DreamFactory readies browser tools for Web interfaces

Suite enables aggregation of data sources

DreamFactory on Monday is shipping its DreamFactory 6.0 suite of browser-based tools for developing rich client user interfaces for enterprise Web applications powered by XML documents and Web services.

The tools are intended to streamline UI design, enhance user experience, reduce network traffic, and lower development costs by enabling the aggregation of multiple data sources on a single browser page. No additional server software is needed.

”We're a consumer of Web services," said Bill Appleton, president and chief scientist at DreamFactory.

The company's approach is to enable delivery of software as a service by aggregating eternal information sources into "information centers," according to DreamFactory.

The product can inspect WSDL, SOAP, and XML assets used for communication to provide for troubleshooting of integration problems and maintaining Web applications that use XML. Secure remote access to any service-based Web applications can be achieved via DreamFactory, the company said.

Included in Version 6.0, which actually is the first production release of the software, is the DreamFactory Runtime engine, which is designed to provide front-end user interface authoring and display capabilities for service-oriented architectures. The product's IDE supports skills used in VBScript, ECMAScript, and JavaScript.

Development is supported on J2EE and .Net platforms. An XML Web services communications model is implemented to support integration with different application servers and enterprise software packages.

Projects can be deployed like Web pages but run with detailed user interfaces like traditional applications, according to DreamFactory.

DreamFactory 6.0 functions on all versions of Macintosh and Windows systems and also as a Netscape Plug-In or ActiveX control in all major Web browsers. Projects can be delivered as standalone applications or as an embedded MIME type for e-mail, Word, and Excel, according to the company.

The company on Monday also is announcing SBuilder, a tool for the construction of client interfaces on the salesforce.com sforce 2.0 on demand application server platform. Salesforce.com provides online CRM services.

"What we enable salesforce.com to do is build UIs that solve the particular problem" for a customer," said Travis Huch, vice president of worldwide sales at DreamFactory.

DreamFactory's technology enables users to bolt on additional functionality to Salesfore.com, said Mike Kreaden, director of product and technology alliances at Salesforce.com.

"It's a new and novel way of extending Salesforce.com without having to have additional servers," Kreaden said.

Available February 1, SBuilder provides drag-and-drop construction of interactive user interface components connected to sforce 2.0 Web services APIs. It enables salesforce.com customers to integrate external services and custom objects to extend salesforce.com and build interactive applications.