One word: AJAX.
There's a fast growing community of Web developers and users who are very excited about AJAX. Most developers have a passing understanding of AJAX; some have no understanding at all. Maybe that's because they're too busy finishing today what they were wanted to finish yesterday.
But make no mistake about it: That thunderous sound you hear in the distance is the AJAX tidal wave, and it's headed your way. AJAX is one of the hottest trends in both application development and the user experience today. And as a vendor of application development software, we need to keep our finger on the pulse of what developers are interested in, and bring our value-add to the party.
What's our value add? Traditionally, it's "making development faster and easier for developers." While AJAX apps provide faster, more interactive, and friendlier applications that simply look and feel better, they're also incredibly complicated to develop and debug. There's quite a learning curve. That's why AJAX is a perfect hairball for the Alpha team to unravel.
For developers, the rise of AJAX is s similar to when Windows first appeared on the market. People had to hand code windows, menus, title bars, and all the other low-level interactions until the first frameworks emerged. Then building Windows applications started to get easier.
Frameworks such as Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) and other third party tools took off. Then came Visual Basic, arguably the first IDE that made it drag+drop easy to build Windows applications visually. The rest, as they say, is history. Everybody jumped on the visual development bandwagon.
The same thing is happening today on the Web with AJAX. Many developers are coding AJAX apps by hand. Some appdev platforms now have frameworks to simplify that. The problem is, you still have to marry yourself to someone's framework, and get your head around the framework's intricacies before you can boost your productivity.
At Alpha, our approach to AJAX is the same as it's been to everything else. How do we make this visual? How do we keep the "rapid" in RAD? How to we insulate developers from having to commingle and debug a half-dozen coding languages in a single app? How do we eliminate -- and if not eliminate, absolutely minimize -- the need for hand coding to take advantage of this next big thing called AJAX? HOW DO WE KEEP PRODUCTIVITY HIGH? HOW DO WE PUSH IT HIGHER?
That's been our approach in Alpha Five Platinum as well, and you'll see this in play with our new AJAX support. We are now producing a series of blog posts to take you through the new AJAX features and capabilities, including video demos of A5V9 in action, and how to code with it.
Normally this is where I'd tell about what AJAX is and why it matters. But it's the Internet age, I'm not going reinvent the wheel. This wheel is already turning at Wikipedia, and the Mozilla Developer Center. Stay tuned for the series of AJAX posts. I promise it will be exciting. ;)
Alpha Software is focused on enabling developers to create robust, data-driven business applications that run on any PC, Tablet or Smartphone in the fastest, most efficient and cost-effective manner possible.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
One word: AJAX.