IBM Leads Open AJAX Initiative

A new industry initiative aims to promote the use of AJAX technology.

IBM and a group of industry leaders on Feb. 1 announced an open-source initiative to promote the adoption of AJAX technology.

The new initiative, known as Open AJAX, includes such prominent supporters as BEA Systems, Borland, the Dojo Foundation, the Eclipse Foundation, Google, IBM, Laszlo Systems, Mozilla, Novell, Openwave Systems, Oracle, Red Hat, Yahoo, Zend and Zimbra. The group plans to promote the use of Asynchronous JavaScript and XML and its use on various devices, applications, desktops or operating systems.

AJAX is a client technology that enriches the user experience for shopping, working, planning, corresponding and navigating online. AJAX makes updated information available automatically without refreshing the browser, among other benefits.

To promote the adoption of AJAX, IBM recently proposed the Eclipse AJAX Toolkit Framework. Now IBM is extending that effort to the industry at large.

Meanwhile, Zimbra said it will make its AJAX runtime tool kit available to the community under Apache and Mozilla public licenses. The runtime tool kit provides an object-oriented JavaScript class library with a standard set of widgets, an event framework, and communication tools, company officials said. Applications can then be served from practically any server and run in any browser, including Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari, according to the company.

The Open AJAX industry initiative will also continue to be well integrated with the Kabuki AJAX Toolkit Project recently accepted for incubation by the Apache Software Foundation.

/zimages/3/28571.gifPeter Coffee says AJAX has not been an overnight success. Click here to find out why.

"AJAX is sure off to a great start," said Scott Dietzen, chief technology officer at Zimbra, in a statement. "But AJAX will only achieve its potential if it remains a multi-browser, multi-client, multi-server, and multi-tool Web standard. Open-source AJAX widget tool kits like Zimbras and open-source AJAX authoring environments like the IBM-proposed Eclipse extensions are the best way to protect AJAX investment today and ensuring continuing innovation tomorrow."

Rod Smith, vice president of emerging technologies at IBM, said in a statement: "By building a community of innovation around Open AJAX, we are ensuring that the Web remains a place where breakthroughs can occur and where developers can quickly create applications to transform how businesses and people use, interact and access information on the Internet. This is an important step in IBMs effort—on behalf of our clients—to work with a broad coalition of industry leaders to bring open frameworks into computing solutions, and weve already been embracing AJAX and other technologies in our Lotus, WebSphere and Rational products to deliver these capabilities to businesses around the world."

Tony Baer, principal at onStrategies, a New York-based technology services group, said, "Just as there are Java and .Net camps, the Web 2.0 client is likely to winnow down to AJAX vs. Microsofts WPF [Windows Presentation Foundation]—as long as Open AJAX nurtures, rather than smothers the technology."

/zimages/3/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.