IBM and Laszlo Systems on Tuesday announced they are teaming to link the OpenLaszlo rich Internet application development system to the open source Eclipse platform.
Although previously available on the IBM alphaWorks technology site, the “IDE for Laszlo” plug-in that hooks OpenLaszlo to Eclipse is being formally contributed to the Eclipse Foundation, said Antony Campitelli, vice president of marketing at Laszlo “It’s the actual source code that’s getting contributed. The proposal is now on the Eclipse Web site.”
OpenLaszlo is an open source XML-native platform for building rich Internet applications that can run in any modern browser, according to the companies. With it, functionality similar to what has been available in desktop applications can be provided.
IDE for Laszlo has been downloaded on alphaWorks 13,000 times since last year. The IDE for Laszlo project features a rich editing environment that offers XML- and script-based content assistance, XML syntax highlighting, and XML code formatting.
“The idea [around the plug-in project] has been how you can extend portals and other things to create these richer application experiences,” said Rod Smith, IBM vice president of emerging technologies.
Laszlo’s technology can reduce the number of pages required for viewing in Internet commerce applications, thus making these applications easier to deal with and making abandonment of transactions less likely, Smith said.
Initially a proprietary technology, Laszlo Systems made its development software available via open source in October 2004, while continuing to sell support services and applications based on the platform, Laszlo officials said. Since its rebirth as an open source offering, OpenLaszlo has been downloaded 60,000 times, the company said.
OpenLaszlo applications can be run in Macromedia’s Flash Player 6. The plug-in works with Laszlo’s LZX (Laszlo XML) declarative markup language that can function with Flash. JavaServer Faces also is supported for application deployment.
IBM also will make “Faces for Laszlo” available for download on alphaWorks at www.alphaworks.ibm.com. This software allows the use of OpenLaszlo to build rich Internet applications in portals and J2EE environments.
Separately from its Laszlo arrangements, IBM is pondering whether to offer AJAX technology of its own. “We’re still evaluating it but we think it definitely has some value in terms of satisfying some of the customer needs,” which are to enable smoother user experiences on the client.
IBM also envisions that PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) combined with forms technology could provide for a good workflow solution, Smith said. PHP forms could communicate with Web services and J2EE applications, he added.
IBM on Tuesday also announced an agreement to acquire PureEdge Solutions, which develops electronic forms that customize the employee interface to business applications and enable the capture and display of business data. IBM will integrate the technology into IBM’s own portfolio of collaboration technology, including IBM Workplace and Lotus offerings, according to IBM.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.