Aptana introduces AJAX servers

Aptana Jaxer 1.0 and Jaxer Pro let developers build apps using JavaScript, DOM, CSS, HTML; Mozilla Firefox browser engine is featured

Aptana last week announced the release of Aptana Jaxer 1.0 and the introduction of Jaxer Pro, both of which are "AJAX servers" that let developers build Web applications using JavaScript, DOM, CSS, and HTML.

Jaxer embeds the open source Mozilla Firefox browser engine within a server, enabling developers to have the same execution environment on the application server as they have on the Web browser, Aptana said. This simplifies Web technologies and reduces complexity in developing and managing Web applications, the company said.

While Jaxer is free and open source, Jaxer Pro offers the same technology under a commercial license with support from Aptana. Jaxer 1.0 also is available in the Aptana Cloud application hosting and lifecycle management hosting service.

The Jaxer application framework enables developers to use JavaScript on the server to interact with databases, file systems, and networks. Server sessions, image manipulation, and other capabilities typical of application servers are provided using the same language as Web pages. AJAX libraries such as jQuery, Dojo, and others can run on the server.

An HTML DOM is enabled during page execution so AJAX libraries or JavaScript DOM APIs can be used to modify and personalize Web pages before being served to the browser.

Client-side and server-side code can be used in the same HTML page. AJAX communications is simplified as well. Developers can expose JavaScript functions running on the server to a Web page and execute those functions as if they were part of a Web page.

In addition, RESTful data services can be developed for consumption by AJAX applications or widgets typical of Facebook or OpenSocial applications. Jaxer supports JSON and XML (Ecmascript for XML) and provides APIs for delivering pages or data via RESTful interfaces. Less code is needed to transform common data types, Aptana said.

These services can work with Adobe Flash or Microsoft Silverlight.

"The idea of Jaxer, that a server could be just like a Web browser from a Web developer's point of view, is a natural evolution of Web technologies," said Paul Colton, CEO and founder of Aptana, in a statement released by the company.

Jaxer Pro licenses and subscriptions can be purchased through the Aptana Store at Aptana's Web site. The company also offers Aptana Studio, which provides an embedded Jaxer server and code assist, documentation, sample projects, and reference material.

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