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Eclipse Launches Ajax Programming Platform

By Nancy Cohen
Oct 17, 2007 8:02 AM PT

If the director of a Madrid, Spain-based professional services company is caught bragging about the terrific-looking Internet application he created called "AmVitae," cut him some slack. His application has all the clarity, design and ease of use characteristic of a professional piece of work.

Eclipse Launches Ajax Programming Platform

Roberto Sánchez Custodio, director of Autonomind, pulled AmVitae off using the Eclipse Rich Ajax Platform (RAP). The Eclipse Foundation on Monday announced the release of RAP 1.0.

"RAP is a nice framework for building Web applications," Custodio told LinuxInsider. "You don't need to manage HTML or Javascript code."

Custodio is no stranger to development tools; he's been using JBoss, Tomcat, Geronimo, Ant and Java technology for eight years. Building in Ajax -- asynchronous Javascript and XML -- is a small step.

Content With Context

For Custodio and other businesspeople working on browser-based or desktop-based applications, RAP is a jump-start tool for getting the "richer" look of content enhanced by visual context and skirting complexities.

"With RAP, you don't need a deep knowledge of user interface design," he said. Another plus is that it is "easily scalable. You can add new views, perspectives and plug-ins without effort."

The word "component" is key to RAP 1.0. Its development environment allows developers to build component-based applications that integrate into existing systems.

Project Leader

The response to RAP has been wonderful, said Eclipse RAP project leader Jochen Krause, who is also the head of Innoopract, a Germany-based software and services company.

"We see a lot of interest from organizations that want to create Ajax applications but can't sacrifice developer productivity," he said.

IBM first brought Eclipse to the development scene in November 2001 as a project supported by a software vendor consortium. Three years later, Eclipse Foundation became an independent entity with a stewardship role.

IBM nonetheless remains a key cheerleader for the community. "The Eclipse community invested quite a bit of time defining and gaining agreement on the Eclipse development process and what it takes to pass a release review," said John Kellerman, IBM product manager, Jazz and Eclipse.

Ajax Investments

"While RAP currently doesn't meet our needs, IBM is making large investments in Ajax [user interfaces] on a number of fronts including as part of the Jazz project at," Kellerman told LinuxInsider.

IBM comes out as beneficiary. The release "will contribute to continued growth of the Eclipse community, which will in turn benefit IBM and our partners and developers," he noted. "IBM today consumes and redistributes 15 projects from Eclipse in over 350 products."

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