Apache Pivot Java RIA Platform Advances

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has announced that the Apache Pivot Java-based rich Internet application [RIA] project has reached Top-Level Project (TLP) status.

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has announced that the Apache Pivot Java-based rich Internet application [RIA] project has reached Top-Level Project (TLP) status.

When an Apache project graduates to TLP status that means the effort has reached a level of maturity and stability under the ASF's meritocratic process and principles. In addition to the TLP news on January 19, ASF also announced the release of Apache Pivot 1.4, the fourth update since joining the Apache Incubator in January 2009.

Apache Pivot is a platform for building rich Internet applications (RIAs) in Java. It combines the enhanced productivity and usability features of a modern RIA toolkit with the ubiquity and standards compliance of the Java platform. Pivot provides a foundation for sophisticated and engaging applications to be built and deployed over the Web. Because Pivot applications are written in Java, they can take full advantage of the features and industry support of the Java platform.

"Users have much higher expectations for Web applications now than they did 10 years ago," said Greg Brown, chair of the Apache Pivot Project Management Committee (PMC) and principal consultant at Cantina Consulting. "This is why we're seeing tools like Flex and Silverlight beginning to gain traction; however, both of these require developers who are otherwise happy using Java to switch technologies. Pivot is an attempt to create a modern, rich client development platform in Java."

Pivot provides a comprehensive set of standard user interface elements ranging from simple buttons to editable tree and table controls, ASF officials said. It also includes a number of features that simplify development of modern GUI applications, including an X M L markup language for declaring the structure of a user interface, data binding, animated effects and transitions, and Web services integration.

"I've tried the demos and I was stunned," said Pivot user Trelieux Einagen, in a statement. "The framework uses easy to understand markup for the applet front end while at the same time taking advantage of the power of Java for business logic and server side processing...I think the Java community in general is fortunate enough to have those guys at Pivot stand up and build something that can actually compete right now with the likes of Flash/Flex and Microsoft Silverlight/WPF without losing your sanity."

Another Pivot user, Scott Lanham, said, "The current default theme has a nice clean look and feel... I am impressed with the good selection of widgets. They appear to cover just about every need of an application... Well done with Pivot!"

And N. Forbes, a Java developer and Pivot user, said in a statement, "Thank you guys with coming up with Pivot. Java really, really needs a smooth, coherent RIA next-generation framework to 'seriously' compete with the likes of Flex and Silverlight/WPF... I saw someone comment on the Pivot Framework that it leverages existing Java skills to make the transition to the framework as seamless as possible. I looked at the source code and screamed out in joy: you guys may actually end up bailing out the Java RIA from pure academic obscurity and back into the more popular sphere of mind."

Apache Pivot 1.4 is released under the Apache Software License v2.0 and can be downloaded at http://pivot.apache.org/.