Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Gary Kaiser, Elizabeth White, Dana Gardner, Mike Kavis, Sematext Blog

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 co-founder of two software companies: Farata Systems and SuranceBay. He authored several technical books and lots of articles on software development. Yakov is Java Champion (https://java-champions.java.net). He leads leads Princeton Java Users Group. Two of Yakov's books will go in print this year: "Enterprise Web Development" (O'Reilly) and "Java For Kids" (No Starch Press).

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
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect their organization.
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sectors.
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
Akana has released Envision, an enhanced API analytics platform that helps enterprises mine critical insights across their digital eco-systems, understand their customers and partners and offer value-added personalized services. “In today’s digital economy, data-driven insights are proving to be a key differentiator for businesses. Understanding the data that is being tunneled through their APIs and how it can be used to optimize their business and operations is of paramount importance,” said Alistair Farquharson, CTO of Akana.
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
The enterprise market will drive IoT device adoption over the next five years. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Greenough, an analyst at BI Intelligence, division of Business Insider, analyzed how companies will adopt IoT products and the associated cost of adopting those products. John Greenough is the lead analyst covering the Internet of Things for BI Intelligence- Business Insider’s paid research service. Numerous IoT companies have cited his analysis of the IoT. Prior to joining BI Intelligence, he worked analyzing bank technology for Corporate Insight and The Clearing House Payment...
"Optimal Design is a technology integration and product development firm that specializes in connecting devices to the cloud," stated Joe Wascow, Co-Founder & CMO of Optimal Design, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CommVault has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A singular vision – a belief in a better way to address current and future data management needs – guides CommVault in the development of Singular Information Management® solutions for high-performance data protection, universal availability and simplified management of data on complex storage networks. CommVault's exclusive single-platform architecture gives companies unp...
Electric Cloud and Arynga have announced a product integration partnership that will bring Continuous Delivery solutions to the automotive Internet-of-Things (IoT) market. The joint solution will help automotive manufacturers, OEMs and system integrators adopt DevOps automation and Continuous Delivery practices that reduce software build and release cycle times within the complex and specific parameters of embedded and IoT software systems.
"ciqada is a combined platform of hardware modules and server products that lets people take their existing devices or new devices and lets them be accessible over the Internet for their users," noted Geoff Engelstein of ciqada, a division of Mars International, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.