Curl apps easier to install in upgrade

Development platform is compared to Adobe AIR in its method of delivering apps

Curl plans to release on Thursday version 7 of Curl, the company's Java-like application development platform, featuring capabilities for building desktop applications akin to Adobe AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime).

In a beta stage for about a year, Curl 7 makes it easier to build and install desktop applications. "These are applications that are delivered over the Web but installed on the desktop so that it's very similar to Adobe's AIR product," said Richard Treadway, vice president of sales and marketing at Curl.

Geared to enterprise applications, such as a factory floor spreadsheet or a customer support portal, Curl has featured a rich Internet application platform with its own language. Desktop applications are compiled to native code on the client so they run faster, Treadway said. This mode is similar to Adobe Flex and Microsoft Silverlight applications, he said.

To make it easier to install applications on the desktop, version 7 features an install button and the ability to invoke the application in a simple way, said Treadway. "Before, it was fairly complicated from a programming standpoint," he said.

Version 7 also enables interoperability with Flex, Silverlight, and HTML components on the same HTML page. For example, a user might have a YouTube video on a Web page and control the video with a Curl-based button.

Other features in version 7 include desktop security, so applications can run in the desktop and browser in privileged and unprivileged modes, and a client database making it easier to run offline applications.

Pricing for Curl 7 starts at US$12,000 for deploying a 20-user Curl application. The Curl runtime environment is free, but Curl charges for running applications on top of it.

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