Red Hat Teams With Ajax Partner On Open-Source Tools


Red Hat has teamed up with a pioneer Ajax tools supplier, Exadel, to offer open source tools for building applications aimed at its JBoss middleware. In doing so, Red Hat will add JBoss tools to the growing pantheon of those available as open source Eclipse platform plug-ins.

Exadel produces Exadel Studio Pro 4.0, one of the first Ajax development frameworks, plus RichFaces, a set of components to be used in the browser window to build a rich client that interacts with the end user. RichFaces already is open source code, but Exadel Studio Pro is being made open source code under the Red Hat partnership. It will be available in the summer with another Exadel product, Ajax4jsf or Ajax for Java Server Faces, the Java world's equivalent of end-user components.

Red Hat will rebrand the combination, when it becomes available as Red Hat Developer Studio, according to a blog by Sacha Labourey, JBoss CTO.

Exadel and Red Hat's JBoss development team will continue to develop RichFaces and Ajax4jsf and integrate them into another JBoss project, Seam.org, which is developing a framework for building Java applications. The effort will more closely integrate Java, with its many platform APIs and complications, with the simpler world of scripting languages and browser interactions with end users. JBoss Seam's lead developer Gavin King will be a coordinator of the effort, the Red Hat announcement said.

During the wait for Red Hat Developer Studio, Exadel Studio Pro will be available for free download.

Exadel, founded in 1998, was one of the first firms to bring out an Ajax development framework, with Tibco and Backbase delivering similar Ajax tools about the same time. It was a risky move because Ajax, as a young technology, was spawning a variety of toolsets, each taking it in a new direction.

Ajax stands for asynchronous Javascript and XML, a set of technologies that can project a set of end-user components and programmed user interactions across the Internet into a browser window. Ajax needs to be configured differently for Internet Explorer or Firefox or the Macintosh's Safari, a problem that the early frameworks resolved for developers.

Fima Katz, Exadel CEO, said making Exadel Ajax tools open source through Red Hat "will help catapult [the tools] into a leading tools suite."