At JavaOne: Smart clients use XML, JavaScript

At the JavaOne conference this week, Laszlo Systems rolled out its new Presentation Server, a product company officials say allows developers to quickly build applications that provide a satisfying customer experience, even on a dial-up connection.

The key, said Antony Campitelli, formerly of Macromedia and now Laszlo's vice president of marketing, is finding a way to get around the twin problems of slow connections and often-overloaded servers. Built using a proprietary dashboard interface, Laszlo's applications combine elements of XML and JavaScript. They execute with the help of the Macromedia Flash 5 plug-in, but do not require developers to possess Flash authoring skills.

"You have a robust environment to be able to go out and create these applications in a manner that's familiar to the majority of developers," said Campitelli. "This is all XML and JavaScript, so it's very familiar to them; it's got a very low entry point, but a high ceiling to what it's capable of."

It's this system, said Laszlo founder, CTO and Vice President of Engineering David Temkin, that allows applications to take full use of what he calls the "almost unbelievable" power available on the desktop machines of today.

"With most Web-based applications, you're treating it pretty much as if it's a dumb terminal," said Temkin. "We take that XML description of your rich Internet application and compile it into a form so when it's delivered into your client, [it] executes there quietly."

The Laszlo Presentation Server is available in three versions: Enterprise, for high-volume and high-traffic deployments; a no-cost Developer Edition; and an Express version for lower-capacity deployments by small businesses or departmental workgroups.


Laszlo Systems

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