BOSC developed offline client for PPRD East project which is used as desktop solution for web portal.
QGis plugin Compotte is used for downloading layers from GeoServer using WFS in shapefile format. Downloaded layers is added to QGIS project directly with style from GeoServer
How it works ?
Compotte is working that way that it is downloading shapefile layer through WFS. Shapefile usually contains 3 or more files but GeoServer allows to download one comprimated ZIP file. This ZIP file can be then added to QGIS. QGIS then take care of decompressing and processing of that file. Compotte then recognized all available styles for user which are available. If there are more available for one layer user then can select which one he wants to use.