on developing stateless apps that connect/disconnect on every submit.   

> 5. Is there any commercially successful implementation of the Web App using Omnis technology?  If so, which part is it?  (Java script remote forms?  REST? Ultra thin client?)

ultra thin - html pages talking to python.

marquee graphs grabbing data from Python server — that is also pushed to it as data changes.

some URL based apps .  see.   which we built to be a bit like netflix to show whats going on in an area.   but please note, per question #1 — it is like an app (or we can make it like an app) and it is limnited to one specific function.    its isn’t a cram everything into one thing like we do on desktop).

just my opinions.    so I hope its true thats our directions.

> Please note, the above assumes having commercially successful client/server Omnis Studio desktop app using SQL backend database.

> Regards;
> Greg
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