Nexaweb upgrades Web 2.0 platform

Nexaweb launches a standards-based platform for building and deploying Enterprise Web 2.0 apps

Nexaweb on Monday is expanding its Enterprise Web 2.0 application platform, adding a client framework for AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) and Java as well as Web services enhancements.

Also featured is compliance with Section 508 Accessibility rules for application access by disabled persons.

The company is shipping Nexaweb Enterprise Web 2.0 Platform 4.5 and its partner IDE, Nexaweb Studio 3.0. Together, these comprise the Nexaweb Enterprise Web 2.0 suite. Separating Nexaweb's suite from development tools such as Visual Studio or Oracle JDeveloper is that it was built specifically for Web development, said David McFarlane, Nexaweb chief operating officer.

"Basically, all of this has been created to build specifically Web applications, as opposed to any other design environment," McFarlane said.

Enterprise Web 2.0 Platform is described by Nexaweb as a standards-based platform for building and deploying Enterprise Web 2.0 applications. Nexaweb in turn defines Enterprise Web 2.0 as Internet-based applications supporting thousands of users similar to how behind-the-firewall systems function. Examples of these applications could include financial trading or mutual fund accounting systems.

Platform 4.5 features the company's new Universal Client Framework, which accommodates Java and AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) client development. Dojo controls are featured as well. Portions of the framework have been submitted to the Apache Software Foundation as an open source project entitled eXtensible AJAX Platform.

Also included in Platform is Nexaweb's Internet Messaging Bus, for guaranteed message delivery. Enterprise data services also are part of the package.

Nexaweb's Web services support provides a universal data format to unite information distributed, multiplatform applications. Developers can set up Web services calls declaratively or programmatically using protocols and approaches such as SOAP or REST (Representational State Transfer).

Section 508 compliance, enabling applications to be accessed by screen readers and magnifiers, is reached using Java Accessibility API.

Nexaweb Studio 3.0 is an update to the company's Eclipse-based IDE. It features a drag-and-drop design environment and AJAX capabilities leveraging the Eclipse ATF (AJAX Toolkit Framework). Version 3.0 also supports Dojo controls and various third-party Java and AJAX widget libraries.

Nexaweb Studio 3.0 also features a plug-in to the Eclipse Data Tools Platform enabling developers to expose Web services registered with UDDI and plug them into applications, the company said.

Also highlighted in Studio 3.0 is a plug-in to the Eclipse WST (Web Standard Tools) subproject, which is intended to provide common infrastructure for any Eclipse-based development environment for building Web-enabled applications. Use of WST assists with providing a declarative data binding framework for development of presentation, business, and data logic.

Nexaweb offers a rich Internet application platform that tries to push business logic itself onto the client, said Ronald Schmelzer, senior analyst at ZapThink. "It's the whole idea of making the client platform a lot more intelligent," Schmelzer said.

The platform is client-agnostic in that application logic can be rendered onto AJAX, Java, and .Net clients, Schmelzer said. But it is similar to Flash and Java in that server-side logic is Nexaweb-specific and applications would need to be redone to move the server code, he said.

Nexaweb Enterprise Web 2.0 Platform 4.5 starts at US$12,000 per CPU and Nexaweb Studio 3.0 costs US$1,500.

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