Adobe Answers Rich-App Need for High-Performance Data/Messaging Services

Open source code is aimed at sophisticated Web 20-style apps such as live help, dashboard performance monitoring and guided self-service.
As many Web 2.0 and Rich Internet Application developers are discovering, the richer the apps get, the more they need high performance data and messaging services. Confirming that need, Adobe this week announced BlazeDS, a free, open-source package of remoting and messaging services, available immediately as public beta on Adobe Labs.

BlazeDS employs technology drawn from Adobe's enterprise-level LiveCycle Data Services ES, and will provide, among other things, high-performance data transfer, real data push via HTTP, publish and subscribe messaging, and remoting services to access server-side business logic for Adobe Flex and Adobe AIR (see "Review: Adobe Delivers Web 2.0 Sizzle". Adobe Flex is the development framework for Adobe Flash applications. Adobe AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) is the new development platform for standalone desktop applications built with Web tools and technologies. Adobe Flex Builder is Adobe's commercial Eclipse-based IDE. New beta versions of Flex 3, AIR, and Flex Builder 3 were also announced today. Adobe Flex SDK or Adobe Flex Builder is required for development with BlazeDS.

It has been known for some time that XML/SOAP over HTTP is not an optimal environment for complex data (think mashups) or streaming media applications (think YouTube). Most companies selling Web 2.0 development tools have created their own underlying messaging systems (for example, IBM, Nexaweb, Microsoft). Adobe hopes this offering of free and open code for fairly high-performance data and messaging services will give Flash/Flex developers a standardized programming model to support sophisticated Web 2.0/RIA-style applications such as live help, dashboard performance monitoring, and guided self-service.

BlazeDS along with Adobe's Action Message Format (AMF) protocol specification will be made available under Lesser General Public License (LGPLv3) sometime in early 2008. It’s a trend among companies known for their proprietary software (star example, Microsoft) to open-source selected functionality that could benefit from extension by the developer community. In this case, Adobe appears to be seeking community participation in giving BlazeDS and AMF more hooks into non-Java servers and applications such as .NET and PHP.

To bolster the use of BlazeDS in larger corporations, Adobe will offer LiveCycle Data Services, Community Edition, which by subscription provides certified builds of BlazeDS, enterprise support resources, and benefits such as product warranty and infringement indemnity. A further upgrade is available as LiveCycle Data Services Enterprise Suite, which provides a high performance messaging server (as compared with Servlets in BlazeDS), advanced client-server data synchronization, conflict detection/resolution, and offline data management services (for Adobe AIR). Future plans for BlazeDS include support for PHP remoting (through the AMF PHP Project) and eventually support for a native AJAX client.