SpringSource Collaborates with Adobe on RIAs

SpringSource, the chief commercial sponsor of the open source Spring Framework project, recently joined forces with Adobe Systems to make it easier for Java jocks to develop rich Internet applications (RIAs) that use Flex.

Based on the Flash multimedia software set, Flex is Adobe's free, open source framework for building cross-platform RIAs. Flex apps run on Adobe's ubiquitous Flash Player. Flex developers can use the free Flex SDK, available under the Mozilla Public License, or Adobe's Eclipse-based IDE called Flex Builder.

The collaboration will initially simplify the development and deployment of rich enterprise Java apps on Spring with a SpringSource project called Spring BlazeDS, an open source, server-based Java remoting and Web messaging technology. BlazeDS will allow Java developers working in Spring to use basic publish/subscribe messaging and data services from servers. The first version is available for download here.

The Spring Framework is one of the most popular Java application frameworks on the market today, with an estimated 5 million downloads to date. Spring is a layered Java/J2EE framework based on code published in Rod Johnson's book Expert One-on-One Java EE Design and Development (Wrox Press, October 2002). Johnson wrote the first version of the framework and later founded SpringSource.

Kumar Vora, vice president and general manager for Adobe's LiveCycle division, said that Adobe and SpringSource share "a common interest in providing better interoperability for Spring platform developers who want to optimize their work in the creation of rich Internet applications."

Adobe is expected to release its more comprehensive integration solution, SpringSource Adapter for Adobe LiveCycle Data Services ES, some time next year. According to Adobe, this will be an enterprise-oriented integration solution that will enable developers to build server-push-based applications based on Adobe Flex. LiveCycle Data Services ES is a real-time remote and messaging framework designed to streamline the development of Flex-built RIAs using the Adobe AIR runtime.

The two companies plan to continue their joint integration efforts in the future, Vora said.

This collaboration gives SpringSource a bigger presence in the RIA a market, and gives Adobe a means to pull Java developers to the Flash/Flex environment. Adobe is still the market leader, but the company has to fight to keep ahead of a growing pack of worthy competitors. Microsoft and Sun Microsystems, among others, are offering competitive RIA products for developers.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at [email protected].