Enterprise Web 2.0 apps highlighted by WaveMaker

WaveMaker's products are intended to provide capabilities similar to Facebook, but for Global 2000 companies

WaveMaker Software, formerly ActiveGrid, has unveiled its WaveMaker Visual Assembly Studio tool and Rapid Deployment Framework for building what the company calls Enterprise Web 2.0 applications.

With this product rollout, WaveMaker is leveraging more than two dozen open-source projects to enable visual assembly of Web applications using AJAX widgets, Web services, and databases. Enterprise Web 2.0 is being defined by WaveMaker as the ability to bring the self service and documentation of Web 2.0 to the enterprise.

WaveMaker's products are intended to provide capabilities similar to Facebook, but for Global 2000 companies. "[The platform is] able to leverage some of the services that come out of Facebook, especially identity and managing your network," said Todd Hay, WaveMaker vice president of sales and marketing.

"We believe that a Web 2.0 application becomes safe to deploy in the enterprise when it meets the CIO's architecture, security, and data policies, and that's what we bring to the table with our framework," Rick Saletta, director of marketing and product management at WaveMaker, said.

WaveMaker's product strategy was called an "interesting play" by analyst Raven Zachary, research director at the 451 Group. The plan extends application development to business owners, who could work with developers on deploying business applications, he said.

WaveMaker bills its offerings as PowerBuilder for the Web, providing an Enterprise Web 2.0 solution to address competing priorities of business teams and central IT. The combined product offering enables developers to build internal applications with less code and less time compared to traditional application development methods, the company said. Tasks that can be accomplished range from migrating legacy Microsoft applications and Oracle Forms to a MySQL database to designing Web 2.0 sales applications that pull data from different CRM systems.

Visual Assembly Studio features a visual environment for developers and architects to build data-driven Web applications without needing to write complex code, the company said. CIOs can delegate business applications to departmental teams

Rapid Deployment Framework is built on standards and open-source projects, including Spring, Hibernate, Acegi, and JAX-WS (Java API for XML Web Services). It features one-touch application deployment onto Java application servers like Apache Tomcat and J2EE servers.

The WaveMaker Enterprise Web 2.0 product line features such capabilities as drag-and-drop application assembly, WYSIWYG design with testing of live data, and reusable components including support for CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), RSS and WSDL.

WaveMaker Visual Assembly Studio and Rapid Deployment Framework work in conjunction with each other. Both will be available in public beta releases on Wednesday night, with general releases set for December 17. Visual Assembly Studio is free, while Rapid Deployment Framework costs around US$25,000 per server or US$10,000 per application.

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Paul Krill

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