Monday, October 15th, 2007
Ben and I have been surprised at how the universe of Ajax continues to expand. This redshift which has taken it past the browser onto the phone, the Wii, and the server is amazing.
Another technology that has done a similar thing is OSGi in the Java space. It started as a component model for devices, but has since grown to the desktop with Eclipse, and now the server.
To ties these together, the Eclipse Foundation has announced Eclipse Rich Ajax Platform (RAP) 1.0:
RAP 1.0 is the first Ajax platform that allows developers to create Rich Internet Applications (RIA) using the Eclipse component model, based on the OSGi standard. OSGi is a service-oriented, component-based environment that promotes the interoperability of applications and services. Organizations using RAP are now able to create Ajax and RIA applications that are component-based and integrate into existing enterprise systems.
RAP 1.0 includes features well-suited for enterprises that are building a large number of new applications based on Ajax and RIA technologies. These features include:
- The ability to create and deploy RIA or RCP applications from the same Java code base, allowing organizations the flexibility to create browser-based RIA application or desktop-based rich client applications.
- Support for creating Ajax applications based on the OSGi component model.
- Java development tools that tightly integrate with the Eclipse platform and allow developers to quickly develop, test, debug and deploy RIA applications.
- A complete set of frameworks for creating Ajax applications that support scalable user interfaces, complex widgets, databinding and loose coupling for UI elements.
Jochen Krause sat down with me to chat a little about what RAP is about. He talked about how the target audience for RAP is Java developers in the enterprise setting. If you know RCP/SWT and you want to develop rich browser applications, you are set. Jochen says that his company has seen that they can share the same base of code (~80%) for products that deploy to the web and the desktop. You get the benefit of using the same workbench and extension points that you know and love from RCP.
Jochen also thought that JSF wasn’t as well suited to Ajax development due to its history as a document-centric technology. Many in the community would disagree with that (just ask the Seam folk!).
Tooling is a definite benefit. You get all of the Eclipse tooling joy, and there is future work being done by many companies such as NEC to give you a rich DB -> client UI experience. This isn’t done just for RAP, but for Eclipse in general, and RAP gets to piggy back on the work.
All in all it is interesting to see what happens with the marriage of OSGi and Ajax!
Posted by Dion Almaer at 7:00 am