Smart Client vs Web Applications

In the office we’re currently investigating Smart Client vs Web Applications. It seems that I’m not alone. A few months ago Rob Howard and Paul Ballard recently got in a holy war over this exact issue. Rob’s premise is that web applications rule and smart clients suck. Paul believes that smart clients rule and web apps suck. Other bloggers have also chimed in with their two cents. Each have their own valid points but I’m with Paul sometimes a smart client just makes sense. In my case we have a web site that is available to our partners and employees. We have a piece of functionality that is only available for employees. So do we create an employee application or just put it up on the web? Having a rich client will allow our users to view their data quickly without postbacks. It will also help us, the developers, create a better user experience since we can use better controls and forget about stateless session management. Personally, I’ll feel better with the functionality in a smart client where a web script attack can’t access corporate functionality or data. What are we going to do? That’s up in the air. What ever we decide I still think smart client is the better choice.