Ajax Tips - Developing amazing applications with WebORB by lelettoa


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									232   Part III: Ajax Frameworks

      Tracking Down the Many Other
      Frameworks Available
                     Plenty of other Ajax frameworks are out there, in a variety of languages. I
                     briefly cover some of them in the following sections. More and more Ajax
                     power is coming online all the time — the future looks bright indeed!

                     Developing amazing applications
                     with WebORB
                     You can find WebORB at www.themidnightcoders.com/weborb/
                     aboutweborb.htm. WebORB specializes in creating rich Internet applica-
                     tions that are professional-level quality. Using WebORB, you can integrate
                     Ajax and other technologies such as Flash into your application seamlessly.

                     WebORB can connect to various languages on the server, from .NET to Java.
                     In Figure 7-12, you can see a shopping-cart example from www.themidnight

      Figure 7-12:
         at work.
                                                Chapter 7: Server-Side Ajax Frameworks           233
               All you have to do in this example is select an item in the <select> control
               at left and click the Add button. Thanks to Ajax, the selected item appears in
               the shopping cart at right without the need for a page refresh.

               Ruby on Rails
               Ruby on Rails (www.rubyonrails.org) is an Ajax-enabled framework
               heavyweight. Instead of PHP or Java, it uses its own proprietary language
               on the server. It has all kinds of built-in support for Ajax.

               When it comes to acting like a server-side Ajax framework, Ruby on Rails
               functions much like the other frameworks shown in this chapter, except that
               it uses its own language on the server. As is normal for Ajax applications, you
               can send data asynchronously to the server by using an XMLHttpRequest
               object. After the data you’ve requested is sent back to you in the browser,
               JavaScript generated by Rails will let you handle that data easily — for exam-
               ple, you can display that data by using a <div> element.

               You can see a Ruby on Rails demo that uses Ajax at www.papermountain.
               org/demos/live, as shown in Figure 7-13. For example, take a look at the
               autocomplete demo at left in the figure, where the user has typed he and the
               application has suggested various words.

Figure 7-13:
  A Ruby on
 Rails auto-
234   Part III: Ajax Frameworks

                Another Ajax-enabled framework is Backbase, at www.backbase.com. Like
                WebORB, Backbase specializes in developing rich Internet applications.

                Dojo is another useful framework, and you can get it at www.dojotool
                kit.org. Dojo calls itself a user-interface toolkit, and it’s been updated to
                include a great deal of Ajax support. It’s an open-source package, so you
                can modify its code if you want to.

                Frameworks such as Microsoft’s ASP.NET (the .NET version of Microsoft’s
                Active Server Pages [ASP] package) are adding more support for Ajax.
                Microsoft has announced work on the Atlas Client Script Framework, which
                will integrate Ajax support into ASP.NET and which will work with all modern
                browsers. Atlas looks like a significant Ajax package, but the details are just
                starting to emerge. For now, one of the better places to keep tabs on Atlas is
                http://beta.asp.net/default.aspx?tabindex=7&tabid=47, but
                stay tuned — Atlas is sure to make a splash.

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