Leveraging declarative languages in web application development

Petri Vuorimaa*, Markku Laine, Evgenia Litvinova, Denis Shestakov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
408 Downloads (Pure)


Web Applications have become an omnipresent part of our daily lives. They are easy to use, but hard to develop. WYSIWYG editors, form builders, mashup editors, and markup authoring tools ease the development of Web Applications. However, more advanced Web Applications require servers-side programming, which is beyond the skills of end-user developers. In this paper, we discuss how declarative languages can simplify Web Application development and empower end-users as Web developers. We first identify nine end-user Web Application development levels ranging from simple visual customization to advanced three-tier programming. Then, we propose expanding the presentation tier to support all aspects of Web Application development. We introduce a unified XForms-based framework—called XFormsDB—that supports both client-side and server-side Web Application development. Furthermore, we make a language extension proposal—called XFormsRTC—for adding true real-time communication capabilities to XForms. We also present XFormsDB Integrated Development Environment (XIDE), which assists end-users in authoring highly interactive data-driven Web Applications. XIDE supports all Web Application development levels and, especially, promotes the transition from markup authoring and snippet programming to single and unified language programming.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-543
Number of pages25
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Declarative language
  • End-user development
  • Real-time communication
  • Web application
  • Web development
  • Web framework


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