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Open Source Alternatives to LiveCycle Data Services
LCDS is a great solution for Flex/Java enterprise projects, but it's not the only one
By: Yakov Fain
Mar. 16, 2010 09:15 AM
Development of enterprise Flex/Java rich Internet applications benefits from using automated data integration solutions and productivity tools.
Currently Adobe offers LiveCycle Data Services ES2 (LCDS) and open source BlazeDS 3.
While LCDS is certainly a great piece of software for those who are looking to support thousands of concurrent users via the most efficient communication protocols, its high licensing cost makes LCDS unaffordable for the vast majority of the enterprise applications let alone small businesses and startups.
The first two products offer their own implementation of the AMF protocol, and Clear Toolkit uses the AMF libraries that come with BlazeDS . If you are looking for an open source implementation of the Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP), the Red5 server (currently in version 0.7) may be your option.
The current version of Clear Toolkit is 3.2.1. The features that are currently not available but will be implemented in Clear Toolkit version 4 by the end of 2010 are marked as v4 in the chart below.
Disclaimer. I'm one of the creators of Clear Toolkit. But if the owners of GraniteDS, WebOrb, and Red5 would like to be listed here, please let me know, and I'll gladly update this feature matrix.
Feature Matrix: Adobe Live Cycle Data Services ES2, BlazeDS 3, Clear Toolkit 3+
* Farata Systems can develop an NIO-based BlazeDS solution on a per-customer basis under a separate consulting agreement. Read and watch performance tests of our high concurrency Jetty/NIO/BlazeDS solution at http://flex.sys-con.com/node/720304
** Currently, Farata Systems is working on a solution to introduce the model-driven development to Clear Toolkit.
*** LCDS offers advanced server-side PDF generation. Clear Toolkit components support PDF generation on the client (WYSIWYG), but does not support working with forms.
**** Adobe doesn't publish the cost of the LCDS ES2 license. The price listed here is based on the data shared by current users whose employers allegedly paid (read the comments to the following blog post of Adobe LCDS/BlazeDS Product Manager).
I'll be demoing Clear Toolkit in action at the Flash and The City conference in May in New York City. If you'll be in town on May 17, consider attending our hands-on master class on the modularization of Flex applications.
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