One other biggest advantage of the methodology and ElanBeans toolkit is, it is easy to develop large set of 'intelligent' ElanBeans that can substantially reduce the maintenance and refining of the Web Server to meet the constantly changing needs.
While the ElanBeans (WCB) code can easily be designed to provide many simple and flexible methods for Data-Server to send data at run-time, The ElanBeans can easily be made intelligent to generate code for sophisticated Web Components that may be custom made for each client.
Each WCB can be independently refined both input side (methods to set data) and output side (i.e. Web Component's style and functionality). For example, it is simple to design ElanBeans that are 'intelligent' enough to perform several tasks by using client's profile and by simple switches. To name a few:
1. ElanBeans can produce HTML or XML component depending on the requesting client software capabilities and supporting features. For example, If the web browser is not supporting XML (or it is too difficult to write DOM/Script), the WCB can generate HTML-code to present the component. By Using intelligent ElanBeans, one Servlet can generate web pages for, starting from sophisticated web clients to small Handheld devices with different requirements, capabilities, versions and each supporting different flavors of HTML/DHTML etc.
2. In case of XML data files, it can provide various views of the component depending on the requesting client. For example, for an employee component, except few managers, most users should not see the salary.
3. ElanBeans can be made intelligent enough to check for the completeness and errors in the run-time data send by the Data-Server, before building the component. They also free developers from several error-prone and confusing details like XML/HTML tags, syntax etc. Also they can provide excellent logging etc.
4. For the web site architects, each ElanBean provides one location to define policy, style and its behavior. ElanBeans can be designed to get style from configuration files or business logic modules. ElanBeans can be designed to provide consistent look and feel for each context, while differentiating between contexts as required.
5. ElanBeans can provide multi dimensional capabilities. For Example, To Internet enable the ERP packages like PeopleSoft's HR module, 3rd party vendors can build a set of ElanBeans along with "Enterprise Java Beans (EJB)" where end user can configure (or program) custom business rules. The ElanBeans can take input from both application server and the EJB to generate component code for WebPages.
Having access to rich set of the components, developers can build Intelligent Web Server with far less effort, which can build highly custom dynamic web pages. The Intelligent Server can build custom pages per user basis depending on his profile, at run-time by picking advertisements or other dynamic components with real-time data or by taping vast information sources and complex algorithms. Even more important is its flexibility and simplicity that facilitates constant redesigning and refining to make improvements at fraction of the effort. In the future, to build demanding web applications and web based ERP solutions, developers need methodologies that can bring the functionality of the Web Servers closer to desktop interactive GUI applications.