Greenpeace Belgium has several offices throughout the country. They all need to be able to access and maintain the information related to volunteers that are prepared to jump in whenever help is needed. Uwyn developed a fat client that runs locally on each workstation and communicates with a central server in the background. The architecture has been built in a scalable fashion, both for the client and for the server side.
The client application has been developed in RIFE, Java and Swing since Greenpeace has a heterogeneous collection of operating systems for desktop use. The operating-system independent nature of the Java platform and its excellent UI performance made it the best fit. Thanks to Java Web Start, the system administrator doesn't have to install and upgrade the application for each user. As needed, users just visit an URL to install and initially launch the application on their machine. Afterwards new versions are automatically downloaded and updated.
The interface has been designed for ease of use and clarity. It sports powerful features like example-based searching, collapsing panels, multi-instance form collections and integration with the desktop email client. A role-based authentication system allows the system administrator to give read or write access to those that have the permissions to do so. Apart from the low-level checks that are made in the back-end, the interface also adapts to reflect which features are enabled for the active credentials.
Our showcase entry of this project gives additional screenshots and an overview list of all feature highlights..