TIBCO Advances AJAX Messaging

TIBCO's AJAX Message Service pushes live data from servers to web pages.

TIBCO Software Inc. recently announced the availability of TIBCO AJAX Message Service Version 1.0, its enterprise messaging software.

The service pushes live data and events from servers to Web pages, AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) applications and other software.

Kevin Hakman, director of product management at Palo Alto, Calif.-based TIBCO, said the companys long history in facilitating real-time information flow with its Enterprise Message Service software—publishing events and messages across a network without the subscribing applications needing to request or "poll" for data.

Hakman said with the recent growth of AJAX-based RIA (Rich Internet Applications), TIBCO sought to incorporate AJAX into its messaging capabilities to provide the opportunity for organizations to offer rich, interactive services and information such as real-time notifications, dashboards or financial services portfolio management and derivatives data via Web-based infrastructure.

Hakman said TIBCO AMS enables data and events to stream to the client over the firewall-friendly and HTTP networks that make up corporate intranets and the Web. Meanwhile, as many users prefer to deliver applications to the Web browser, TIBCOs AMS requires no plug-ins, applets, Active-X controls or software installations to connect.

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The product features support for multiple concurrent users; performance monitoring; multiplexing to combine message streams over a single HTTP connection; throttling to detect available bandwidth and adjust data flows accordingly; and the filtering of data streams.

"Its applicable to a broad range of industry needs," Hakman said of TIBCO AMS. "We want to enable the same kind of functionality people have achieved through thick clients."

However, "This is all about the transport of information over the Web," Hakman said. "The Web page doesnt have to request the information," he added. The connection is made via a "GET" statement, he said.

Alex Russell, one of the creators of the popular Dojo Toolkit AJAX framework and head of the Dojo Foundation, coined the term Comet to describe applications where the server keeps pushing—or streaming—data to the client, instead of having the browser keep polling the server for fresh content. Hakman said TIBCO AMS is a Comet technology.

"AMS is a natural extension of TIBCOs legacy in enterprise message bus technology," said Kathleen Quirk, program manager for enterprise workplace applications and portal strategies research at International Data Corp., in a statement. "Combining real-time data delivery with a rich client on the front-end provides an enhanced level of usability for business users, and gives developers an enterprise-tested set of technologies to build applications that are more in tune with business information requirements."

Hakman said, "TIBCO is the information bus company and has a tremendous amount of expertise in this area. And this product has the feature set to do this at the enterprise level."

Moreover, in a statement, Hakman added: "The ability to push data to the browser has been around for a while. However, the real differentiation as it relates to enterprise use is with scalability and reliability of such solutions. AMS is a specialized server for this purpose. With features such as message multiplexing, filtering, automatic bandwidth detection and data throttling, AMS simplifies the inherent difficulties of scaling such capabilities and makes them turn-key for our customers."

In addition, TIBCO also announced an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) license agreement with Lightstreamer (also known as Weswit Srl.), Milano, Italy, for its high-performance push/streaming engine.

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