Should I develop web application based on Java Applet?

Posted on 2007-10-19
Last Modified: 2013-11-23
Is it a good idea to develop web application based on Java Applet based GUI? I do not know any good commercial application, other than games that are based on Java applet. Although this topic is like a discussion item, I need to make a decision about it soon. Some example of serious java application based on Java applet will be of great help.
Question by:ddas_auth
    LVL 27

    Expert Comment

    Go to  
    and use the two chess programs.  One is made with Flash the other is an applet.  I like the applet much better.  
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    are you kidding?  applets are used everywhere, you probably just don't notice them.  if it's a choice between java (free, platform independent, installed on most operating systems out of the box) or flash (got to buy it, not installed out of the box) i'd choose Java any day...

    I used to bank with StGeorge, they use java applets in their online banking system:

    MediaMax uses them in their MultiFile upload:

    LVL 13

    Accepted Solution

    It all depends on what you need for an application:

    An applet is a good choice if you want to write a small application which doesn't need to use to much client resources (file system, network connection, ...).

    If you want to write a bigger application you still got two choices.

    One is to write a real web based application. In Java there are many frameworks available to help you out: struts, jsf, echo, ...

    The other is to write a plain Swing application and make it available through Java WebStart.

    Now, for the consequences of your choice: the applet and webstart program can be hosted on any plain html web server. The web based application will require you to run an Application Server or a Servlet Container.

    Could you provide more detail on what the application will do (high-level)?

    LVL 13

    Expert Comment


    Web based application:

    Web start:

    Applets are found allover the internet.
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    I work almost exclusively with Applets.  They provide great advantages over Flash for programatical control.  However, if you are looking for database connectivity, they are going to be more complex than a JSP type web application.

    I am assuming your real decision is between an Applet or JSP (or other server side program).  The real question you need to answer, in regards to your application , is this:

    Is dynamic interaction required (ie graphs or charts automatically recalculate without pressing submit) or is it primarily a data acquisition type application?

    If it is dynamic display without an lot of backend database integration, go for the Applet.  It will work and look great.  If you are primarily gathering, savings and/or displaying data results from a database, don't mess with the applet you will be much better served with JSP or another server side technology.

    Just my two cents, having done both.  Just for kicks you can look at some of my applets at:
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Thank you for all the comments. I am not yet convinced. Actually it is not about me, but how to convince a prospective customer. People question about sequrity, plugin download etc when running applet in a corporate environment.

    I have over 10 years of JSP/servlet development experience. About 5 years back, I had developed the entire solitair game using applet, among many other applet based game program, just as a hobby. I also have developed applet based gui that interacts with servlet running on app server.

    I see that tdmeritrade has some applets. Although I trade actively and I use their site everyday, I do not use the applet based features, probably just beacuse they are on applets and not html/javascript.

    My challange here is to convince prospects. Why not Bank of America, ebay, does not use applets? Are there any business of this stature that use applets?
    LVL 23

    Assisted Solution

    i would say the need for applets is greatly reduced with the advent of AJAX.

    ebertk talks of using applets for 'dynamic display', and that has long been a very good reason to use applets.  IMHO that is no longer a good reason to use applets, AJAX is a much better choice than applets for this because it requires nothing installed on the client except any modern browser.

    I would use an applet if you want to control devices on the client, like interacting with a scanner or a printer or something like that.  for me that is in most cases the only reason to use an applet... In this case you have nothing to prove to your clients.

    To summarise (my humble opinion):
    - Use AJAX for a 'thick client' web page
    - Use Applet if you need to interact closely with the client machine

    LVL 5

    Assisted Solution

    I'm basically in the camp with basicinstinct on this one.  Applets work great if you have a specific reason to use them (in my applets, the charting and calculations on the client was the need, both are possible with AJAX but when they were originally developed AJAX didn't exist).  Biggest problem with an applet is the lack of a nice framework to make the development less of a chore.

    There are other advantages to Applets over AJAX, but most are academic at this point.  I personally think AJAX is much harder to maintain over time, and isn't a modern programming language in its own right - but it will get the job done probably in less time and no plugin to install.

    Featured Post

    How to run any project with ease

    Manage projects of all sizes how you want. Great for personal to-do lists, project milestones, team priorities and launch plans.
    - Combine task lists, docs, spreadsheets, and chat in one
    - View and edit from mobile/offline
    - Cut down on emails

    Join & Write a Comment

    Here is a helpful source code for C++ Builder programmers that allows you to manage and manipulate HTML content from C++ code, while also handling HTML events like onclick, onmouseover, ... Some objects defined and used in this source include: …
    How to install Selenium IDE and loops for quick automated testing. Get Selenium IDE from ( Go to that link and select download selenium in the right hand columnThat will then direct you to their downlo…
    This tutorial covers a step-by-step guide to install VisualVM launcher in eclipse.
    The viewer will learn how to use and create new code templates in NetBeans IDE 8.0 for Windows.

    728 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    17 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now