Apache upgrades installable Internet apps platform

Pivot 2.0 helps developers build client-side apps that don't require a Web browser, but rather are downloaded and installed

The Apache Software Foundation announced on Wednesday version 2.0 of the open source Apache Pivot platform for building IIAs (installable Internet applications), which are client-side applications that leverage the Internet but do not require a browser.  

Pivot, Apache said, provides a professional-grade foundation for building and deploying sophisticated GUI applications that can be downloaded and installed like traditional mobile or desktop applications. "A simple example [of an IIA] is an email or IM (instant messaging) client," said Greg Brown, vice president of Apache Pivot. "A more sophisticated one is iTunes. Pivot and Java are a great alternative for building these types of applications, especially for projects that don't have the budget or resources to produce multiple OS-native versions."

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Accessible at Apache's website, Pivot enables developers to leverage features of a user interface toolkit with Java or any Java Virtual Machine-compatible language, such as JavaScript, Groovy, or Scala. The technology has been used in applications in retail, software, financial services, manufacturing, and aerospace, Apache said.

Among the improvements in version 2.0 is dynamic data binding, in which properties of target elements are automatically updated whenever a source value changes. Also, CSS-like style classes are supported, as are SVG images. A serializer capability enables applications to be notified as structured content like JSON or XML is read from an input stream. Users also can leverage the Eclipse launcher plug-in for building launch configurations.

IIAs can run in a browser via a Java plug-in.

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