Enterprise Web App Platform Maker UnCurls Code

Curl plans to release much of its code for the Curl Rich Internet Application (RIA) platform to the open source community to enhance the development of Web 2.0 applications.

The company announced Monday the first step in its open source strategy — the creation of a common repository of open source component libraries to support the rapid development of enterprise-class RIAs. Curl’s Open Source projects are provided under the Apache V2.0 License and hosted by SourceForge.

“The decision to release all of the Curl source code above the RTE was made to encourage broad adoption of Curl as a viable enterprise RIA platform and provide all of the components required to support development of Curl applications,” Richard Treadway, vice president of product strategy for Curl, told LinuxInsider.

New Projects Too

As part of its first step to support open source technology initiatives, Curl is sponsoring three open source projects. These projects target developers of applications for Web services and data-centric applications.

“Enterprise developers increasingly demand access to open source software, and this trend is even stronger with Web-based technologies such as Rich Internet Applications,” said Bert Halstead, vice president and chief architect at Curl. “It’s important to provide this community with tools and components that support the rapid development of Curl-based applications.”

Curl’s Rich Internet Application platform is available in base and pro versions. The base versions of each are free and offer an alternative to developers creating Web applications that require rich interactive interfaces. The pro versions enhance the base versions with additional security, performance and maintainability features for enterprise class applications.

Spreading the Word

Curl officials hope that releasing the code will help to create a vibrant community of Curl developers. The goal is to develop new RIAs with added performance and features that other platforms lack but to remove the concern that Curl is a proprietary platform.

“All new programming languages are either open or originate from major players. It is becoming increasingly expected that you have an open source offering in this space,” Treadway explained. “More and more companies are moving to an open source business model. We are trying to make our products reflect the needs and desires of our customers that are using it.”

Curl has had success in Japan with its products, becoming a considerable revenue stream, he explained. The growth trend for the RIA market is just starting in the U.S. because this country typically relies on prepackaged outsourced software rather than in-house application development, he noted.

“There is a substantial opportunity for RIAs here, especially for data-intensive enterprise applications,” Treadway said.

What It Does

Curl provides a Rich Internet Application platform for building and deploying Web-based applications. RIA-structured applications require complex, highly interactive interfaces that were previously possible only as client-server applications.

Using Curl, developers can implement a new class of complex, business-critical, Web-based applications that cannot easily be developed with Ajax or other smart client technologies, said Curl officials.

The Curl RIA platform allows corporations with legacy client-server applications to move to Web-based delivery. This can result in increased reach and reduced cost.

Curl plans to create additional open source projects in the future.

Project Rundown

  • Web Services Development Kit (WSDK) provides tools to develop Curl applications that make use of Web services such as SOAP/WSDL (Service Oriented Architecture Protocol/Web Services Description Language) and an XML (Extensible Markup Language) document model. The WSDK was originally released in 2004 and was followed by several maintenance releases through the fall 2006.
  • Curl Data Kit (CDK) is a library that facilitates data-centric application development in Curl. It features support for client-side SQLite databases, which is the same standard supported by Adobe AIR and Google Gears. The CDK library enables a Curl application to store and retrieve data using SQLite and is an important foundation for Curl occasionally connected computing (OCC) applications.
  • Curl Development Utilities (CDU) provide functions supporting application development, including unit testing and project development. CDU consolidates techniques used in existing projects, as these infrastructural components are used by both the WSDK and CDK projects.

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