December 8, 2008
The announcement today of enhanced integration for Adobe Systems Flash/Flex and SpringSource platforms sounds like a Java/Flash marriage of sorts, however, the real meeting of the minds is about data for enterprise-level rich Internet applications (RIA).
The fun part of RIAs might be the interface panache (the flashy part, so to speak), but for the enterprise it’s the real-time access to appropriate data that drives the effectiveness of the application. Personalized interaction, pushed context-sensitive information, rapid display of catalogs – things like these make a Web 2.0 application fly. This is where the Adobe/SpringSource collaboration lives. The starting point for the collaboration will be Adobe BlazeDS (DS=Data Services), an open source project that exposes Java remoting, data access and messaging services available in Adobe LiveCycle products. LiveCycle is an enterprise suite of products, which encompasses servers that integrate data capture (forms), information assurance, workflow and process management, and content services. In this case, SpringSource is working with Adobe to create Spring BlazeDS. A beta version will be available in mid-December that will allow Java programmers in the SpringSource Platform to use basic messaging (publish and subscribe) and data services from servers supporting Adobe BlazeDS. More comprehensive integration is in development for early 2009 in the form of a SpringSource Adapter for Adobe LiveCycle Data Services ES. Compared to BlazeDS, LiveCycle Data Services is distinctly enterprise oriented, and costs accordingly. It offers higher server performance and more sophisticated data management, such as conflict resolution, real-time data QOS, and data paging. SpringSource has identified the highly scalable push capabilities in Adobe LiveCycle as a potent addition for Java programmers using the SpringSource platform. SpringSource will maintain its support for other RIA approaches, AJAX in particular, but the alliance with Adobe and the emphasis on LiveCycle provides SpringSource with an approach to enterprise-level RIA applications that isn’t readily available through AJAX. For Adobe, this is an important potential bridge for Flash and Flex into the world of SpringSource Java developers, which according to SpringSource involves about 50% of all J2EE server customers. The integration with Adobe LiveCycle clears some of the path toward using the Adobe Flash/Flex environment (Flash is presentation client, Flex the programming environment) to develop front-end elements for SpringSource based Java applications. While Flash and Flex are oriented toward using Adobe’s own programming tools and language (ActionScript), the Flex environment is open to Java development, which the collaboration with SpringSource emphasizes. For the Flash/Flex programmer, the integration with SpringSource will make it easier to develop large-scale Java applications that need the management and security features offered by the SpringSource platform. By inaugurating integration through open source BlazeDS, both Adobe and SpringSource are hoping to attract the participation of the open source developer community. The companies emphasize that the new integration was initiated at least in part on the request of developers in their own communities, and that exploration of integrated projects, as well as additions to the open source code, requires their continued involvement.
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