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History of Kinetic Bundles

Overview

A bundle is a directory of files and other directories.  The files hold code that is meant to be customized.  Kinetic Data has transition through a few different bundle styles. There was the Responsive style used in Request RE. When Request CE was first launched the style changed. The RE and early CE bundles were both written in JSP.  JSP bundles are deployed directly to the server hosting Reqeust.

With the release of Kinops Kinetic switch directions on the bundle style. Kinops is a hosted solution offered by Kinetic. Kinetic took on the reasonability of providing and maintain the servers.  Sound security practices prevented Kinetic from giving customers access to the servers hosting Request.

This article covers a brief history of Kinetic bundles and why we switched to a new style.

History on Request Bundles

Until Kinops, Request was an on premises application.  Request bundles were only developed using JSP technology. The JSP bundle lived inside of the Request application directory structure. The Request application served web pages from the JSP bunde.  Changes to the bundle code required access to the server hosting Request.

  • Pre Kinops Request bundles were written in JSP.
  • JSP bundles are deployed to the server hosting Request.

Request Bundles post Kinops

Kinops is Kinetic data's hosted solution. Hosting Request reduces the barrier of entry for customers. It is not practical to grant customers access to the hosting servers. Customers have come to expect the ability to customize their portals. This left Kinetic with a problem to solve.  How to allow for the flexibility of custom code and maintain security of our hosted solution.

To solve the problem Kinetic turned to a modern web trend; single page applications. SPAs load a single HTML page and do dynamic updates as the user interacts with the application. It's common to use a Javascript framework when building an SPA. After trying several frameworks Kinetic settled on React.

Developing a React bundle is not required to use Request. Kinetic recommends that all solutions, hosted or on premises, develop React bundles. The development cycle with React offers many benefits to on premises implementations. Kinops requires an SPA bundle.

  • Access to hosting servers is restricted.
  • SPA's were used to allow for custom portal development.
  • React is the framework Kinetic chose to develop its SPA's.
  • Kinops requires an SPA bundle.

The current strategy

Whether or not an SPA bundle is used Request still serves a page built in JSP. This means there is still a JSP bundle, but it is very small. The main purpose of the JSP bundle is to load the React bundle for the client machine. React bundles are Javascript files. This allows for loading of the React bundle from an external source. That is how Kinetic maintains security of their hosting servers. It is not required that the customizable code exist inside the Request application.

This course will not go into the development of the JSP bundle. It is a small boilerplate bundle that Kinetic Data provides; we call it webpack bundle. This course does cover where to add the webpack bundle in the "setting up the kapp" article.  If you are using a kinops instance for this training it is not required to add the webpack JSP bundle.

Important Concepts:

React bundle usage requires two bundles. The first bundle is a standard JSP bundle added to the applications space directory inside the Kinetic application. The second bundle is a single page application (written using React).

In production there are options for where to place the code for the single page application.  One option is to place it in an external directory from the webserver hosting Request CE. The other option is to place it inside of the webpack bundle on the server hosting the Kinetic Request application. 

In development the bundle will run on a local machine and requests are proxyed to the host.