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December 17, 2006

Nexaweb adds 4GL-like capabilities to Ajax tooling

While Ajax and similar Web 2.0 style applications reviving memories of client/server computing, the tooling is now starting to look like the 4GLs that were associated with the first wave of rich clients well over a decade ago.

By CBR Staff Writer

That’s very much the case with Nexaweb Studio, the latest version of the company’s Eclipse-based rich Internet application development tool. It is adding the capability to drag and drop over 30 Dojo controls, along with other third party Java and Ajax widget libraries. As you drag and drop, Nexaweb Studio automatically generates the necessary XML.

And it is adding a declarative data binding that looks an awful lot like the Data window technology made famous by the PowerBuilder 4GL during the client/server era. You can drag data sources such as a database table, a web service, or a REST-style data request service.

Nexaweb Studio 3.0’s support for Eclipse ATF, WST and DTP provides a declarative data binding framework for three-tier (presentation, business and data logic) development. By supporting the Eclipse Web Tools Project, Nexaweb apps can deploy to any J2EE or Java EE server.

Additionally, Nexaweb is releasing version 4.5 of its server deployment platform, which adds a universal client framework providing a common syntax for building rich web applications that can be deployed on Ajax or Java clients.

In essence, the new framework simplifies connecting Ajax clients to servers. Previously, Ajax clients could only connect using basic request and response via HTTP. The new framework employs a higher performance messaging layer. And its declarative data binding provides a more direct connection to the back end database through.

These are more efficient, but proprietary alternatives to HTTP request/response, and JAXB (Java XML Binding). But the result is that an Ajax client can talk to any server, whether it relies on Java, PHP, or other dynamic web language.

Admittedly, features like the proprietary messaging bus are probably of interest only to a select minority of clients with extremely high performance, such as The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, which has migrated its client/server-based institutional foreign exchange system to an integrated rich web-based mashup.

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