ClearNova Open-Sources AJAX Framework

The company hopes the move spurs the use of AJAX in building rich Internet applications.

ClearNova Inc. is open-sourcing its Asynchronous Java and XML development platform in an effort to spur the use of AJAX in building rich Internet applications as well as to accelerate sales and services around the companys ThinkCap tool set.

ClearNova, of Alpharetta, Ga., Tuesday is expected to announce plans to open-source its ThinkCap JX visual development environment for AJAX development. However, the company will maintain a dual-licensing strategy by releasing ThinkCap JX under the GNU GPL (General Public License) for noncommercial distribution, while also making it available to developers requiring a commercial license and indemnification for $2,000 per developer, ClearNova officials said.

Byron Matheson, chief executive of ClearNova, said ThinkCap JX combines AJAX development with J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) and open-source components, and it enables developers to build applications without having to master JavaScript. ThinkCap JX enables the use of Java on the server and JavaScript on the client, and the product also supports agile development, the company said.

In addition, the platform combines components from 25 different open-source projects including Struts and Hibernate, and features a framework that brings them all together, Matheson said.

Indeed, two open-source AJAX projects make up the core of the ThinkCap AJAX functionality: Prototype and, Matheson said. These two JavaScript libraries also power the AJAX capabilities in the popular Ruby on Rails framework, he said.

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Meanwhile, ThinkCap features other open-source and standards-based projects, including OpenRico, JUnit, log4J, JFreeChart, Apache Axis, Apache Commons, Castor, JEP, Jakarta, JavaTidy and Xerces, among others, the company said.

Meanwhile, to provide additional support for its open-source development environment, ClearNova also offers the ThinkCap JX Workbench, a visual design and development environment that features an intuitive development environment, integration with the Eclipse open-source development platform, a page flow designer and source control. ThinkCap JX Workbench is available as a subscription for $499 a year.

ThinkCap JX is available for download at And beginning next month, the site will provide community support as a place for developers to share experiences and knowledge, get bug fixes, request features, and interact with other developers, the company said. Matheson said ClearNova will provide training, consulting, maintenance and support for ThinkCap JX.

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