Java developer tool backs AJAX

AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript + XML) programming figures prominently in a free upgrade of the Sun Java Studio Creator developer tool being released by Sun Microsystems on Wednesday.

Sun Java Studio Creator 2 is positioned as Sun's easy-to-use tool for Java development; it is geared toward corporate developers and Visual Basic developers. Looking to enable development of richer Internet applications, Version 2 features a set of JavaServer Faces components and code clips for building AJAX-style applications.

The reusable components, for functions such as mapping and text completion, enable developers to have AJAX functionality without having to program in AJAX, according to Sun. A progress bar component supports long-running processes in programs, such as an inventory check.

"These components themselves are style-able and theme-able," said Dan Roberts, Sun director of developer tools marketing. "That's important for developers who want to customize the look of [their] Web applications or coordinate the look of multiple Web applications.

"By theme-ing, you can define in a set of stylesheets how you want that page to look," Roberts said.

AJAX gives a boost to Sun's tool, according to analyst Stephen O'Grady, of RedMonk. "AJAX in particular is an important addition to Creator, because it allows for the generated Web applications to have a far richer user experience," O'Grady said in an e-mail.