Eclipse Unwraps RAP

The Eclipse Foundation serves up its first AJAX server.

The Eclipse Foundation is rolling out Eclipse Rich AJAX Platform 1.0, a freely downloadable AJAX server for creating and deploying rich Internet applications.

RAP 1.0 is the first Asynchronous JavaScript and XML platform that allows developers to create RIAs using the Eclipse component model, based on the Open Services Gateway Initiative standard. OSGi is a service-oriented, component-based environment that promotes the interoperability of applications and services, Eclipse officials said.

Organizations using RAP are now able to create AJAX applications and RIAs that are component-based and integrate into existing enterprise systems, said Jochen Krause, CEO of Innoopract, based in Karlsruhe, Germany, with U.S. headquarters in Portland, Ore.

Innoopract, a longtime Eclipse member, is the leader of the Eclipse AJAX Toolkit Framework.

"Were launching the first AJAX server from," Krause said. "This is the first time you have a modular, componentized approach where people can use Java to deploy RIAs. Moreover, in terms of functionality, what people have successfully used and deployed with our rich data technology is now available for rich applications."

He said that the Eclipse RCP (Rich Client Platform) framework, which has been used by users, can be used by Web applications.

Roberto Sanchez, CEO of Autonomind, an IT consulting and professional services firm in Madrid, said he has been a RAP user since the technology hit its second anniversary in the Eclipse process in March.


To read about Googles release of an AJAX feed API, click here.

Autonomind has developed an application using RAP called AMVitae, according to Sanchez. It is designed to store curriculum vitae. Users can register themselves in the application and include such information as their professional experience, technical skills and language abilities, he said.

The users information is stored in Autonominds database in XML format. "From this point … Autonomind can find it when we have a new project or request by our customers; we use search system based in keywords," he said. "Once the curriculum vitae [is] found, we can download it in PDF, and it begins a communication process among all parties. Application users are potentially software engineers and system administrators."

Sanchez praised RAP and the work that developers are putting into it, though he added that he believes "RAP is too oriented to Eclipse/RCP developers instead Java Web developers. I understand that for Release 1.0, [the] priority is to be compliant with the RCP API. However, in the future they should look around at others Java Web frameworks in order to develop their features, which are based in traditional Web development requirements."

"Very many people have Java know-how," Krause said, "but relatively few have JavaScript know-how, so people can use the toolset they are already used to," rather than struggle with JavaScript.

Krause also expects the RAP team to be able to reuse a very large part of the Eclipse Platform and make it available to the community.


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