Unless you’ve been living in Plato’s cave for the last four years, trying to learn about web technology from shadows cast by someone’s monitor, you’ve at least heard of AJAX. It’s the wave of the (very near) future for web applications, one of the fundamental enabling technologies for “Web 2.0.” And, of course, this is the Year of AJAX, just like 2007 was. And 2006, 2005, and 2004.
It’s not that AJAX never really came into being. The technology has certainly been there since at least 2004. And plenty of web sites out there are using it. But it hasn’t become nearly as ubiquitous on the web as people keep constantly predicting. I think part of the reason is that developing AJAX applications from the ground up is not exactly easy, and is very time consuming, and there haven’t been a whole bunch of extensive, declaratively usable AJAX toolkits that integrate well with standard enterprise application technologies like JavaServer Faces.
Is that about to change? Oracle is now in Technical Preview 4 of Oracle JDeveloper 11g, and a production release is hoped for by the end of the year. JDeveloper 11g includes ADF Faces 11g, which itself includes the ADF Faces Rich Client components. ADF Rich Client (ADF RC) components, according to Oracle, “[extend] the Apache Trinidad component framework to provide a rich set of AJAX-enabled JSF components that radically simplifies rich internet application development.”