Drag and Drop Ajax Applications

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Now that Ajax applications have become a must for most enterprises many companies are looking for ways to make Ajax application development easier. There are a few tools that promise to make it much easier to create Ajax applications.

WaveMaker has released WaveMaker Visual Ajax Studio. The tool boasts an easy to use drag and drop development environment. The studio claims to improve development time by 67% and to reduce code by as much as 98%.
Key features include:

  • Drag & Drop Assembly
  • LiveLayout™
  • Push to Deploy™: One-touch application deployment
  • Visual Data Binding
  • SOAP, REST and RSS web services
  • Leverage existing CSS, HTML and Java
  • Deploys a standard Java .war file
  • Free

The application offers an open source license as well as enterprise licenses.

You can view a screen cast of the product here.

TIBCO also has an easy to use drag an drop Ajax development environment called General Interface. The development tool is used by many large organizations for Ajax application development such as H&R Block. As with WaveMaker General Interface offers both open source and enterprise licensing.

You can take a look at General Interface here. You can view a demo of an application developed with General Interface here.

These tools can be great for some use cases however they tend to be much too heavy weight for public facing sites. Another thing to look out for is that some JavaScript development libraries may not work well with these tools. Both tools run in the browser which is something that I personally think is a bad idea as it can slow down the application due to the browsers own limitations. For me personally I would prefer to use a library like GWT for Ajax application development, but I'm not big into the whole drag and drop programming.

I think preference for code versus drag-n-drop is a personal thing. Obviously, we designed Wavemaker for folks who like drag-n-drop. For everyone else, there is always vi.

I think momentum is on the side of drag-n-drop for the UI - as the web wobbles towards rich internet apps, the focus on usability and look and feel will increase - these are things that can be done more efficiently in a visual tool.

In contrast, transactional programming and complex, server side logic will always be better handled in code.

Hi Christopher,

Thanks for you comment and you are correct that code versus drag-n-drop is a preference. I think that drag-n-drop development tools have always had more momentum because of the low barrier to develop your application. I have to admit that I have always had more of a bias against drag-n-drop development tools starting in the early Visual Basic days (I always preferred to code in C++).

Having said this for a drag-n-drop tool, it is a very good tool. By the way is there any chance that in the future the tool will be offered in a desktop application instead of a web-based application (another preference of mine for web development)?

Thanks again for your comments.

[...] Drag and Drop Ajax Applications By David Hurth You can view a demo of an application developed with General Interface here. These tools can be great for some use cases however they tend to be much too heavy weight for public facing sites. Another thing to look out for is that some … Ajaxonomy - The Study of Ajax… - http://www.ajaxonomy.com [...]

Hello,
I would like using it.
Please kindly keep it here.

Thanks,
Hy ChanHan

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