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Ext JS Customer Spotlight: TriNet

February 17, 2015 382 Views

eVestmentTriNet provides HR solutions to small and mid-sized businesses so companies can focus on developing their products, services and employees. Tailored by industry, TriNet bundled HR products provide critical core services of payroll, benefits, workers’ compensation and risk & compliance mitigation, as well as a dedicated HR team and a paperless cloud platform. TriNet handles many of the day-to-day responsibilities of being an employer and helps these companies contain HR costs, minimize employer-related risk and relieve the administrative burden of HR.

Why We Chose Ext JS

We used Ext JS to build a couple of applications, including TriNet Payroll. TriNet Payroll is an enhanced payroll solution that enables clients to preview estimated payroll costs before submitting payroll for processing.

Ext JS is an end-to-end solution, from a “single source of truth” in its data stores all the way to a set of industry-leading user interface components, including grids, charting, drawing and animation. We have used Ext JS grids extensively with our payroll and leave request applications. The Ext JS grid is extremely powerful and fast, with built-in column sorting and show/hide features. The TriNet dashboard application also utilizes various Ext JS chart components to provide a rich interactive user experience. With the depth and breadth of those features and its standardized API, we can deliver anything that our visual designers and product managers can imagine, with a faster time to market.

“We chose Ext JS 5 because it provides a number of dramatic advantages for building enterprise-class rich internet applications.

We looked at AngularJS, jQuery UI and YUI, but we chose Ext JS 5 because it provides a number of dramatic advantages for building enterprise-class rich internet applications. For instance, it has enabled us to deliver compelling user experiences for both desktop and tablet devices with the same code. The built-in support for both desktop and tablet interactions means there is very little custom coding required for the application to work in either environment. Sencha Cmd also is integrated with Cordova, so it’s simple to build a hybrid tablet application. The consistency of the API, its depth of components and tight integration translates to a very complete, expressive set of tools for rapidly building rich, intuitive interfaces.

Ext JS 5 also saves us time. The Ext JS framework ensures support for all popular browsers, and we do not need to expend engineering effort on browser compatibility issues.

Sencha Cmd is seamlessly integrated with Sass and Compass, which enables our team to write less CSS and gives us a mechanism to make our themes and styles well-organized and reusable. It also gives us a way to further customize our application styles, so we can more closely meet the specific needs of key customers and market segments.

Business Value of Using Ext JS

We received a lot of expert help from Sencha Support and Professional Services, and the Sencha support engineer has often made himself available to us on evenings and weekends. Not only does he have a tremendous amount of knowledge in all aspects of Ext JS development, but he also is a great mentor and source of creative solutions to difficult technical problems.

“As an object-oriented JavaScript framework with a robust, fully-functional class system, Ext JS provides familiar metaphors for software engineers coming from languages such as Java.

As an object-oriented JavaScript framework with a robust, fully-functional class system, Ext JS provides familiar metaphors for software engineers coming from languages such as Java, which we use on the back-end of our applications. The abstraction of the details of HTML and DOM manipulation into JavaScript also makes it possible to create custom, reusable components by using inheritance. This has substantially reduced the learning curve and training costs for our engineers who are new to web programming.

With the new Ext JS 5 Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) architecture, we are writing even less custom code, which reduces the ‘bug surface’ of our applications. Taken together with Ext JS 5 Router/browser history capabilities, we are writing far less custom code and further accelerating the delivery of our products.

Sencha has a rigorous approach to JavaScript that provides a foundation on which to build well-organized, concise and testable applications that quickly load and respond to user input. Application footprints are made even smaller because we use Sencha Cmd as our build tool. Cmd not only minifies the code, but also inspects it and only includes framework and custom classes that are necessary for the application to run.

Our Advice to New Developers

  • Learn the framework: It’s critical to know the framework well if you’re developing applications for scalability and performance. We also recommend that you engage the Sencha Professional Services team to architect the application using best practices. This will reduce refactoring efforts later in the project.
  • Design for internationalization and 508 compliance: Ext JS provides support to internationalize your application and deliver 508 compliance. You should consider these features when you design the application.
  • Package common components: Ext JS provides many widgets out of the box. Consider packaging common components using Sencha command packages to reuse components across multiple applications.
  • Pay attention to performance: You’ll get optimal performance from your app if you follow Sencha best practices. You can use the Sencha knowledge base as well as the Professional Services and Support teams to design the application packages for performance and scalability. Pay attention to the memory footprint of the application components.

Final Thoughts

Sencha Ext JS is a robust framework for developing enterprise-class web applications, and its extensive set of tools makes development easier. The biggest advantage we see is the cross-browser and touch device support that enables us to build applications with a single code base. Support for 508 compliance is an added advantage to us. Overall, the Ext JS framework is well suited for data-intensive enterprise applications.