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OpenAjax Alliance Position Paper on Mobile Ajax

The OpenAjax Alliance is a consortium of companies that are active in the Ajax industry. It was founded on May 15 2006, concluded a governing Members Agreement in October 2006 and now has more than 80 member organizations, including industry giants such as Adobe, BEA, Cisco, ESRI, Fidelity, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Mozilla, Oracle, SAP, and Sun. The alliance's home page at shows the full list of members.

The alliance pursues both technical and marketing initiatives. Its technical initiatives are centered on Ajax interoperability. Its marketing initiatives focus on educational materials that help IT managers and Web developers be successful with Ajax.

OpenAjax Alliance collects no fees from its members and therefore has no dedicated staff. All participation is provided by the member organizations on a voluntary basis.

Organizational accomplishments

Since the kick-off meeting in May 2006, the organization has:

White papers

The Marketing Working Group has responsibility for OpenAjax Alliance's communication, educational, and promotional activities. This group has published a series of white papers (found at that help Web developers and IT managers learn how to be successful with Ajax. The first four white papers are:

A fifth white paper on "Ajax and Mashup Security" will be published soon.

OpenAjax Hub

To date, the most important product to come out of the Interoperability Working Group is release 1.0 of the OpenAjax Hub. The "Hub" is a small amount of standard JavaScript (< 3K after compaction) that enables multiple Ajax runtimes used within the same Web page to communicate with each other via the Hub's publish/subscribe engine.

In the past year, the alliance studied use cases and requirements, authored a complete specification, developed an open source reference implementation, and produced a comprehensive test suite for OpenAjax Hub 1.0. There have been two "InteropFests" where multiple Ajax toolkits used the Hub in sample applications to verify its feature set and the quality of the open source reference implementation.

The alliance is just beginning work on OpenAjax Hub 1.1, which is likely to extend the publish/subscribe features from Hub 1.0 to address Comet-style server-push communications, cross-frame messaging and secure mashups.

OpenAjax Registry

The Interoperability Working Group has begun work on the OpenAjax Registry, which will provide a centralized, industry-wide Ajax toolkit and JavaScript global object registration authority that helps prevent JavaScript object collision within complex Ajax applications. At this point, the process and rules for the "Registry" are under active development.

Ajax Developer Tools (IDEs)

In the spring of 2007, the alliance approved an IDE Working Group that is addressing interoperability issues between Ajax toolkits and Ajax developer tools (i.e., IDEs). The working group will specify a standard metadata format for describing the UI controls and JavaScript APIs within a given Ajax toolkit.

The metadata standard will enable an Ajax IDE to populate its widget palettes with icons, auto-generate property editor dialogs, and offer completion/code assist for JavaScript APIs. The working group includes participants who are associated with Adobe Dreamweaver, Aptana, Eclipse Ajax Toolkit Framework, Microsoft ASP.NET AJAX, Microsoft Visual Studio, Tibco and Netbeans. The working group has completed its work on use cases and requirements and will begin work soon on the metadata specification.

Ajax Security

The Security Task Force began its work in June 2007. Its first product was the white paper titled "Ajax and Mashup Security," which was written and published in collaboration with the Marketing Working Group. The task force has begun work on a wiki page that serves as a central information launching point for Ajax developers to learn about Ajax security concerns and techniques for addressing them. Going forward, the Security Task Force is likely to collaborate closely with the Interoperability Working Group on any OpenAjax Hub 1.1 efforts around secure mashups.

Mobile Ajax

The alliance has recently launched its Mobile Ajax Task Force. The task force plans to author a Mobile Ajax white paper that will summarize the current state of affairs with Mobile Ajax and provide guidance to developers to successfully deliver Mobile Ajax applications today. The task force also has begun investigations into what the OpenAjax Alliance might do in the area of mobile device APIs.

Emerging efforts around Ajax performance and searchability

The members of OpenAjax Alliance are in the process of establishing two new task forces. One, called the Production Ajax Management Task Force, will center on Ajax runtime performance monitoring. The other, called the Ajax Searchability Task Force, will focus on improving the ability of search engines to do a better job of indexing Ajax applications.

OpenAjax Conformance trust brand

The Marketing Working Group has established a long-term promotional vision centered on the OpenAjax Conformance trust brand. OpenAjax Conformance is shorthand for the set of conformance requirements that OpenAjax Alliance will place on Ajax technologies, products and applications. Conformance is defined by OpenAjax Alliance specifications and facilitated by the alliance's open source efforts.

OpenAjax Alliance will promote OpenAjax Conformance among all stakeholders in the Ajax industry. OpenAjax Conformance provides the following benefits to IT managers and the Ajax developer community:


In just over one year, the OpenAjax Alliance has compiled a strong record of accomplishment. It has established key legal and organizational processes. The Marketing Working Group has produced valuable education materials for IT managers and Ajax developers. The Interoperability Working Group has completed OpenAjax Hub 1.0. The next year promises further contributions to the industry on multiple fronts. We hope that one front where OpenAjax Alliance can help the community is helping developers be successful with Mobile Ajax. The alliance has recently launched its Mobile Ajax Task Force and therefore is in the early stages of discussion about what mobile-related activities it should pursue and which ones to pursue first.