Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Mehdi Daoudi, Pat Romanski, Stackify Blog, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

A Cup of AJAX? Nay, Just Regular Java Please

The idea is noble: instead of rendering an entire HTML page on each little change on the page

These days everyone is talking about AJAX. It’s supposed to be a cool way of creating Web applications.

The idea is noble: instead of rendering an entire HTML page on each little change on the page, it’s much better to send an asynchronous request that will  get the data for you and refresh only the relevant portion of the screen. Every author writing on AJAX is giving the same (the only? ) example where this technology is being used: Google maps and email. (BTW, I’m a little sick of these examples). Since I’m not going to be helping Google in improving their maps, I’d like to see some real-world examples implementing  this technology.  Ajax proponents will immediately come with this exciting example of how great it is to refresh some  screen info as the user enters character in a text field. And here's  a sample conversation that might have happened between an imaginary  AJAX supporter and myself.
  •  See, I’m just typing the letters of the person’s name and it prompts me with all potential candidates like in Microsoft Outlook
  •  Wow! I like it… as long as you do not have to be a rocket scientist to program this functionality. But wait a minute, do not you think that any entry level Visual Basic/PowerBuilder/Java programmer can do the same thing easily? AJAX applications have to rely on JavaScript, assume the expert knowledge of this not-so-interesting language, different Web browsers may give you different serious issues, may not even always report the problems in communication between you browser and the server, yada-yada-yada..   
  • Yeah, but we want this functionality under the Web browser.
  • But what about using Java Web Start (JWS) to launch the full-fledged Swing clients? They can easily process events, work the same way under each operational system?
  • Yeah, but what if your users  do not have   the JVM?
  • But JWS can download it automatically for you.
  • Yeah, but what if you are Google, Amazon or EBay and want to have a very thin client.

OK, now we’re talking.  I can agree that big Internet guys can and should invest some serious dough into supporting screen-refresh-on-mouse-move in HTML-based screens. But when it comes to a regular Intranet business application,  when the users/browsers/platforms are known and  when the  cost of the project development matters, I’d stay with a fat client written in Java, or (if you like a fancy GUI)  Adobe  Flex.

Many vendors  are happy to offer you a tool to simplify AJAX development, because it’s the right momentum to do so. But development is just the beginning. What about production support? I have a gut feeling that starting an Ajax project is like one way street: it won't be easy to  go back. The users will be more and more demanding, and you'll be spending  most of your time on adding more bells and whistles to the GUI instead of solving  business problems.

Today's  Business Week has published a surprisingly shallow article called "Java? It's so Nineties".  First, a former Sun's employee explains that LAMP is the way to go. After that they say that the number of published books in Java is 4% off this year while sales of AJAX books is up 68%. Sure, if last year there was just one AJAX  book and now there are three of those, we can even talk about 200% increase.

Having said all this, I have to admit that I also include the talks on AJAX in my Weekend With Experts seminars, because it’s a buzzword and people want to hear about it, but as of today, I’m not going to invest my time in mastering this technology. I’m staying with the good old Java.

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain

Comments (18) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
rdgflex 06/30/09 12:22:00 AM EDT

I was amused when AJAX came out, as though it was some great invention to be able to finally perform asynchronous calls. Before it was called AJAX (pre Windows SP2 days before they put the security screws on x-frame scripting), I was doing the same thing. All that was needed were several invisible HTML frames, making multiple web service calls, directing each web service response to a different invisible frame, and then have the returned contents load itself (via JS, inserted into the returned HTML that was server side rendered by XSLT) into the visible display area. Now, people put a name (AJAX) on an old set of tool with a new API and think they've got the latest and greatest.

R. Grimes

paulm 12/12/06 09:06:34 AM EST

Jakov,
I had the same opinion as you until I found Echo2.
Now I can program in old plane Java but have it displayed in the Web browser window.

JDJ News Desk 12/02/06 07:26:28 AM EST

The idea is noble: instead of rendering an entire HTML page on each little change on the page, it's much better to send an asynchronous request that will get the data for you and refresh only the relevant portion of the screen. Every author writing on AJAX is giving the same (the only?) examples where this technology is being used: Google maps and email. (BTW, I'm a little sick of these examples). Since I'm not going to be helping Google in improving their maps, I'd like to see some real-world examples implementing this technology.

David Small 11/28/06 04:19:20 PM EST

SWING's GUI is only has an advantage as deep as their widgets toolkit. As AJAX widget/libraries build-out and standardize that advantage will disappear. To a large extent that has already happened. Currently, I spend more time working on my business/data layer than my AJAX layer. This runs counter to Yakov assertion that I'm bogged down in GUI work.

Plus, I don't have to worry about getting my user base on-board with downloading a JVM they may or may not want on their local machine.

Yakov 11/15/06 10:15:47 AM EST

Mike,

Yes, this was an old article. I feel the same about Ajax being not a good choice for business applications. My today's choice is Adobe Flex as a front end for server-side Java applications. Swing is too complicated for deployment and too expensive for development.

You can find my Flex-specific articles and links to presentations at our company's blog: http://flexblog.faratasystems.com

Mike Addesa 11/15/06 07:04:42 AM EST

I am curious about the timing of this article. It looks like it was posted in Yakov's blog in December of '05, but was published on this site in October '06. Given the pace at which technologies seem to move these days I wonder if Yakov feels the same now as he did 10 months ago?

j j 09/27/06 07:25:15 PM EDT

The idea is noble: instead of rendering an entire HTML page on each little change on the page, it's much better to send an asynchronous request that will get the data for you and refresh only the relevant portion of the screen. Every author writing on AJAX is giving the same (the only?) examples where this technology is being used: Google maps and email. (BTW, I'm a little sick of these examples). Since I'm not going to be helping Google in improving their maps, I'd like to see some real-world examples implementing this technology.

Colorado HomeFinder 06/14/06 12:54:12 PM EDT

Have a look at this real world example of GWT, Google's AJAX web toolkit:
http://www.cohomefinder.com/Colorado-mortgage.htm

Our GWT mortgage calculator is a simple application we are using evaluate the GWT framework. We are documenting the steps to get this up and running and providing source on Dan Moore's blog:
http://www.mooreds.com/weblog/

Mike 04/28/06 05:01:37 PM EDT

I have to agree with this 100%, but I'd like to add that in response to the worries about people not having java, or statements about the ubiquity of javascript I started hunting around for stats about browsing statistics. Found a couple of sites, (banner ad suppliers), that published that sort of info and found that indeed, the Ajaxistas were right, Javascript was available and usable in somewhere around 94-96 percent of browsers, whereas Java was available in between 93.5-95.5 percent of browsers...I think I'll stick with java after seeing those sorts of statistics! ;)

Yakov Fain 04/19/06 06:18:43 PM EDT

LCB,

I can agree with your statements regarding Web Start. I would not suggest JWS for Amazon and other applications that are used by thousands of customers. Try not to miss the article on RIA development with Flex and Java that will be printed in May's issue of JDJ. You'll see not so trivial application written with minimal code. You'll see a good example of a public facing application (I'm sure that the public won't mind pressing the button and to download a Flash player)

LCB 04/19/06 05:13:02 PM EDT

I prefer Swing - it is a lot easier to use and more robust.

However, even for Intranet apps, there are clients who just won't accept Webstart apps for various reasons. Those reasons, justified or not, are hurdles to acceptance and sales. The client says they want a web client for various reasons, won't be convinced otherwise - they get a web client if you want to sell your software to them. When it means half a million dollars in revenue, you don't just walk away.

And I can see some of their reasons as being halfway reasonable and applicable; security, maintenance, not wanting to have to hassle with deployment - whether they really apply or not to a Java Webstart app or not is debatable (for the most part they don't) but customers have their minds made up.

Then there is the public facing app - where companies want to have some subset of the applications facing outwards to the public. As an employee to a company I don't mind using Java apps that Webstart onto my desktop, but if I want to go do some banking business I want a webclient - and it is not just Google or Amazon who need this, it is auto parts stores, grocery stores, banks, credit unions, and many other small volume businesses.

AJAX, used where appropriate, and in moderation, can be helpful/useful. It is not the answer to all problems, it is just another tool - and I personally don't view it as such a big deal as many others seem to. But it is new, so all the hype that goes with something new gets attached to it. *sigh*

SYS-CON Belgium News Desk 04/11/06 07:17:01 PM EDT

The idea is noble: instead of rendering an entire HTML page on each little change on the page, it's much better to send an asynchronous request that will get the data for you and refresh only the relevant portion of the screen. Every author writing on AJAX is giving the same (the only?) examples where this technology is being used: Google maps and email. (BTW, I'm a little sick of these examples). Since I'm not going to be helping Google in improving their maps, I'd like to see some real-world examples implementing this technology.

JDJ News Desk 04/11/06 03:35:52 PM EDT

The idea is noble: instead of rendering an entire HTML page on each little change on the page, it's much better to send an asynchronous request that will get the data for you and refresh only the relevant portion of the screen. Every author writing on AJAX is giving the same (the only?) examples where this technology is being used: Google maps and email. (BTW, I'm a little sick of these examples). Since I'm not going to be helping Google in improving their maps, I'd like to see some real-world examples implementing this technology.

Steve Benfield 12/14/05 02:28:55 PM EST

>> But wait a minute, do not you think that any
>> entry level Visual Basic/PowerBuilder/Java
>> programmer can do the same thing easily?

First, entry level developers can't do much to begin with. But they can use tools--as can intermediate + advanced developers. So what you'll see growing around AJAX are tools and frameworks--in droves.

So, a better way to phrase the question is--can VB + PowerBuilder developers build their current apps *without* the tools they use--probably not. And even if they can, who wants to? It takes too long because hand-coding GUI is painful--something that is only for people that have too much time, bililng by the hour, or who have some very stringent functionality and/or performance goals.

So, yes, I believe these programmers can build AJAX applications--with the right tools + frameworks.

It is easy to say, just build it in Swing instead--but AJAX provides ubiquity across browsers with no special downloads--and its backend independent. So you're free to choose a backend language and server whether its Java, PHP, .NET, Ruby, etc. Today, AJAX techniques can cover maybe 80% of the client/server GUI apps you might want to build. I predict more in the future.

If you need to deliver apps to a mix audience--or you want to use a common set of programming techniques for your public and internal applications--then AJAX provides that. Any other downloadable medium does not although flash gets closer than anyone.

Full disclosure: I represent a company that provides ThinkCAP JX, an open source, J2EE-based AJAX development environment + framework.

--Steve Benfield
ClearNova

Baz Web Development: Ajax, FastCGI, Joomla 12/13/05 09:12:57 PM EST

Trackback Added: Ajax vs. Ordinary Java; Yakov Fain wrote an interesting article: A Cup of AJAX? Nay, Just Regular Java Please at SYS-CON DEUTSCHLAND.
I can agree that big Internet guys [Google] can and should invest some serious dough into supporting screen-refresh-on-mouse-move in HTML-ba...

SYS-CON Germany News Desk 12/13/05 02:20:18 PM EST

cup of AJAX? Nay, Just Regular Java Please
The idea is noble: instead of rendering an entire HTML page on each little change on the page, it's much better to send an asynchronous request that will get the data for you and refresh only the relevant portion of the screen. Every author writing on AJAX is giving the same (the only?) examples where this technology is being used: Google maps and email. (BTW, I'm a little sick of these examples). Since I'm not going to be helping Google in improving their maps, I'd like to see some real-world examples implementing this technology.

JDJ News Desk 12/13/05 01:46:23 PM EST

A cup of AJAX? Nay, Just Regular Java Please
The idea is noble: instead of rendering an entire HTML page on each little change on the page, it's much better to send an asynchronous request that will get the data for you and refresh only the relevant portion of the screen. Every author writing on AJAX is giving the same (the only?) examples where this technology is being used: Google maps and email. (BTW, I'm a little sick of these examples). Since I'm not going to be helping Google in improving their maps, I'd like to see some real-world examples implementing this technology.

@ThingsExpo Stories
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics ...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, shared examples from a wide range of industries – including en...
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. Jack Norris reviews best practices to show how companies develop, deploy, and dynamically update these applications and how this data-first...
Intelligent Automation is now one of the key business imperatives for CIOs and CISOs impacting all areas of business today. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Boeggeman, VP Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, will talk about how business value is created and delivered through intelligent automation to today’s enterprises. The open ecosystem platform approach toward Intelligent Automation that Ayehu delivers to the market is core to enabling the creation of the self-driving enterprise.
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, will provide a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
Because IoT devices are deployed in mission-critical environments more than ever before, it’s increasingly imperative they be truly smart. IoT sensors simply stockpiling data isn’t useful. IoT must be artificially and naturally intelligent in order to provide more value In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Engineering System Architect at Greenwave Systems, will discuss how IoT artificial intelligence (AI) can be carried out via edge analytics and machine learning techn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
Consumers increasingly expect their electronic "things" to be connected to smart phones, tablets and the Internet. When that thing happens to be a medical device, the risks and benefits of connectivity must be carefully weighed. Once the decision is made that connecting the device is beneficial, medical device manufacturers must design their products to maintain patient safety and prevent compromised personal health information in the face of cybersecurity threats. In his session at @ThingsExpo...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arvind Radhakrishnen discussed how IoT offers new business models in banking and financial services organizations with the capability to revolutionize products, payments, channels, business processes and asset management built on strong architectural foundation. The following topics were covered: How IoT stands to impact various business parameters including customer experience, cost and risk management within BFS organizations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...
SYS-CON Events announced today that App2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. App2Cloud is an online Platform, specializing in migrating legacy applications to any Cloud Providers (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud).
Recently, IoT seems emerging as a solution vehicle for data analytics on real-world scenarios from setting a room temperature setting to predicting a component failure of an aircraft. Compared with developing an application or deploying a cloud service, is an IoT solution unique? If so, how? How does a typical IoT solution architecture consist? And what are the essential components and how are they relevant to each other? How does the security play out? What are the best practices in formulating...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...