Posts tagged with «Sencha»

Dreamforce Session: Salesforce and the ExtJS, jQuery, and Backbone.js JavaScript Frameworks

Michael Topalovich from Delivered Innovation, along with Jason Venable of F5 Networks and Dan Belwood of salesforce.com, presented “What’s Hot in the World of JavaScript Frameworks” at Dreamforce ’12 in San Francisco. ¬†Jason kicks off the presentation with an overview of jQuery and a demo showing how the framework can provide rich UI functionality within […]

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Thoughts From Sencha Conference 2010

I am on a plane, returning from the 2010 Sencha Conference in San Francisco, thinking about all that transpired over the past few days. Delivered Innovation has standardized on Sencha's ExtJS JavaScript framework for creating rich user experiences in Salesforce CRM optimizations and Force.com custom applications. My reason for attending the event was to get a first hand glimpse into Sencha's vision for unifying their mobile and desktop RIA frameworks to give architects the tools to design stunning and highly functional user interfaces across all modern browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari) and mobile platforms (iPhone, Android, Blackberry). My first impression upon arriving at the conference was that Sencha was using their investment from Sequoia wisely in pulling together what were fairly loosely coupled technical and business architectures to rapidly integrate branding and product management into a highly cohesive framework of tools that fell within a well defined and articulated vision, which drove equally well-communicated and managed strategies for achieving this vision. My second impression was that the Sencha community was both robust and passionate. I was fully expecting attendance to be in the 150-200 range, and was somewhat blown away when there were around 500 people filling the Grand Ballroom at the Fairmont for the opening keynote. With the tone set for what would be a highly successful conference, I settled in and prepared to drink from the proverbial firehose. The opening keynote was a comprehensive, rapid-fire preview of conference sessions and events, and it provided a window into the thinking that was being put into the Sencha mobile and browser RIA frameworks. I was very excited to see salesforce.com take the stage and demonstrate areas of Salesforce CRM and the Force.com platform that were leveraging ExtJS 3, including a Chatter application and a rich Apex logging interface. Glen Lipka from Marketo previewed some UI / UX design based on ExtJS that he would dive deeper into during his Tuesday session, which would turn out to be one of the top sessions of the conference. The Sencha team was also introduced, and the wheels were in motion at that point. The session that I had circled from the moment I registered for the Sencha Conference was what most attendees also seemed to have been anticipating based on the turnout - "Introducing Ext JS 4" by Ed Spencer. It looks like the next major release of the Ext JavaScript framework will deliver on everything I was hoping for, including improved layouts and charting / visualization, and will be delivered in Q1 of 2011. I can't wait to get our developers working on a pre-release, which is supposed to be available to the community in about 6 weeks. We already do great things with Ext 3 and VisualForce, and from what I saw from Ext 4 we will be able to take Force.com UI design to a new level and deliver a rich and seamless Salesforce user experience across all desktop platforms as well as leading mobile platforms. The sessions that filled out the remainder of the day on Monday were fairly technical in nature, providing previews and deep dives into the mobile framework and HTML5 ("Sencha Touch for the Mobile Web" by David Kaneda), improving JavaScript performance by managing complex layouts and event handler binding ("JavaScript: Advanced Scoping & Other Puzzles" by Doug Hendricks), and the data and API architecture of ExtJS 4 ("ExtJS 4 Architecture" by Ed Spencer). As my attention span for keynotes diminishes rapidly from one day to the next, I skipped the Tuesday morning keynote presentation by AT&T CTO John Donovan. By most accounts I didn't miss much, although I was disappointed to hear that nobody in the audience pressed him on how AT&T was specifically planning to address the elephant in the room - their oversubscribed and underperforming network. After all, how can you get a room full of iPhone, Android, and Blackberry developers enthusiastic about developing apps for devices on a network with a reputation like the one AT&T has earned? My focus for Tuesday was to attend sessions related to the visual aspects of the ExtJS 4 release. Glen Lipka from Marketo set the tone for the day with an awesome presentation on designing and delivering beautiful UI / UX patterns ("Creating Optimal Desktop User Experiences"). Glen has fought (and won) many battles in his pursuit of optimal user experience, and his sharing of best practices and lessons learned was worth the price of the entire conference. And as an added bonus, I was able to add the word "webtop" to my lexicon. The technical sessions on templates and theme management ("Advanced Templates for ExtJS" and "Theming ExtJS 4") showed me how we can more efficiently design and develop reusable and extensible style elements for our rich interfaces built on ExtJS 4. Then came "Charting & Data Visualization" - I can only describe what I saw as jaw-dropping; the new charting capabilities in Ext 4 will be the "killer app" for driving adoption of the framework, and the best part is that the ExtJS 4 framework completely moves away from Flash for visualizations, clearing the path for us to design Salesforce CRM and Force.com applications with beautiful interfaces that extend from the browser to the iPhone and iPad. I closed out my Tuesday with "The ExtJS 4 Layout System" by Jamie Avins, which was the perfect bookmark to an intensely stimulating day; layout design in ExtJS 3 has caused sleepless nights for me, and I was thrilled to see the Sencha team acknowledging the difficulty and complexity inherent to Ext 3 layout management and taking ownership of the issue to ensure that layouts in Ext 4 would be much more logical and robust. My attention span was spent long before I arrived for the final day of the conference this morning, but I was still looking forward to seeing ExtJS legend Jay Garcia give his perspective on Ext 3 design patterns and best practices. It was a good session to close out the day and the conference, and my brain is still buzzing halfway between San Francisco and Chicago from all of the stimulation this week. Congratulations to the Sencha team for planning, organizing, and delivering such a high-value conference, and I look forward to seeing how the product teams execute on the vision and strategy laid out over he past 72+ hours.

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