Enterprise-Class Web 2.0 Development Gets a Boost From the OpenAjax Alliance

Ajax Vendors and Developers Give the New OpenAjax IDE and Mashups Workflows a "Thumbs Up" for Interoperability

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - October 20, 2008) - At today's AJAXWorld, the OpenAjax Alliance announced the successful interoperability of two key technologies with more than a dozen Ajax products. These advances will further enable software developers to create enterprise-class web sites with Web 2.0 features using its open standards software.

Ajax, based on open formats such as HTML and JavaScript, is the web development technology behind most interactive, rich Web 2.0 applications -- such as mashups, widgets and gadgets. With today's milestone, the Alliance is showing that the technologies announced in the spring can successfully interoperate with industry-leading Ajax products.

The OpenAjax standards address two workflows, Ajax Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) and Ajax mashups. These OpenAjax standards initiatives will enable better Ajax developer tools and will promote greater security and interoperability with mashups. This is critical as Web 2.0 applications extend from the consumer space into the enterprise.

Adobe, Aptana, the Dojo Foundation, the Eclipse Foundation, Google, IBM, ILOG, Lightstreamer, Nexaweb, ProgrammableWeb, SAP and TIBCO are among the vendors who received interoperability awards today for OpenAjax standards for Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) and mashups, a website or application that combines content from more than one source into a browser-based web application.

The OpenAjax Alliance is an organization of vendors, open source projects and companies using Ajax that are dedicated to the successful adoption of open and interoperable Ajax-based Web technologies. OpenAjax members include more than 100 organizations including Adobe, the Eclipse Foundation, Google, IBM and Microsoft working towards the mutual goal of accelerating customer success with Ajax. The prime objective of the group is to accelerate customer success with Ajax by promoting a customer's ability to mix and match solutions from Ajax technology providers and to help drive the future of the Ajax ecosystem. To learn more about OpenAjax Alliance, please visit:

The Alliance's Latest Milestones:

1. Metadata Integration: The Ajax industry today has several popular developer tools known as IDEs -- Integrated Development Environments -- and hundreds of useful Ajax libraries, but integration of Ajax libraries into Ajax tools has been a largely library-by-library manual process for the tool vendors. As a result, Ajax tools only provide strong code assist and interactive-help features for a highly restricted set of Ajax libraries, and have difficulty maintaining compatibility with new Ajax library releases.

To solve this integration problem, OpenAjax Alliance has developed an industry standard XML format, OpenAjax Metadata, that describes the JavaScript APIs and widgets found in Ajax libraries. This standard will allow arbitrary Ajax tools to work with arbitrary Ajax libraries so that the tools can provide intelligent code assist, interactive help, and drag-and-drop visual editing using Ajax widgets.

"The OAA Metadata specification is a huge win for Ajax," said Kevin Hakman, chair of IDE Working Group and director of Evangelism, Aptana, Inc. "With the dominant majority of all leading IDEs having contributed to the specification and having pledged to support it, soon anyone creating Ajax libraries or widgets and describing those with the OAA Metadata can be assured to have broad compatibility with a vast array of tools -- and developers will be able to further ease and accelerate their projects that include Ajax."

2. Mashup Security: Mashups represent a revolution in Web application development, where end users can assemble situational applications within the browser by drag-and-drop assembly of pre-built web components (widgets and feeds) onto a mashup canvas. However, mashups represent a security challenge due to the risk of potentially malicious third-party components.

The alliance has produced OpenAjax Hub 1.1, which provides an industry-standard secure mashup runtime that isolates third-party widgets into security sandboxes and mediates messaging among the widgets with a security manager. OpenAjax Hub 1.1 will be delivered as both an open specification and commercial-grade open source reference implementation.

"Today's announcements from the Alliance illustrate how OpenAjax is evolving from the consumer space into the enterprise by being able to run mashups, widgets and gadgets in Ajax applications," said David Boloker, OpenAjax Alliance Steering Committee chairman and chief technology officer for Emerging Internet Technology, IBM.

3. Widget Interoperability Standard: The alliance includes within its OpenAjax Metadata standard the ability to define "mashable widgets," where widgets identify the properties that they share with other widgets and the messages that they can publish and receive from other widgets.

To speed industry adoption of its mashup technologies, the alliance has produced both an industry XML format for "mashable widgets" and an open source mashup application that demonstrates all of its mashup technologies working together. The mashable widget format is upwardly compatible with the OpenAjax widget format used to document widgets within an Ajax library, thereby allowing Ajax widget libraries to be "mashup ready." The open source mashup application provides reusable open source for processing the OpenAjax Metadata standard for mashable widgets. The mashup application also demonstrates integration of OpenAjax Hub 1.1 in order to provide a secure mashup runtime. The alliance has also developed an open source widget repository that supports the OpenSearch standard.

"The mashup work at OpenAjax Alliance will help accelerate the time when end-user mashups will become a mainstream part of Web application development," said Stewart Nickolas, chair of the Gadgets Task Force and distinguished engineer at IBM. "The alliance has addressed both the widget interoperability problem facing the industry with its widget standard that is in OpenAjax Metadata and with the open source mashup runtime in OpenAjax Hub 1.1."



"With the recently launched Adobe Dreamweaver CS4, Adobe's goal was to take the mystery out of Ajax development, and give our customers a rapid and intuitive way to incorporate Web Widgets into their projects," said Scott Fegette, product manager in Adobe's Creative Solutions Business Unit. "That's why we used OpenAjax Metadata as Dreamweaver's native format for defining Ajax widgets -- so our customers could easily take advantage of widgets from a variety of third-party developers to enhance their designs."


"Aptana is pleased to have contributed to this milestone specification for the API metadata, much of which was derived from the open source ScriptDoc format from Aptana," said Lori Hylan-Cho, Ajax wrangler, Aptana, Inc. "This means that Aptana's ability to interpret the OAA metadata and use it to boost Ajax developers' productivity in Aptana Studio has been a breeze. We are excited that there's now a robust non-proprietary way to describe Ajax libraries and widgets in a consistent manner, which benefits tools, library and widget developers, and ultimately all JavaScript developers, who can look forward to improved code hinting and widget management in their IDEs."

The Dojo Foundation

The Dojo Foundation was a charter member of OpenAjax Alliance and serves on the OpenAjax Alliance Steering Committee. "The open source Dojo Toolkit is one of the industry's most popular and comprehensive Ajax development platform," said Dylan Schiemann, chief executive at Web application development and design firm SitePen and co-founder of the Dojo Foundation. "We are excited that many widgets from our Dijit project are available both to visual IDEs and to mashup applications due to support for OpenAjax Metadata. We are also pleased that the open source sample mashup application posted on the OpenAjax web site uses Dojo for many of its features."

The Eclipse Foundation

"The Eclipse Foundation has expanded its industry-leading open source IDE technologies to go beyond Java to also support JavaScript and Ajax developers," said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation. "We strongly support the IDE interoperability efforts at OpenAjax Alliance and are excited about our future support for OpenAjax Metadata within Eclipse's JSDT component. Our various JavaScript initiatives will allow Web developers to experience the same power and flexibility advantages that Java developers have realized for years from the open source Eclipse platform."


"Google believes in the value of the open web, and we are working with the web community to make the open web even better," said Graham Spencer, director of Engineering, Open Web Technologies, Google. "Therefore we're pleased to be recognized by the OpenAjax Alliance for our work in building interoperable Ajax technologies."

IBM Rational

"IBM is thrilled to see the Open Ajax Alliance provide specifications to increase interoperability between industry supplied widgets and tooling metadata. We are incorporating these specifications into Rational Application Developer," said Karen Hunt, director of Development Tools, IBM Rational Software. "The OpenAjax metadata support in Rational Application Developer will enable support for adding widgets to the palette, allowing the widgets to be in the drag-and-drop WYSIWYG page designer editor. In addition, the latest specification will help ensure that the Dojo Widgets we make available can interoperate with Google Gadgets, Microsoft Gadgets and others."


"ILOG is pleased to demonstrate compliance with the OpenAjax standards and to participate in this second InteropFest," said Jean François Abramatic, chief product officer, ILOG. "Ajax is a continued effort at ILOG with a solid need from the market for standards and interactive and graphical web displays."


"We are very pleased that Lightstreamer passed the 2008 InteropFest too, after the successful participation in the two previous InteropFests," said Alessandro Alinone, chief technology officer, Lightstreamer. "OpenAjax Metadata will be an important industry standard to simplify the development of Ajax applications based on different libraries. It will be even easier to leverage IDEs and mashup editors to integrate the Lightstreamer libraries into any application. With Lightstreamer, it is straightforward to implement the 'real-time Web,' based on the 'Comet' paradigm, updating any Web page with live, low-latency data."


"Nexaweb is committed to driving open Web innovation as evidenced by dojo.e, which allows users to more easily create enterprise Web applications based on the Dojo Toolkit," said Bob Buffone, chief architect, Nexaweb Technologies. "Further, the Alliance's efforts around mash-ups and integrated development environments go beyond traditional toolkits and enables Nexaweb to provide a comprehensive application modernization strategy and related software and services that advance the mission of the OpenAjax Alliance in accelerating customer success."


"ProgrammableWeb is the leading resource and community site for mashup developers and Web 2.0 development," said John Musser, founder of "We are happy to see OpenAjax Metadata's emerging standards around mashable widgets. These widget standards will enable easy drag-and-drop assembly of third-party visual components within a mashup."


"The 2008 OpenAjax Alliance InteropFest provided a great opportunity for SAP to demonstrate our support for enterprise-class mashup platforms," said Anne Hardy, vice president, SAP Research Americas and China. "Interoperability is a key requirement for our customers and provides the ability to compose flexible mashup applications using OpenAjax compatible web widgets."


"OpenAjax Gadgets, IDE and Hub provide a valuable common basis for the creation and integration of secure widgets and mashups. TIBCO is pleased to be a contributor to these efforts," said Howard Weingram, principal architect, TIBCO Software Inc.

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