Flex, Java/JavaFX, Silverlight, AJAX & RIA Frameworks

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Top Stories

I am always being told off by i-technologists for quoting Picasso as having said that computers are useless. But I still love his reasoning? "Because they can only give you answers." Picasso, like AJAXWorld Magazine, liked questions. So we thought we would share with you what some of the world's leading rich Internet application pioneers are thinking may be the next questions that we need to see answered. From that readers can themselves infer where AJAX is headed. What are the top questions to ask next about AJAX? Eric Miraglia of Yahoo! 1.  (From March'08) How do I calculate the ROI of building my RIA on the iPhone SDK vs using AJAX? 2.  How do I assess the performance of my app and decide what to do next to make it faster?  3.  When it comes to accessibility, how do I know what's required of me for my rich web apps?  Beyond what's required, what makes good business se... (more)

Google's OpenSocial: A Technical Overview and Critique

Dare Obasanjo's Carnage4Life Blog One of the Google folks working on OpenSocial sent me a message via Facebook asking what I thought about the technical details of the recent announcements. Since my day job is working on social networking platforms for Web properties at Microsoft and I'm deeply interested in RESTful protocols, this is something I definitely have some thoughts about. Below is what started off as a private message but ended up being long enough to be its own article. First Impressions In reading the OpenSocial API documentation it seems clear that is intended to be the functional equivalent of the Facebook platform. Instead of the Facebook users and friends APIs, we get the OpenSocial People and Friends Data API. Instead of the Facebook feed API, we get the OpenSocial Activities API. Instead of the Facebook Data Store API, we get the OpenSocial Pers... (more)

Who Are The All-Time Heroes of i-Technology?

I wonder how many people, as I did, found themselves thrown into confusion by the death last week of Jean Ichbiah (pictured), inventor of Ada.  Learning that the inventor of a computer programming language is already old enough to have lived 66 years (Ichbiah was 66 when he succumbed to brain cancer) is a little like learning that your 11-year-old daughter has grown up and left home or that the first car you ever bought no longer is legal because it runs on gasoline in an age where all automobiles must run on water. How can something as novel, as new, as a computing language possibly already be so old-fangled that an early practitioner like Ichbiah can already no longer be with us? The thought was so disquieting that it took me immediately back to the last time I wrote about Ichbiah, and indeed about Ada Lovelace for whom his language was named. It was in the context ... (more)

Google Maps and ASP.NET

I am sure that most of you have heard about or have had a chance to use Google Maps. It's a great service and I was really impressed by the responsiveness of the application and the ease with which users could drag and zoom maps from a Web browser. It has in many ways heralded the arrival of AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), which I am sure will revitalize Web development in the days to come. What makes the service even better is the availability of the Google Maps API (Application Programming Interface) as a free Beta service. The API allows developers to embed Google Maps in their custom applications. It also allows them to overlay information on the map and customize the map to their needs. As I write this article there are quite a few sites that utilize Google Maps, and more and more of them are appearing by the day. The API by itself is pretty straightfor... (more)

Rich Internet Applications - State of the Union

[This prescient article first appeared on SYS-CON.com nearly 12 months ago.] We are entering an era of Rich Internet Applications (RIA),  and many enterprise development managers are facing the dilemma - which way to go - remain with  tried and true Java or .Net technologies or less known yet AJAX, Flex, OpenLaszlo or a number of other vendors.  This article is an attempt to give a brief overview of what's out there on the RIA market. Historically there have been major shifts in the software industry. We moved from mainframes with dumb terminals to client/server. Users gained in convenience and productivity, and mainframe systems were patronizingly labeled as legacy. With the availability of the World Wide Web industry visionaries turned the tables: vendors and corporate IT had been eager to get rid of the complexity of client/server version management and technologist... (more)

AJAX World Expo to Take Place Monday Through Wednesday in San Jose, CA

View Full Conference Schedule Here On Monday October 20 in San Jose, California, the top Rich Internet Applications event of the Fall opens its doors: the 6th International AJAX World RIA Conference & Expo, with top industry keynotes from Microsoft's Silverlight supremo Scott Guthrie and Adobe's Chief Technology Officer, Kevin Lynch, headlining a lineup of speakers that includes some of the finest front end engineers, UI experts, user experience specialists, and software industry innovators anywhere in the world. There will be a Full Expo Floor for two of the event's three days Delegates to the 6th International AJAXWorld will be able to join Guthrie as he discusses how Microsoft is contributing to help move the Web forward via a commitment to standards development and Rich Internet Applications - and learn from him how Silverlight, AJAX and media all enable a whole n... (more)

AjaxWorld Special: Creating AJAX and Rich Internet Components with JSF

This article is based on, and contains excerpts from, the book Pro JSF: Building Rich Internet Components by Jonas Jacobi and John Fallows, published by Apress. Book is now available on fine bookstores and Amazon as of February 25, 2006. JavaServer Faces (JSF) standardizes the server-side component model for Web application development but doesn't standardize the presentation layer at the browser. In a series of articles we are going to look at how JSF can fulfill new presentation requirements without sacrificing application developer productivity building Rich Internet Applications (RIA). Consumer Requirements It's always the end user who feels the effect of any chosen technology, especially at the presentation layer. The end-user experience should be top priority for any developer building applications, whether they are Web applications or desktop applications. En... (more)

Flashback to January 2006: Exclusive SYS-CON.TV Interviews on "OpenAjax Alliance" Announcement

Read Sun's Take on "Open AJAX"– Tim Bray Speaks Out IBM is leading, but apparently not controlling, a bold initiative known as "Open AJAX" that brings this open-source application development approach to the forefront of the worldwide i-technology industry. The Open AJAX initiative does not have a centralized structure or website, but is rather an idea that is being formally backed by BEA, Borland, the Dojo Foundation, the Eclipse Foundation, Laszlo Systems, Mozilla Corporation, Novell, Openwave Systems, Oracle, Red Hat, Yahoo, Zend and Zimbra. A spokesperson for one of the major backers said that Google will also be backing this initiative. Exclusive SYS-CON.TV Interviews on "Open AJAX" Announcement IBM's David Boloker Announcing Open AJAX Oracle Exec Ted Farrell Outlines Oracle Open AJAX Strategy Sun's Dan Roberts Discusses Java Studio Creator 2, Open AJAX Laszlo S... (more)

Embracing New Platforms: Building RIAs Beyond AJAX

There is now a spectrum of Rich Internet Application (RIA) technologies - including Adobe Flex, Adobe AIR, Microsoft Silverlight, and Curl - that go beyond the traditional functionality that AJAX provides. These platforms provide distinct benefits for moving complex desktop and client-server applications to the Web. An independent study by Sonata Software compared the performance and ease of development of applications using Curl, AJAX, and Flex, highlighting strengths and weaknesses of each platform This session will look at the application characteristics that developers should consider before choosing a platform, as well as provide specific examples of the interactivity and performance that these platforms offer. Speaker Bio: Bert Halstead is the chief architect of Curl, Inc., and a founding member of the Curl technical team. Previously, he was a research staff... (more)

The Top 150 Players in Cloud Computing

Cloud Expo Early Bird Savings A robust ecosystem of solutions providers is emerging around cloud computing. Here, SYS-CON's Cloud Computing Journal expands its list of most active players in the fast-emerging Cloud Ecosystem, from the 'mere' 100 we identified back in January of this year, to half as many again - testimony, if any further were needed, to the fierce and continuing growth of the "Elastic IT" paradigm throughout the world of enterprise computing. Editorial note: The words in quotation marks used to describe the various services and solutions in this round-up are in every case taken from the Web sites cited. As ever we encourage software engineers, developers, IT operations managers, and new/growing companies in every case to "suck it and see" by downloading or otherwise sampling the offering in question for themselves. (Omissions to this Top 150 list sh... (more)

Zuora Seeks Cloud's Silver Lining

Zuora, the Marc Benioff-backed on-demand billing and payments start-up, has announced what it calls the Z-Commerce Platform, a development platform dedicated to monetizing cloud computing services. Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo describes the widgetry as the start-up’s most important product announcement to date, “a big step towards our vision of being the de facto commerce engine for the cloud.” With Z-Billing, Z-Payments, and Z-Force, its existing products, the company’s supposed to have a suite of business cloud solutions focused on driving revenue from cloud computing. It figures there’s huge market potential for a provider of cloud-based commerce capabilities such as subscription billing and payments given predictions like Merrill Lynch’s that puts the addressable market for cloud computing at $160 billion, including $95 billion in business and productivity applications.... (more)