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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Put to the Test: Nexaweb Enterprise Web Suite 2.0

When you investigate Nexaweb Enterprise Web Suite 2.0, you get a sense
that it was created de novo by a group of smart people who studied the
requirements for building robust, rich-Internet-application-style
enterprise applications (like plenty of scalability, security, and data
access), and who considered the available standards and commonly used
tools (Java, JavaScript, Ajax, XML, SOA, etc.) They then set about piecing
together what they viewed as a simpler, consistent, mostly familiar, and
efficient whole. I tested the Nexaweb Platform in three server/hardware
configurations and found the installations to be smooth, requiring
surprisingly little post-install tweaking. Some of this is probably the
result of using standards, coupled with relatively tight control of
client, communication, and server. An interesting innovation is the use
of Nexaweb XML to first create the data presentation UI and then, through
a data framework plug-in, asynchronously handle the data going to or from
the client. Ajax works this way and users find the approach more
responsive. The data framework approach supports a wide variety of
external data handlers in JSP, JSTL, Struts, XSTL, or MVC. Pre-built
components are geared to Web 2.0, rich Internet application, SOA and
mobile applications. Nexaweb includes the Internet Messaging Bus (IMB) as
its way of providing these features and guaranteeing reliable messaging.
Nexaweb keeps it simple, for example riding the http channel through port
80 so that it can be instantly compatible with most firewalls. Nexaweb
supports a Universal Client Framework -- which, despite the name, isn't
all things to all developers, but it does make it possible for developers
who prefer Java, JavaScript, or Ajax to work on Nexaweb apps. The hitch
is that they must learn Nexaweb's declarative language, NXML (Nexaweb XML),
to produce the UI and wrap the other code. In Nexaweb's case the DOM
(Document Object Model) houses the NXML and provides the commands for
the local browser.

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