Yahoo, TIBCO, Oracle Join AJAX Craze

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2006-02-14

Yahoo, TIBCO, Oracle Join AJAX Craze

With the AJAX style of development among the hottest developer crazes around, every vendor or prominent Web player is rushing to announce support.

Yahoo is among the latest to demonstrate support for AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), with its new Yahoo User Interface Library.

The Yahoo User Interface Library is a set of utilities and controls written in JavaScript for building richly interactive Web applications using techniques such as DOM (Document Object Model) scripting, HTML and AJAX, the Sunnyvale, Calif., company said.

"This utility library helps manage XMLHttpRequest (commonly referred to as AJAX) transactions in a cross-browser fashion, including integrated support for form posts, error handling and callbacks," said a document describing the library on Yahoos Web site.

The Yahoo library supports animation. With the Yahoo User Interface Library, developers can "create cinematic effects on their pages by animating the position, size, opacity or other characteristics of page elements," the document said.

Moreover, "The Yahoo UI Library Controls provide highly interactive visual design elements for your Web pages," the Yahoo document said. "These elements are created and managed entirely on the client side and never require a page refresh."

IBM leads an open-source initiative to promote AJAX. Click here to read more.

In addition, all the components in the Yahoo User Interface Library "have been released as open source under a BSD [Berkeley Software Distribution] license and are free for all uses," the Yahoo document said.

Another vendor, TIBCO Software, of Palo Alto, Calif., on Feb. 13 announced the availability of TIBCO General Interface version 3.1 Professional Edition, which features a new licensing and pricing model.

With the version 3.1 Professional Edition, TIBCO General Interface is being made available to build and test AJAX-enabled applications for free, said Kevin Hakman, director of product marketing for TIBCOs General Interface.

"Were very excited about this particular release," Hakman said. "AJAX has been taking off in the enterprise."

Next Page: Offerings from TIBCO, Oracle and Zapatec.

Offerings from TIBCO, Oracle

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General Interface 3.1 features faster drag-and-drop visual authoring tools for standard XML & XSD (XML Schema Definition), SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and WSDL (Web Services Description Language) communications, as well as HTTP/S GET and POST operations, dramatically reducing scripting time, Hakman said.

Meanwhile, unlike most Web development tools that require additional software such as plug-ins, ActiveX controls or Java applets to be installed or added to the browser, TIBCO General Interface works with existing capabilities of the browser, enabling users to get a full-featured application instantly from a URL, Hakman said.

The product delivers reduced development time and cost through use of familiar APIs, visual authoring tools, step-through debugging and extensible, reusable components, he said.

"Our new pricing and licensing model brings the proven enterprise benefits of General Interface to every corner of the developer community," said Ram Menon, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at TIBCO.

"We believe that this differentiated strategy will provide the flexibility for individuals and organizations to choose the best approach for developing, testing and deploying Rich Internet Applications using one of the most mature tools available today."

Hakman said TIBCO General Interface Version 3.1 Professional Edition is available free for public use. However, non-public deployments to small user groups start at $499 for the TIBCO General Interface Professional Edition license option.

Oracle is another vendor delivering technology in support of AJAX. Released Feb. 14, Oracle JDeveloper 10g Release 3 features native AJAX support to help create interactive Web applications that simplify users browsing experience and enhance Internet navigation.

Does AJAX pose security and performance risks? Read more here.

Meanwhile, Zapatec, of Berkeley, Calif., announced Feb.7 the availability of its Zapatec AJAX Suite.

The Zapatec Suite features several components: The form-handling widget provides client-side validation and error correction; the grid widget provides sorting, filtering and paging of tabular data; the windows widget provides desktop-style windows and dialog boxes in a Web page; the menu widget provides vertical, horizontal, drop-down and context menus; the calendar widget provides a date and time picker; and the tree widget provides a customizable hierarchical view.

"While several companies like IBM, Sun, and Microsoft have announced their plans to provide AJAX solutions, the Zapatec AJAX Suite and its components are available today, and are already being deployed by real customers," Dror Matalon, president of Zapatec, said in a statement.

"Our AJAX components are feature-rich, yet easy to deploy. We help developers take their Web applications to the next level by plugging the Zapatec AJAX form or grid into their applications in just a few hours, versus days or weeks."

The Zapatec AJAX Suite is available now.

The Suite works with all modern browsers including IE 5.0+, Mozilla 1.2+, Opera 8.0+, Firefox 1.0+, and Safari 1.2+. Commercial versions start at $399. The Lite version of the Zapatec AJAX Suite is free.

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