Composite UI Application Block (CAB) is a guidance asset (an application block) based on .NET 2.0. It’s intended to provide proven practices to build complex UIs based on simpler “parts” (SmartParts as they are called, “WinParts” in other architectures).
For those new to the CAB, the Composite UI Application Block (CAB) is designed to help implement common smart client user interface (UI) composition patterns, focusing on the business logic required hiding the complexity of the underlying infrastructure required to support it. It is designed to support the development of smart client line-of-business applications such as in the following scenarios:
· Online transaction processing (OLTP) front-ends
· Integration (or portal) scenarios
· UI intensive information worker applications
The CAB is designed to separate the different parts of software development, enabling each developer or team to concentrate on their area of expertise. For example the areas of business logic, infrastructure components, and user interface components.
The CAB uses the concept of a shell application, within which one or more SmartParts can interact. SmartParts are the minimum unit of management of a solution and a solution is built from a collection of collaborating SmartParts that ship inside plugins called Modules. The shell application is simply a Windows Form application that uses the Component Model to provide services to the SmartParts.
This is very much like a Smart Client version of our Internet portal solution DotNetNuke® on steroids.