In-Depth

ICEsoft Integrates JFS Framework With JBoss Seam

Tool helps create complex Web applications using Java objects and not much XML.</

ICEsoft Technologies has unveiled the latest version of its flagship development environment, ICEfaces, an AJAX-based framework for developing and deploying Java Platform Enterprise Edition (Java EE) applications as rich Internet apps (RIAs).

ICEfaces extends the JavaServer Faces (JSF) Web app framework to enable enterprise Java jocks to use their existing skill sets to build RIAs. Essentially, it provides AJAX capabilities while preserving the server-side Java EE programming model, eliminating the need for low-level JavaScript development.

The big news in the ICEfaces 1.6 release is its integration with the JBoss Seam framework. Seam is designed to unify and integrate Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX), Enterprise Java Beans (EJB), Java Portlets, business process management (BPM) and JSFs. It enables devs to assemble complex Web apps with simple annotated Plain Old Java Objects (POJOs), componentized UI widgets and very little XML.

The integration includes enhancements to SeamGen that support the rapid generation of functional Seam + ICEfaces applications. This release also comes with several source code examples, including the ICEfaces + Seam Component Showcase, which illustrates the entire ICEfaces rich component suite functioning within a Seam-based application.

"With this release, developers are able to use ICEfaces to add AJAX to their Seam applications, and get the benefits of the collaboration capabilities of AJAX Push and the productivity gains of auto-generating ICEfaces + Seam applications with SeamGen," said Steve Maryka, CTO of ICEsoft. "The JBoss Seam community is growing, and partnering with them increases our market footprint."

ICEsoft is expected to announce later this year a technology partnership with open source portal vendor Liferay, and integration with Genuitec's MyEclipse Java EE/J2EE integrated development environment (IDE).

The selection of tools for developing RIAs has grown considerably this summer, with headline-grabbing releases from Microsoft (Silverlight), Adobe (AIR, formerly code-named Apollo), Sun Microsystems (JavaFX), and Google (Gears). But Maryka doesn't see his company's offering as competition for these products. He points out that ICEfaces is the only RIA dev tool designed specifically for enterprise Java.

"There is a lot of activity in this space," he said. "But the approach we've taken is unique. We're taking existing Java enterprise development practices and tools and adding rich Internet capabilities. We're making it possible for enterprise developers to build RIAs without having to change the way they work."

ICEfaces was released as open source last November, and Maryka says the uptake of the product since then has far exceeded the company's expectations. The company claims nearly 15,000 registered developers and approximately 12,000 downloads per month.

"Building that community has proved to be critical to our strategy," Maryka says. "I think open source is really the only way you can carve out such a significant share of that market so quickly today."

ICEfaces 1.6.0 is available now for download here from the ICEfaces.org open source project site.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance author and journalist based in Silicon Valley. His latest book is The Everything Guide to Social Media. Follow John on Twitter, read his blog on ADTmag.com, check out his author page on Amazon, or e-mail him at john@watersworks.com.


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