Exadel Delivers Open-Source Toolkit with Eclipse, AJAX Flavor

Exadel Studio Pro 3.5 boasts enhanced AJAX support that leverages open-source and enterprise Java technologies within the Eclipse environment.

Exadel Inc. announced Jan. 30 the release of Exadel Studio Pro 3.5, an enterprise-class Web application development environment with enhanced AJAX support that leverages open-source and enterprise Java technologies within the Eclipse environment.

Exadel Studio Pro 3.5 combines visual and source-oriented development approaches and enables developers to work with multiple frameworks within a single environment.

Key new features in Exadel Studio Pro 3.5 include support for AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) MyFaces components; new configuration wizards for the Visual Page Editor; support for new Struts Shale; and upgraded Facelets 1.0 extension to JSF (JavaServer Faces). The integrated development environment is based on the Eclipse WTP (Web Tools Project) 1.0, said Igor Shabalov, vice president of product development at Concord, Calif.-based Exadel.

Open-source technologies that Exadel Studio Pro 3.5 supports include JSF, MyFaces, AJAX, Facelets, Oracle ADF (Application Developer Framework), Shale, Struts, Spring, Hibernate and Data Access Objects.

Amy Cole, chief marketing officer at Exadel, said Exadel Studio 3.5 is the only IDE to support the 1.0 version of the Eclipse WTP.

Shale is a Struts subproject at the Apache Software Foundation. Not only does Exadel 3.5 support Struts, but also the newer Shale framework and the Facelets 1.0 extension to JSF—technologies aimed at making the design of Web applications faster and more powerful, Shabalov said.

Exadel Studio Pro 3.5 features extensive support for the AJAX JSF components in the Apache MyFaces sandbox component library, Shabalov said. However, it doesnt bundle AJAX components, but fully integrates them into the visual editing environment in four specific ways, he said.

One way is that the AJAX components are easily accessible through the Exadel Palette used with the Exadel VPE (Visual Page Editor). Also, dragging and dropping an AJAX component onto a page using VPE launches a wizard for setting up the component for use in the page. And the display in VPE of AJAX components on a page is completely handled out-of-the-box by customizable templates that come with Exadel Studio. In addition, full code assist is available for editing source code with AJAX components, Shabalov said.

"Some think supporting AJAX is providing JavaScript code, so they give you a JavaScript editor," he said. "Weve had that for a long time. Our differentiation point is we believe that in order to use AJAX people dont need JavaScript at all. ... The key is to add AJAX support to JSF components. This is the first step." And it is also a step that Shabalov acknowledges other companies such as Sun Microsystems and Oracle are taking. Sun announced a similar strategy for its Java Studio Creator 2 Jan. 25.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read more about Suns Java Studio Creator 2.

With the Exadel tool developers can leverage AJAX to produce more efficient JSF applications by taking advantage of Exadel Palette support, component configuration wizards, WYSIWYG for working with the components, and specialized code assist in source code, according to Shabalov.

Cole said Exadel provides three primary offerings: open-source tools, training, and professional services and support, with more than 70 percent of the companys revenues coming from services. Exadel services include feasibility assessments, technology and migration road maps, community engagement plans, open-source development models, software frameworks reviews, vendor evaluation and selection, and education.

Shabalov said he views Exadels competition on various levels, but at the tools level, the primary competitors are BEA Systems M7 and Genuitecs MyEclipse.

Exadel has priced Exadel Studio Pro 3.5 at $199, an increase over the $99 the company charged for version 3.0 last year. However, Cole said she does not expect to see any negative impact on sales due to the higher price.

"Our products are very under-priced compared with the functionality we include in the software.

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