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

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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)

Where Are RIA Technologies Headed in 2008?

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)

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)

Java Kicks Ruby on Rails in the Butt

This article tries to demonstrate that Java can be more productive than Ruby. We are going to develop the same application of the article Rolling with Ruby on Rails Revisited (part 1 [1] and part 2 [2]) but using POJO [3]s annotated with JPA [4] and a Model Driven Framework, OpenXava [5] in this case. The result is that with less code, and less time you obtain a more powerful application. Ruby and rails: The regressive framework Ruby on rails [6] is so elegant, so easy, so productive. I cannot avoid read and heard continuously these comments. For example, the article Rolling with Ruby on Rails Revisited of Bill Walton says: “What would you think if I told you that you can develop a web application at least ten times faster with Rails than you can with a typical Java framework?” Oops! Ten times faster! Well, after these comments I decided to learn Ruby on Rails. I ne... (more)

"Java Is Dead, Long Live Java!" – The Future of Java

It seems that lately lots of writers have been bashing Java. Some people seem to think that Java has stagnated, and that the "hyper-enthusiasts" have left. Well, the rest of us are just quietly coding on a platform that is more exciting than ever. Other technologies like Ruby, PHP, .NET, or AJAX might get more hype and acclaim lately, but hype aside, Java still produces the majority of innovation in the software profession. You can get a sense of Java's health by simply looking at how many projects are out there using Java. Pop on over to Sourceforge and look at the number of projects by language: http://sourceforge.net/softwaremap/trove_list.php?form_cat=160. Certainly Sourceforge is not the final measure, but it's a reasonable reality check. Anyway, you'll find 17300+ Java projects, the most of any language. That's more than PHP (12675), Ruby (425), and .NET (3094... (more)

AJAX - The Center Of Laszlo's Plans For The Future

With the announcement that IBM would be launching the Open AJAX initiative came a long list of participating companies. Among them was Laszlo Systems, the company behind the proprietary LZX design language for rich Internet applications. The commitment is seemingly incongruous, since LZX is translated by Laszlo’s compiler into Flash code. But David Temkin, CTO and founder of Laszlo Systems, said that AJAX is at the center of Laszlo’s plans for the future. “LZX, from a certain point of view, is all about AJAX,” said Temkin, whose company previously worked with IBM on the OpenLaszlo project. “It’s about XML transactions and JavaScript transactions on the client. This is about bringing LZX more into the AJAX mainstream. It’s getting us into conversations with other people making these AJAX toolkits.” When LZX is compiled,... (more)

A Compelling Ajax Discussion in New York City

A Compelling Ajax Discussion in New York City It was a tiring but thrilling day yesterday in Times Square at the Real-World Ajax Seminar.  There was a stellar line-up of speakers including the "Father of Ajax" himself, Jesse James Garrett, Bill Scott, Ajax Evangelist for Yahoo!, Scott Dietzen, CEO of Zimbra, David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of Ruby on Rails, Dave Crane, author of the #1 bestselling Ajax book to name just a few of the Ajax experts there.  SYS-CON Media, the folks holding the conference, even arranged for me to tape a good number of conversations with the speakers and I think they came out extremely well with lots of good personalities and interesting information.  I'll publish links to them as they get through post-production and get released on SYS-CON TV. Themes: Optimism and excitement, tempered with pragmatism The event clearly painted a picture of ... (more)

Does i-Technology Matter?

When Nicholas Carr posed the question "Does IT Matter?" in his now-famous Harvard Business Review essay, he clearly knew that it would provoke discussion. He probably didn't know, on the other hand, that it would eventually cause the world's richest man - whose wealth is derived 100% from IT - to call the essay, during a dinner party at his home, "the dumbest thing I've ever read."  When extended by Nick Carr and published in book form, the essay was subtitled: "Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage." Carr's thesis, simply put, was that since business profits are based on your ability to differentiate yourself, you can only gain an advantage over your competitors by having or doing something that they can't have or do; thus, as IT becomes more and more a commodity, its ability to help your business differentiate itself will decrease As... (more)

Rich Internet Applications with Adobe Flex 2 and Java

A typical Java developer knows that when you need to develop a GUI for a Java application, Swing is the tool. Eclipse SWT also has a number of followers, but the majority of people use Java Swing. For the past 10 years, it was a given that Swing development wouldn't be easy; you have to master working with the event-dispatch thread, GridBaglayout, and the like. Recently, the NetBeans team created a nice GUI designer called Matisse, which was also ported to MyEclipse. Prior to Matisse, JBuilder had the best Swing designer, but it was too expensive. Now a good designer comes with NetBeans for free. Why even consider Flex for developing Rich Internet Applications (RIA)? First, we'll give the short answer. Just look at the code in Listing 1. This code compiles and runs in the Flash player and produces the output shown in Figure 1. Yes, it's a tree control with several no... (more)

Tracking RIAs with Google Analytics and Unica NetInsight

Judah Phillips' "Web Analytics Demystified" Blog All this talk about 'the death of the page view,' 'AJAX,' 'rich media,' 'engagement,' and 'events" is enough to make even the most savvy Web analyst think twice about what we're measuring these days.  When you use Google Maps, the name of the page doesn't change. (So now you see where all that page view death conversation comes from.) 'Traditional' web analytics care about when the page name changes - they see that as an important event. Suddenly, that's changed. It is true that with new client-side technologies, the page view is no longer the holiest of holy metrics anymore (personally I’ve always liked to see increases sessions and in “page views per unique visitor”). But the page view is far from dead. Rather the page view is evolving to become a type of “major” event in the Web 2.0 experience. Now before I go on, l... (more)