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InfoQ Homepage News Nexaweb Enterpise Web 2.0 Released with Visual Editor and Debugging Enhancements

Nexaweb Enterpise Web 2.0 Released with Visual Editor and Debugging Enhancements

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Nexaweb hashave announced the latest release of their Enterprise Web 2.0 Suite, an application development and deployment platform for building Rich Client, Composite and Enterprise Mashup applications in JEE environments. Nexaweb is among a growing list of companies such as BEA Systems, IBM, and JackBe emphasing the use of mashup technology in the enterpise.

The Nexaweb Enterprise Web 2.0 Suite consists of four major components:

  1. The Universal Client Framework: Handles the client presentation and keeps track of the state of interaction. Clients may be written as AJAX, Java applet, or Java desktop applications with a common set of libraries providing data binding and validation. The UI for Nexaweb applications can be built up programmatically or using a proprietary XML based format called eXtensible Application Language (XAL), which is entirely processed on the client-side.
  2. The Internet Message Bus: Nexaweb applications communicate with the server using a messaging bus built on top of HTTP. The messaging bus supports a similar set of basic use patterns as those offered by other messaging products such as IBM's WebSphere MQ. This includes support for publish/subscribe, broadcast, server push, and pseudo-synchronous request/response messaging from the browser.
  3. Enterprise Data Services: On the server-side Nexaweb uses servlet/listener based resources that can be accessed via the API and enable communication with Web services and SOA data sources. Since the server-side components are servlet based they can be run in a Java web container such as Apache Tomcat as well as in any full JEE application server.
  4. Nexaweb Studio: An Eclipse based IDE that enables visual development of Enterprise Web 2.0 applications.

The client-side approach to processing the XML taken by Nexaweb's Universal Client Framework is unique in the context of Rich Internet Applications. Products like OpenLaszlo and Adobe's Flex work by compiling XML to the SWF binary format on the server which is then rendered by Adobe's Flash Player on the client. JSF and jMaki also do their XML processing server-side sending HTML and JavaScript from server to browser. By processing the mark-up and rendering client-side Nexaweb argue that their product allows developers greater flexibility in the client-side technologies they use to create their XML. For example, the UI could be built using XSLT, JSP or any JEE web framework capable of outputting XML.

The main emphasis on this release has been on Nexaweb Studio with a number of new features and enhancements including:

  • Visual Editor — A WYSIWYG environment for the creation of complete applications or application elements. Using drag-and-drop, developers can select user interface widgets from a palette, place them on a canvas, bind them with internal, external, and third-party data services, and test and preview the application in a browser. Snap-to-grid is supported for widgets being placed on the canvas.
  • Integrated AJAX and Java Perspectives: This combines the basic AJAX and Java development perspectives in a single list view. Menu items have been reorganized to streamline the composite view.
  • Integrated Debugging & Testing: New Web service testing tools and help wizards provide support for SOA integration.

Nexaweb Enterprise Web 2.0 Suite starts at $17,900 (USD) covering the platfrom and support for three developers. Nexaweb state that the product has been used by 5,000 companies.

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