OpenAJAX Looks to Advance with New Members

The OpenAJAX group adds new members and plans a summit to develop a roadmap for the future of AJAX. The group also extended and invitation to Microsoft, but will the software giant join?

OpenAJAX, an industry group collaborating on the future of the Asynchronous JavaScript and XML style of development, has added 13 new members, bringing the total number of participating companies to 28, officials of the organization announced on May 9.

According to the OpenAJAX news release, the organizations goal is to promote AJAXs promise of universal compatibility with any computer device, application, desktop or operating system, and easy incorporation into new and existing software programs as well as foster AJAXs growth.

New OpenAJAX members announced May 9 include Adobe, Backbase, Fair Isaac, ICEsoft, Innoopract, Intel, JackBe, Opera, SAP, Scalix, Software AG, Tibco and XML11.

These new members join the initial members, including BEA, Borland, the Dojo Foundation, Eclipse Foundation, Google, IBM, Laszlo Systems, Mozilla Corporation, Novell, Openwave Systems, Oracle, Red Hat, Yahoo, Zend and Zimbra.

IBM initiated the OpenAJAX effort in February with the intent of expanding the adoption of AJAX and increasing the number of tools and runtimes.

AJAX simplifies the browsing experience and makes it easier for users to shop, work, plan, correspond and navigate online, because AJAX makes it unnecessary to manually refresh a browser to send or receive information over the Web.

David Boloker, chief technology officer for the Emerging Technology Group at IBM Software, said the OpenAJAX group is looking at what its going to take to grow the adoption of AJAX.

In fact, Boloker said the OpenAJAX group will hold a summit the week of May 15 in San Francisco to develop a roadmap for what the group will do.

The group will be looking at things like enhancing the AJAX programming capability and ways to put front ends on applications to enable them for AJAX…"stuff like runtime toolkits and testing," Boloker said.

"Were all getting together, 40-plus people to look at what needs to be done," Boloker said. "We need to look at what needs to be done in open source and what needs to be done with customers."

And any standards that might emerge from the effort will be turned over to a standards body, Boloker said. "Maybe the W3C [World Wide Web Consortium] or another standards body," he said.

/zimages/5/28571.gifClick here to read about how Java experts are predicting that AJAX will be huge.

"We also have to look at who AJAX is actually going to enable" Boloker said. "The first place we saw it was in B2C [business-to-consumer]. Now its in the enterprise space—mostly intranets.

Meanwhile, Bolokers group within IBM is leading the ATF (AJAX Toolkit Framework) project within the Eclipse Foundation. The ATF project is focusing on building tooling to help developers with AJAX deployments.

Moreover, Boloker said the OpenAJAX group has extended an invitation to Microsoft to join the effort. However, Boloker said they have not yet received a response from the software giant.

Microsoft has an AJAX-enabling tool in the works known as Atlas. Atlas is not expected before 2007.

Also, while the OpenAJAX group plans to meet on May 15 and 16, many of the groups individual companies will also be in attendance at the AJAX Experience conference the week of May 8 in San Francisco.

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