Silpada's business revolves around hand-crafted, unique sterling silver jewelry sold through party plan and individual sales. Silpada Suite is used to create and track the related orders, reps, products, and other items. Its target audience is Silpada's internal users at the home office who use it for for managing representative accounts, orders, and jewelry products.
The application is created on top of the NetBeans Platform. About this, a brief interview with Derek Witt, developer behind Silpada Suite follows below.
Why was the NetBeans Platform used in this scenario? It was primarily so that we wouldn’t have to write the windowing plumbing from scratch. It was also that we could use Swing-based components and the GUI builder (as opposed to being tied to a library such as SWT). The modular design allows us to easily add new features as well as enabling/disabling modules on a per-user basis.
We initially were using Java Web Start for updates. However, as the application grew, JWS no longer fit our needs. Thus we started using the Auto Update feature of NetBeans. The user’s application is updated automatically with each deployment.
What are some interesting NetBeans APIs used? Aside from the window system, we use various cookies such as the SaveCookie, as well as Nodes. We use nodes for the various cookies and for displaying hierarchies such as the Order Family. The Order Family shows a simplified view of any given order (such as who ordered which items, and which other orders depend on said order).
Can you show some screenshots? Sure. (Click to enlarge them.)
Thanks for the information and screenshots, Derek!