A New (Free) Tool For Java RIA Development

    September 19, 2006

A new tool “that allows developers to create UltraLightClient user interfaces from XML files” has been released by Canoo.

ULC XML, “a free and open-source tool,” “is an UI generator for UltraLightClient applications.”

The Canoo website declares itself “your first address for Web front-end development applications,” and describes the company, which is based in Switzerland, as a leader in Rich Internet Applications (RIA) and HTML applications.

It’s worth noting that the home page features a photo of a nautical craft, but it’s not a canoe. Strange.

The operation of ULC XML is comparatively straightforward – “the XML file is parsed at runtime and rendered into Java objects.” And UltraLightClient (ULC), in case you didn’t know, “is a Java library that bridges the gap between Swing UI components and a server-side Java EE architecture, enabling the development of Rich Internet Applications (RIA) that are based entirely on Java.”

The press release admitted that ULC XML “is similar to the solution offered by the open source project SwiXml: Java classes are mapped to element names; property names translate into attribute names.”

That’s not a bad thing, though, because “developers familiar with SwiXml have little effort learning how to use ULC XML.” Also, “the Canoo tool offers a Rich Internet Application (RIA) option for SwiXml/Swing developers.”

“ULC XML provides a faster and easier way to develop rich, responsive GUIs for web applications,” the release continued. “The major benefit is that the layout of the user interface is separate from the Java classes of the application. The XML hierarchy mirrors the hierarchy of UI components such as windows, sub-windows, tables, trees and tabs and allows developers to quickly assemble a user interface.”

Those interested in ULC XML should know that it “requires a license of UltraLightClient,” but “a free evaluation license is available.”

There is also a download package that “includes free samples such as the ULC XML version of the ULC OnlineShop demo.” Towards the opposite end of the spectrum from “free,” the ULC XML developer key is $1499.


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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.