Tibco, Adobe offer open-source AJAX alternatives

The proprietary tools are used to build rich Internet applications

Tibco Software Inc. and Adobe Systems Inc. plan to offer alternatives to the open-source Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) tools being created by the newly formed Open AJAX collaborative.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tibco this week plans to unveil Version 3.1 of its Tibco General Interface AJAX tools, while San Jose-based Adobe earlier this month introduced the public beta of its Adobe Flex 2.0 and Adobe Flash Player 8.5 tools, which use a proprietary scripting language (see "Adobe to unveil its beta Flex 2.0, Flash Player 8.5 tools").

Chris Ogden, director of software development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Public Health, plans to use Flex 2.0 to convert a large legacy system to the Web. The school also will be moving existing projects that use Flex 1.5 to 2.0.

"[The existing system] uses databases that aren't supported anymore, so the new data-connection layers will allow us to extract and convert this legacy application in pieces [rather than] all at once," he said.

Constellation Energy Group Inc., a Baltimore-based commercial and industrial electric power supplier, is using Version 3.0 of Tibco's General Interface AJAX tools to move client/server applications to its portal. Jeffrey Johnson, Constellation's manager of corporate applications, said the company plans to continue using the tools to update all of its Web applications.

The tool sets from both vendors are targeted at companies that want to build Internet applications with rich content and interactive features that can be accessed via a thin client.

The new version of Flex includes a set of services called Flex Enterprise Services 2.0, which is designed to help developers build a services-oriented client that can easily connect to multiple back-end data sources, according to Adobe officials.

Adobe, which added the Flex tools to its offerings after acquiring Macromedia Inc. in December, will provide the Flex 2.0 Software Development Kit without charge

Kevin Hakman, Tibco's director of product marketing, declined to disclose details of the offering due out this week, but he did say that it will carry new pricing and licensing schemes for small and midsize businesses.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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