Tuesday, May 10th, 2005

Ajax Summit: Jacob Derechin from JackBe

Category: Ajax

Jacob is connected to the internet for his presentation through a *dial-up connection* to show how Ajax can “give you an application that really flies” through a small pipe and gives great responsiveness.

Jacob talked about JackBe, a company I’d not heard of. He says they bring “the speed and functionality of rich-client technology to business-critical web applications.” He claims they can bring a 20x speed-up with plug-ins.

They said they were unable to articulate what they did before the coined of the term “Ajax” and the related explanation of its architecture.

Jacob showed a slide of a bunch of their clients. So far, this is very much like any other vendor presentation I’ve seen. Ahhh, and here comes the product architecture slide, complete with a hundred boxes with proprietary product names. Hee hee, an EJB box. Err…

The gist of his product slide was to say that they get data on the back-end from a bunch of different sources, aggregate the data, and send the data to a javascript runtime library on the client, where they convert the data to HTML. Their use of a proprietary data stream format is what gets them performant on slow connections.

Jacob went on to demonstrate that, in fact, if you just transfer a small amount of data in a propreitary format to a javascript-based rendering engine, you can indeed make applications run fast on a dial-up connection.

He also demonstrated a cool IDE for building web applications. The IDE is necessary because their JavaScript engine does all the web rendering. It seems like a pretty cool product, though the vendor lock-in factor seems huge.

Their product doesn’t work with Safari (yet). They claim to be able to support it in two months. Jacob also said that they would have supported Opera, but they “went outside of W3C standards.” Hmm…

Posted by Ben Galbraith at 1:06 pm
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