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John Foley
John Foley
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Startup Of The Week: Appcelerator Promises Faster RIA Development

With JBoss founder Marc Fleury as an adviser, new company offers tools for building rich Internet applications and SOAs.

Until recently, Appcelerator was just another early-stage software company with a promising idea. The company's profile got raised in December, when Marc Fleury, the founder and former CEO of JBoss, joined as an adviser. JBoss is now a division of Linux leader Red Hat. Fleury's experience should give Appcelerator a push in the right direction.
--John Foley



PRODUCT: Open source development tools for building rich Internet applications and service-oriented architectures

PRINCIPALS: Co-founder and CEO Jeff Haynie; co-founder and CTO Nolan Wright

INVESTORS: Self-funded

EARLY CUSTOMERS: Several unnamed companies

Co-founder and CEO Jeff Haynie; co-founder and CTO Nolan Wright

Haynie and Wright have teamed up in the past

Appcelerator simplifies and speeds development of RIAs and SOAs written in Java, .Net, Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby. A software development kit and Web expression language are used to write interactive Web apps, while SOA "integration points" support associated software services. Appcelerator's technology competes with Adobe's Flex-Flash combo.

The company, founded in 2006, got its start writing software for business customers. Its SDK and related technology are a result of that work. Appcelerator's software is available at no cost as open source. Services revenue are generated by providing support for its products, training, and custom development. Future possibilities include an enhanced version of its software via subscriptions and commercial licenses for OEMs. Outside funding is a possibility as the company looks to accelerate growth.

Version 2.0.2 of Appcelerator's SDK, a maintenance release, came out in December. New features include widgets for panels, boxes, buttons, searches, and more, plus improved support for .Net and Ruby. The SDK will be updated every six weeks. The company plans to beef up the community features on its site as it scales to support a larger developer network, says CTO Wright. An Eclipse-based integrated development environment also is in the works.

Haynie and Wright worked together at Vocalocity. Ben Sabrin, a former JBoss sales exec, joined Appcelerator in December as VP of strategy and business development. Fleury joined as adviser one week later.

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