Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to Suggest where or how to research OpenACS vs. other Web systems

Another approach might be a "not-so-thick" client (also known as
a "pleasantly plump" client). There are lots of cases where it
would be nice to add a decent GUI front end to specific OpenACS
functionality. One reason that nobody has done that yet is that the
OpenACS philosophy is to keep it simple on the client side, so
that the toolkit can be used (for end users, anyway) by basically
anyone with a web browser. Your situation is more specific,
though, so you could probably require that your users be able to
run client-side Java, for example. You don't have to go all the way
to Filemaker or Access to create your interface; you could simply
create something in, say, Swing, or Tk, or something like that,
and still keep most of the core logic in OpenACS. After all, there
are plenty of  whizzy Java-based calculators, and a cash register
is not very far removed from that sort of a thing.