Open source Vaadin bridges Java to Ajax

Server-side code remains hidden

With rich Internet applications all the rage an open source Web framework dubbed Vaadin promises rapid Ajax development while keeping Java code on the server.

Many RIA frameworks rely on JavaScript libraries and browser plug-ins like Flash and Silverlight, but Vaadin claims to reduce this client complexity by running the majority of the logic on the server.

Vaadin development began in 2000 as an internal product of Finnish Web development company IT Mill. It was officially released as an open source project in December 2007 under the name IT Mill Toolkit 5 and then became Vaadin in 2009.

Vaadin is a collection of user interface components and Ajax technology is used on the browser side.

Developers compose the application user interface from components like Button, Table and Tree and the components use events, listeners and data binding to communicate with each other and the business logic.

Its developers say apps built with Vaadin support all Ajax-capable browsers and are secure as the server-side architecture ensures that the code is “hidden from the world”.

An Eclipse IDE plug-in is available for Vaadin. The plug-in can create applications for private Java servers or Google’s App Engine, client-side widgets, CSS themes and custom user interface components in the WYSIWYG editor.

The plug-in supports Eclipse Java Enterprise Edition versions Ganymede and Galileo.

More than 100 add-ons are available to extend Vaadin. Examples include themes, games and integration with other online services.

For documentation, the Book of Vaadin is available for free online and in PDF format.

Vaadin is available under the Apache 2.0 open source licence.

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Tags open sourcejavajavascriptajaxriarich internet applicationsVaadin

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