• 09/13/2006
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Ajax-Based Dojo Toolkit

The Dojo Foundation is a forerunner in the race to develop a standardized Ajax toolkit. Thus far, it seems to be a favorite and is receiving industry support, including the


With the OpenAjax Alliance comes the possibility for a unified language, as well as a set of APIs, on which developers could easily implement dynamic Web applications. A unified toolkit would offer consistency in a market that has myriad Ajaxbased technologies in play, providing the enterprise with a broader pool of developers able to offer longterm support for applications and a stable base on which to build applications. As is the case with many fledgling technologies, one toolkit will become the standard—whether through a standards body or by de facto adoption—and Dojo is one of the favored entrants in the race to become that standard.

The chief players of the OpenAjax Alliance are BEA Systems, Google, IBM, Laszlo Systems, Mozilla, Novell, Oracle, Red Hat and Sun Microsystems. The main supporters of the Dojo Toolkit are BEA, IBM, Informatica, Laszlo, Oracle and Sun.

There are several popular Ajaxbased toolkits being used to build dynamic Web applications, but all are in the early stages of maturity and have some time to grow. Dojo is one of the first to receive support from players like IBM and Sun, which may very well propel it to the forefront of the race to become the toolkit of choice. But the race is just beginning, and Microsoft's Atlas is not far behind.

When we get together over drinks with friends, it hardly ever results in anything more than a hangover. When industry titans do the same, it can result in an alliance. BEA Systems, Borland, Google, IBM, Laszlo Systems, Mozilla, Novell, Oracle, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, Yahoo, Zend Technologies and Zimbra have all publicly come out in support of an initiative designed to promote and standardize the use of Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) in the enterprise. The OpenAjax Alliance is a group of industry heavyweights that all have a stake in the success of Ajax technology and have joined forces to promote the technology and bring some sanity to the its ongoing development.

Dynamic Web applications that act more like rich client interfaces have been available for some time through the innovative use of some of the less-well-understood features of scripting languages, such as JavaScript. As mainstream adoption of service-oriented architecture has taken hold, there has been an explosion of available technology based on Ajax, usually comprising simple client- and server-side libraries in JavaScript and server-side languages, such as PHP. Ajax-based technology appeals to developers not only because of its dynamic communication paradigm, but also because of its abstraction of differences in event and DOM objects between browsers--things that have pained developers trying to support multiple browser environments, and which usually have caused them to give up and support only one.

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