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Machine Learning : Article

AJAX Starts To Grow Up and Bindows Helps

"AJAX applications [are] the most popular face of Web 2.0"

I had an interesting  discussion on the phone today with Yoram Meriaz, CEO of MB Technologies, and maker of the remarkable Bindows AJAX framework.  As AJAX becomes more mainstream, organizations have become increasingly interested in taking advantage of rich, interactive, zero-footprint Web-based applications. 

As most of you know, AJAX requires no special plug-ins, administrator rights, software installation, or practically anything other than the URL of where it comes from.  And as I've been
tracking the products in this space, Bindows has repeatedly bubbled up to the top of the list.

The first thing that attracted me to Bindows was the crisp feel of the resulting software.  The detail and complexity of the user experiences that Bindows creates is amazing, all without sacrjficing clarity of the interface.  To see why I mean, try out this
Bindows demo application, which combines a kaleidoscope of controls and windows but nonetheless operates cleanly and clearly.

Bindows: Ajax Framework Extraordinaire

I asked Yoram to explain the genesis of Bindows, since they were doing AJAX before AJAX was even a term.  He explained that they were working with the U.S. Air Force Technology Center and they were looking for a way to deploy applications that were just like native programs, but without installation, plug-ins, and that were completely self-contained and put nothing on the client.  The result ended up becoming Bindows. 

Yoram also explained that most customers now using the product are enterprises wanting to deploy Web-facing applications and so the features have evolved to support that world.  Bindows includes a raft of enterprise features including a full SOAP-stack, robust extensibility mechanisms, and even a compiler and linker to create the most compact JavaScript code possible.  There is even an Eclipse plug-in forthcoming.

With major software vendors like TIBCO and Microsoft planning to vigorously compete in the AJAX framework space, Bindows has its work cut out for it. But my experience so far has shown that they offer one of the slickest products so far.  If you're looking to do Enterprise Web 2.0, Bindows is tough to beat and it's here today. The pricing, mind you, clearly shows they know they have the goods, at $695 per developer seat. You can however use the evaluation version to do full development.

To make it especially attractive for corporate and government software development, Bindows also has accessibility features, object-oriented constructs designed to resonate with sophisticated software developers, full SSL support for security, and much more.  The current version of Bindows is 1.5 and a new beta 2.0 version is currently available.  I don't often devote full blog posts to a single product but Bindows is worth it and I'm seriously considering it for my own AJAX software development work.

As AJAX applications become the most popular face of Web 2.0 and the majority of online software becomes powered by AJAX techniques, expect that there will be plenty of business to go around (the
AJAX patent brouhaha notwithstanding.) I do expect Bindows will be acquired soon enough, with my best guess being Google, given that Yahoo now has an impressive new AJAX library of its very own.

The downside?  I would really like it if the AJAX tool creators would make it easier to create Web 2.0 features like tagging and folksonomies, prefabricated two-way content editing components, rich mashup support tools, smaller reusable pieces, etc.

What's your favorite AJAX framework?

More Stories By RIA News Desk

Ever since Google popularized a smarter, more responsive and interactive Web experience by using AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript + XML) for its Google Maps & Gmail applications, SYS-CON's RIA News Desk has been covering every aspect of Rich Internet Applications and those creating and deploying them. If you have breaking RIA news, please send it to [email protected] to share your product and company news coverage with AJAXWorld readers.

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