The client works only when the restful interfaces are present. The installation has a kink (preferences.xml) and I have implemented little mercy for errors anywhere in the application.
When I explained how I use OpenNMS I said something like "so I don't want users to look at the WebUI to see that something is wrong, I want them to be pinged, mailed, prodded, sms'ed, whatever - the system has to push out the information about the fact that a brain needs to act." Sort of. I think I did not use the word "Brain".
The idea behind that is not so much that I don't like the WebUI, it's rather that a tool must provide convenient access to information to be used. We have to fit into "the workflow" and as long as we did not sit down and think about what workflow we really provide, well, so long we have to guess.
So I guessed that "people" would appreciate having information from OpenNMS directly on their desktop, without the overhead of a browser.
"With the Adobe® AIR™ runtime, you can deliver branded rich Internet applications (RIAs) on the desktop that give you a closer connection to your customer.
Adobe AIR uses the same proven, cost-effective technologies used to build web applications, so development and deployment is rapid and low risk. You can use your existing web development resources to create engaging, branded applications that run on all major desktop operating systems.
The benefits are extensive. By using Adobe AIR as part of your RIA strategy, you can boost productivity, extend your market reach, enhance customer satisfaction, improve customer retention, lower costs, and increase profits."
The interesting is that you can "use your existing web development" skills to create an application. Not that I would have an extended skill set to start with, but why not?
Installation for Development
Adobe provides a free (as in free beer!) runtime environment. And - more interesting - as well a Service Development Kit (SDK). The SDK permits to run applications (while debugging) and package them for deployment. It's available for Windows, Mac OS X and as an Alpha for Linux. I tested the Alpha and found it very "ready", but then I only touched the surface.
Eclipse, OpenNMS and AIR
[] provides a free basic extension to Eclipse to work with Air. If you want to use it you download the Eclipse extension for Aptana and then the Adobe AIR Plugin for Aptana. Their documentation on the process is good (if you bother to read it ;-)).
The package runs together with the AIR Runtime environment.
After installation it will start but complain that the preferences.xml is missing. The error message will show as well where the application expects the preferences file to be. A sample file is packaged with the Application.
If no preferences file is found, nmsdesk will use demo.opennms.org (which has currently no REST interfaces..) - alas you need to modify the parameters in the preferences.xml; the username/password is currently not used.