Apache Pivot is a platform for building rich Internet applications (RIAs) in Java. It has now graduated to a Top-Level Project (TLP) and has announced the release of Apache Pivot 1.4. Pivot claims to combine the enhanced productivity and usability features of a modern RIA toolkit with the robustness of the industry-standard Java platform. Pivot provides a foundation upon which sophisticated and engaging applications can be easily built and deployed over the Web. Because Pivot applications are written in Java, they can take full advantage of the comprehensive feature set and extensive industry support of the Java platform.
“Users have much higher expectations for Web applications now than they did 10 years ago,” said Greg Brown, Chair of the Apache Pivot Project Management Committee (PMC) and Principal Consultant at Cantina Consulting. “This is why we’re seeing tools like Flex and Silverlight beginning to gain traction; however, both of these require developers who are otherwise happy using Java to switch technologies. Pivot is an attempt to create a modern, rich client development platform in Java.”
Pivot provides a comprehensive set of standard user interface elements ranging from simple buttons to editable tree and table controls. It also includes a number of features that significantly simplify development of modern GUI applications, including an XML markup language for declaring the structure of a user interface, data binding, animated effects and transitions, and Web services integration.
“I’ve tried the demos and I was stunned,” said Pivot user Trelieux Einagen. “The framework uses easy to understand markup for the applet front end while at the same time taking advantage of the power of Java for business logic and server side processing…I think the Java community in general is fortunate enough to have those guys at Pivot stand up and build something that can actually compete RIGHT NOW with the likes of Flash/Flex and Microsoft Silverlight/WPF without losing your sanity.”
Pivot user Scott Lanham said, “The current default theme has a nice clean look and feel…I am impressed with the good selection of widgets. They appear to cover just about every need of an application…Well done with Pivot!”
“Thank you guys with coming up with Pivot,” said Java developer and Pivot user N. Forbes. “Java really, really needs a smooth, coherent RIA next generation framework to ‘seriously’ compete with the likes of Flex and Silverlight/WPF…I saw someone comment on the Pivot Framework that it leverages existing Java skills to make the transition to the framework as seamless as possible. I looked at the source code and screamed out in joy: you guys may actually end up bailing out the Java RIA from pure academic obscurity and back into the more popular sphere of mind.”