There are several approaches for writing web applications, each with their own advantages. GWT is a new framework with its own niche.
- Java WebStart or .Net ClickOnce
- GWT w/ Webservices
ASP.Net (or JSP/PHP/etc) – for Dynamic Websites
A coworker suggests that this is good for a “dynamic website”, rather than a full blown “web application”. It certainly has a web site feel, rather than an application feel to it. See the GWT demos below to see what I’m talking about.
Java WebStart or .Net ClickOnce – for Internal Corporate Applications
This, however, provides are great environment for writing interactive applications, however it requires either Java or .Net on the client. Some users do not have permissions necessary to install Java and .Net.
GWT w/ Webservices – for Public Applications
You can’t use the Java library with GWT, however you get a great GWT UI library, and you can call a webservice to do anything you like, for instance to make database calls.
As a C# developer, I find this great, because the learning curve is small. The Java language is so close to C#, and I don’t have to learn the Java library.