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OpenAjax Alliance Authors: Lori MacVittie, Chris Pollach, Yakov Fain, Maureen O'Gara, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: RIA Developer's Journal, Enterprise Mashups, Web 2.0 Magazine, OpenAjax Alliance News

RIA & Ajax: Article

'The AJAX Moment' Mushrooms into The Web 2.0 Movement

Countless themes and memes will be front and center at AJAXWorld 2007 East in NYC

Early in 2006, before the general Internet-using public was aware of what I began referring to—in editorials, blog entries, and SYS-CON’s Internet TV webcasts—as “The AJAX Moment,” there was a strong sense among industry insiders that AJAX-like approaches, if not actually AJAX itself, were a shoo-in as the new paradigm for the development of Web 2.0 and the fulfillment of the software development community’s long-held dream of complete freedom from operating system or runtime environment dependent technologies.

By running on Internet technology – i-Technology – instead, businesses could not only enjoy such freedom but also quickly enable all the rich-media functionality we have come to associate with AJAX ever since Google popularized a smarter, more responsive and interactive Web experience by launching its Google Maps and Gmail applications.

Was the early optimism borne out by subsequent events? I’ll say! In fact, if anything, the early pronouncements about the fundamental raising of the user-experience bar that the rise of AJAX catalyzed were in hindsight unnecessarily guarded. The “architecture of participation” which MySpace and Flickr exemplified has been complemented swiftly and, if one believes Enterprise Web 2.0 thought leader Coach Wei, with enormous business upside, by an “architecture of partition”—that’s to say, Web 2.0 is actually based on a new technology foundation from Web 1.0, one comprising an application client container, an Internet messaging bus and an enterprise mashup server.

“Beyond being a consumer phenomenon,” Wei contends, “Web 2.0 has a significant impact on business computing by enabling better, faster, richer applications while reducing costs, with tangible and measurable ROI.”

The reason he has coined the phrase “architecture of partition,” Wei notes, is that this new technology stack gives developers for the first time in Internet history the capability of deciding the appropriate architecture partition according to application requirements. RIA-compatible approaches like AJAX are simply a better way to build, deploy and maintain enterprise IT solutions, resulting in better user productivity, lower operations costs and reduced development and maintenance costs. As Wei explains:

“The Web 2.0 technology stack eliminates the need to install client software, enabling companies to leverage the Internet more cost-effectively. Equally important, an organization can deploy the same version of a Web 2.0 application to all its users, across heterogeneous client configurations and network connection types. This eliminates the need to develop and maintain multiple client software versions, the need to standardize client systems and the need to upgrade network infrastructure.”
Wei’s “Enterprise Web 2.0” is just one of countless themes and memes that will be front and center at AJAXWorld Conference & Expo 2007 (East) in New York, March 19-21, 2007. Others include: the ever-increasing “micro-chunking” of the Web; the emerging “social aggregator” information architecture that blogs, startpages, and social networks are all swiftly converging towards; the “Real-Time Web;” and the principles involved in building a successful, sustainable, and vibrant online community.

Other March topics include: OpenLaszlo including the “Legals” project, Componentized Websites, JavaScript Workarounds, Cost-Effective Scalability, Next-Generation Web 2.0 Tools, AJAX Vulnerabilities, Desktop AJAX, Google Gadgets, Microsoft’s ASP.NET AJAX, Adobe’s Apollo, SaaS Business Models, and The Business Value of RIAs.

As it did with the inaugural AJAXWorld last year, held in Silicon Valley, the OpenAjax Alliance is timing a major meeting to coincide with this year’s East coast Conference & Expo, at the historic Roosevelt Hotel in midtown Manhattan. And indeed a goodly percentage of OpenAjax Alliance member companies are exhibiting at, speaking at, or sponsoring the show.

A mouth-watering lineup of speakers includes the “Father of DHTML,” Microsoft’s Scott Isaacs, as well as dozens more experts, activists, and practitioners such as:

The co-founder of the Dojo Toolkit
The leader of the PHP Collaboration Project
The co-founder of Rico
The creator and principal architect of Project jMaki
The author of the "Micro Persuasion" weblog
The architect of Google Gadgets and the Gadget Content Directory
The co-founder and CTO of Freewebs.com
The CTO of JackBe
The founder & president of Jooto
The AJAX evangelist of Yahoo!
The AJAX architect of Sun
The founder & CTO of Laszlo Systems
The founder of Clearspring Technologies
The lead architect for the ThinWire AJAX Framework
The co-founder of TIBCO General Interface
The practice director for Next-Generation Internet at Optaros
The chairman, founder and CTO of Nexaweb
The architect for Sun Java Studio Creator
The president of Evans Data Corporation
The lead security researcher for SPI Dynamics
The author of AJAX for Web Application Developers
The editor-in-chief of AJAXWorld Magazine
The chair of Oxford University's Next-Generation Mobile Applications panel
The founder of Web 2.0 Journal
The community program manager for Data Programmability for Microsoft
The chief architect for Stream57
The co-founder of Emergence Capital Partners
The co-founder of Serendipity Technologies
The founder and president of Jooto.com
The director of advanced technologies with IBM Information Integration Solutions
The architect at Brane Corporation
The lead instructor with Object Training Group
The co-founder, president and CEO of Nitobi
The co-founder of Emergence Capital Partners
The co-founder of froglogic GmbH
There isn’t much more anyone needs to say right now about AJAX, RIAs and Web 2.0 except this: Why not come to AJAXWorld in March and see/hear/try out AJAX for yourself?

The 100+ sessions cover every aspect of AJAX-enabled applications and those creating and deploying them. And the Web 2.0 track alone is to die for, with a lineup that includes Steve Rubel, Stowe Boyd, Hooman Radfar, Yuval Tarsi, Dean Allemang, Dion Hinchcliffe, Dustin Whittle, Coach Wei, Troy Angrignon, Andre Charland, and Alex Barnett.

See you in New York!

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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Most Recent Comments
Rostislav Siryk 08/30/07 01:37:30 PM EDT

And - what about Flex, man? And about how Adobe explodes the web with brand new Flash 'MovieStar' Player capable to play HDTV and MPEG-4 online?

Ajax + Flash = Lovers For Ever.

Sidenote - nice thing about GreaseMonkey. I'm also considering writing a script for ripping out the spam content from teh websites wit little help of Greese.

EraserMouseMan 01/11/07 10:14:08 AM EST

Ajax is no easy substitute for good design. The thing that made AJAX catch on is that a few of the very first notable web apps were very heavy on graphic design and well-thought-out layout.

So now everybody thinks that if their website can just be written with AJAX technology it will automatically come with a smooth, user-friendly and beautiful interface.

AJAX is just one technique. You still need to be highly skilled at all the other web-coding disciplines else to end up with a great web app.

Sidenote 01/11/07 09:58:32 AM EST

Dan Atkinson thinks that using Greasemonkey with jQuery would be a first step on the road to "adding AJAX capabilities inside the browser and separating them out of the websites themselves." Is he right?