Rich Cloud-based Web Applications with Cloudbrowser 2.0

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2015-06-21
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Virginia Tech
Abstract

When developing web applications using traditional methods, developers need to partition the application logic between client side and server side, then implement these two parts separately (often using two different programming languages) and write the communication code to synchronize the application's state between the two parts. CloudBrowser is a server- centric web framework that eliminates this need for partitioning applications entirely. In CloudBrowser, the application code is executed in server side virtual browsers which preserve the application's presentation state. The client web browsers act like rendering devices, fetching and rendering the presentation state from the virtual browsers. The client-server communication and user interface rendering is implemented by the framework under the hood. CloudBrowser applications are developed in a way similar to regular web pages, using no more than HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Since the user interface state is preserved, the framework also provides a continuous experience for users who can disconnect from the application at any time and reconnect to pick up at where they left off.

The original implementation of CloudBrowser was single-threaded and supported deployment on only one process. We implemented CloudBrowser 2.0, a multi-process implementation of CloudBrowser. CloudBrowser 2.0 can be deployed on a cluster of servers as well as a single multi-core server. It distributes the virtual browsers to multiple processes and dispatches client requests to the associated virtual browsers. CloudBrowser 2.0 also refines the CloudBrowser application deployment model to make the framework a PaaS platform. The developers can develop and deploy different types of applications and the platform will automatically scale them to multiple servers.

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Web Frameworks, Javascript, Node.js, Distributed Systems
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