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Uh oh! Here comes yet another technology buzzword. This time it’s “AJAX”. In addition to being a household cleaner, a character from Greek mythology, and the name of a European soccer club, AJAX is Asynchronous communication, JavaScript, and XML. These technologies, which are already present in your browser, make it possible to retrieve information without refreshing a Web page. Citing Google’s use of AJAX, the Wall Street Journal noted recently that AJAX represents “a big step toward the Holy Grail of having the kinds of speed and responsiveness in Web-based programs that’s usually associated only with desktop software.”[1] And increasingly, developers, entrepreneurs, and industry analysts are grasping the opportunities that AJAX presents. So what’s all the excitement? The need and desire to provide richer functional... (more)

Google Maps and ASP.NET

I am sure that most of you have heard about or have had a chance to use Google Maps. It's a great service and I was really impressed by the responsiveness of the application and the ease with which users could drag and zoom maps from a Web browser. It has in many ways heralded the arrival of AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), which I am sure will revitalize Web development in the days to come. What makes the service even better is the availability of the Google Maps API (Application Programming Interface) as a free Beta service. The API allows developers to embed Google Maps in their custom applications. It also allows them to overlay information on the map and customize the map to their needs. As I write this article there are quite a few sites that utilize Google Maps, and more and more of them are appearing by the day. The API by itself is pretty straightfor... (more)

Creating Web Applications with the Eclipse Web Tools Project

The Web Tools Project (WTP) by the Eclipse Foundation is a set of open source tools that substantially reduce the time required for the development of Web applications, EJBs, and Web services. The WTP's current version is 0.7.1 and version 1.0 is coming later this year. The framework provides wizards and tools to create EJBs, Web components such as servlets and JSPs, and Web services using the Axis engine. It also provides source editors for HTML, JavaScript, CSS, JSP, SQL, XML, DTD, XSD, and WSDL; graphical editors for XSD, WSDL, J2EE project builders, models, and a J2EE navigator; a Web service wizard, explorer, and WS-I Test Tools; and database access, query tools, and models. In this article I'll show you how to develop and deploy a JSP Web application with WTP in less than an hour. I'll also cover the creation and deployment of a basic servlet and editing JSP ... (more)

Google Maps! AJAX-Style Web Development Using ASP.NET

In the past few months, the design pattern of combining Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) to develop highly interactive Web applications has been growing in popularity. High-profile Web applications such as Google Maps and A9 are currently leveraging the combination of these technologies to produce rich client-side user experiences. The individual technologies that compose AJAX are not recent developments; they have been around for some time and have been continuously updated and improved. However, it is the recent confluence of these technologies that is leading to interesting possibilities. I have three goals in this article. First, I want to provide a high-level overview of AJAX-style applications. My second goal is to provide a detailed description of asynchronous callback features of ASP.NET 2.0. Finally, I want to provide an insight into upcoming enhance... (more)

Reporting Made Easy with JasperReports and Hibernate

JasperReports is a valuable and viable reporting solution for Java Web applications. It simplifies report generation through the use of XML report templates that are then compiled using the JasperReports engine for use in reporting modules. These compiled report templates can be filled by data received from a variety of sources including relational databases. JasperReports can be integrated into Web applications and create reports in several file formats including PDF and XLS. Reporting in Java Applications Often reporting modules increase in complexity and size during the course of application development. Clients tend to demand more information from report modules when they become aware of the benefits reports offer. The reporting module developed as something of an afterthought in such environments suddenly becomes a much more integral part of the application. Rep... (more)

Flashback to January 2006: Exclusive SYS-CON.TV Interviews on "OpenAjax Alliance" Announcement

Read Sun's Take on "Open AJAX"– Tim Bray Speaks Out IBM is leading, but apparently not controlling, a bold initiative known as "Open AJAX" that brings this open-source application development approach to the forefront of the worldwide i-technology industry. The Open AJAX initiative does not have a centralized structure or website, but is rather an idea that is being formally backed by BEA, Borland, the Dojo Foundation, the Eclipse Foundation, Laszlo Systems, Mozilla Corporation, Novell, Openwave Systems, Oracle, Red Hat, Yahoo, Zend and Zimbra. A spokesperson for one of the major backers said that Google will also be backing this initiative. Exclusive SYS-CON.TV Interviews on "Open AJAX" Announcement IBM's David Boloker Announcing Open AJAX Oracle Exec Ted Farrell Outlines Oracle Open AJAX Strategy Sun's Dan Roberts Discusses Java Studio Creator 2, Open AJAX Laszlo S... (more)

Developing Web Services "Eclipse Web Tools Project"

Today's trend is to integrate existing systems in a standard way to make disparate implementations interoperate. Web Services and XML came along with the ability to provide a standard communication interface between these systems, as well as the standard description language - WSDL - the Web Services Description Language that lets those systems define the structure of the services they're providing. Web Services are built using three classic components: SOAP - Simple Object Access Protocol - the XML-based communication protocol for sending data using Web Services. WSDL - Web Services Description Language - the XML-based language that describes the Web Service that's provided by a particular system and how to access it. UDDI - Universal Description Discovery Integration - a directory that helps to identify dynamically where particular Web Services are and how to fin... (more)

XML Serialization of Java Objects

Java serialization was initially used to support remote method invocation (RMI), allowing argument objects to be passed between two virtual machines. RMI works best when the two VMs contain compatible versions of the class being transmitted, and can reliably transmit a binary representation of the object based on its internal state. When an object is serialized, it must also serialize the objects to which its fields refer - resulting in what is commonly called an object graph of connected components. Although the transient keyword can be used to control the extent to which the serialization process penetrates the object graph, this level of control is seldom enough. Many have tried to use Java's serialization to achieve the so-called "long-term persistence" of data - where the serialized form of a Java data structure is written to a file for later use. One such area... (more)

Processing XML with C# and .NET

Microsoft's counterpiece to Java, the new C# programming language with its rich .NET library, uses XML as a core technology. This article presents some basic ideas, for example creating and manipulating a DOM tree, and reading and writing XML streams. I also compare .NET's solution with the SAX model, and finally I show how a complex XSLT algorithm can be more simply implemented in C#. The source code can be downloaded from and www.sys-con.com/xml/sourcec.cfm. XML Processors To process an XML document means to extract information from it. Often the extracted information should be output to a new XML (or perhaps HTML) document that's similar to the original one - then we address the transformation. Which processor to use for a given task is not a trivial question. There are a number of ready-to-use XML processors on the market - like Cocoon and Axkit - and any XML-e... (more)

AJAX-Driven Websites: Under The Hood

Recently, a number of Web sites have begun to raise some eyebrows within the developer community. What's unique about these sites is that they behave more like a desktop application than a Web application. As you interact with them, they quickly display an endless amount of information to your browser without reloading the page. At the Google Maps site for example (http://maps.google.com/), you can click on the map, zoom in, zoom out, and move around as much as you like. Your browser continues to be fed with data from the server, yet your browser doesn't have to refresh. They're not using applets, or anything like Flash, so how are they doing it? Introducing Asynchronous JavaScript + XML, also known as Ajax. To properly describe what Ajax is, it's easiest to contrast it with what it's not. For most Web sites, interaction with a Web server is simplex communication - ... (more)

SYS-CON Media Opens Its Eighth Annual "Readers' Choice Awards" Polls

SYS-CON Media (www.sys-con.com), the world's leading i-technology media company, announced that its 2005 Readers' Choice Awards polls opened today, February 1, 2005, and will remain open for six months, until July 31, 2005. More than 50,000 readers are expected to cast their votes to select the best  software products and services of the year for Java, Linux, Web Services, XML, Microsoft .NET, ColdFusion and Macromedia MX. Best Java Products of 2005: http://sys-con.com/java/readerschoice2004 Best Linux Products of 2005: http://www.sys-con.com/Linux/readerschoice2004 Best Web Services Products of 2005: http://www.sys-con.com/webservices/readerschoice2004 Best .NET Products of 2005: http://www.sys-con.com/dotnet/readerschoice2004 Best Macromedia MX and ColdFusion Products of 2005: http://www.sys-con.co... (more)