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Round-up of 50 AJAX Toolkits and Frameworks

Posted on Apr 12, 2006 by in Web

The following is a compilation of all of the AJAX toolkits and frameworks that I have either reviewed or have first hand experience with and would recommend. It seem like a new AJAX toolkit or framework has come out every week or so since the term AJAX was coined a little over a year ago. As a designer and developer I find these tools invaluable in the process of rapid web development. “I welcome additions to this list. Please use the comment section to add any AJAX toolkits or frameworks you find useful. As always feedback on this post is most welcome. Thanks to all of the toolkit and framework developers!”AJAX Coldfusion FrameworksrnajaxCFCrnAjaxCFC is a ColdFusion framework meant to speed up ajax application development and deployment by providing developers seamless integration between JavaScript and ColdFusion, and providing built-in functions, such as security and debugging, to quickly adapt to any type of environment and helping to overcome cross-browser compatibility problems.”CFAjaxrnCFAjax is the AJAX implementation for coldfusion. It makes coldfusion method calls on server directly from HTML page using JavaScript and return backs the result to the calling HTML page. CFAjax comes with simple to use JavaScript API and simple coldfusion implementation that marshal‚Äö√Ñ√¥s the response between your CF methods and HTML page. Using CFAjax you can create highly interactive websites with greater performance and usability.”JSMX“JSMX is an Ultra Lightweight – Language Agnostic – Ajax Framework. It is by far the easiest way to integrate Ajax into any Web Application. What separates JSMX from most other Ajax Frameworks is that the JSMX API runs entirely on the client and has no Server Side Components to install. Given this fact plus the fact that you can pass back JavaScript, XML, JSON, or WDDX makes JSMX a truly Universal Ajax API.”AJAX Flash FrameworksrnFlex Framework:FABridgernThe Flex Ajax Bridge (FABridge) is a small, unobtrusive library of code that you can insert into a Flex application, a Flex component, or even an empty SWF file to expose it to scripting in the browser. It is being released to the community under an open source license.”AJAX Java FrameworksrnEcho2rnEcho2 is the next-generation of the Echo Web Framework, a platform for developing web-based applications that approach the capabilities of rich clients. The 2.0 version holds true to the core concepts of Echo while providing dramatic performance, capability, and user-experience enhancements made possible by its new Ajax-based rendering engine.”TacosrnThe Tacos library project provides components and ajax behaviour for the Tapestry java web application framework. Most of the functionality is based on the exceptional dojo javascript library. It’s intent is to provide a library of high quality components that may be used in your tapestry application, as well as provide a core infrastructure for using ajax related logic in these and your own components and pages.”rnSWATO -Shift Web Application TornSwato is an opensource framework that help you develop your webapps easier via AJAX.”ThinkCAP JX – Rich Internet Applicatons with AJAX, J2EE, and Open SourcernThinkCAP’s innovative 3-tier event model allows developers to us the power of the server to build interactivity either through Java or JavaScript.”WebORBrnWebORB Presentation Server is a platform for developing, deploying and hosting Rich Internet Applications. Using the product developers can create advanced Internet based applications delivering ultimate user experience. Supported client applications include AJAX and Flash Remoting clients. Architecturally WebORB resides between client application and server-side components and provides connectivity between client and server sides.”ZK – Rich Web Application FrameworkrnZK is an open-source Web framework that enables rich UI for Web applications with no JavaScript and little programming. With event-driven feature-rich components, developing becomes as simple as programming desktops. With a markup language, desigining becomes as simple as authoring HTML.”rnAJAX Multi-Platform FrameworksrnRialtornRich Internet Application Toolkit – Ajax based – Rialto (Rich Internet Application Toolkit) is ajax-based cross browser javascript widgets library. Because it is technology agnostic it can be encapsulated in JSP, JSF, .Net, Python or PHP graphic components.”Taconite – Cross Browser AJAX FramworkrnTaconite is a framework that simplifies the creation of Ajax enabled Web applications. It’s a very lightweight framework that automates the tedious tasks related to Ajax development, such as the creation and management of the XMLHttpRequest object and the creation of dynamic content. Taconite can be used with all modern Web browsers (Firefox, Safari, IE, Opera, and Konqueror, to name a few) and can be used with any server-side technology including Java EE and .Net, although Taconite does have its roots in Java EE.”The haXe Programming LanguagernThe Web is evolving quickly, with different technologies needed at different places. For instance, if you want to create a website now you’ll have to handle several languages, on the server side, a web language such as PHP, Perl, Ruby or Python, on the client side, Flash (ActionScript 1, 2 and now 3) and Javascript / DHTML / AJAX. The haXe programming language is uniting theses different platforms under one language.”Web Input Completion KitrnThis is WICK, the Web Input Completion Kit, an evolving framework that leverages web standards such as JavaScript, DOM and CSS to facilitate textual input in form UI elements assisted by local and remote data sources. This framework strives to remain unobtrusive and preserve a form’s semantics and accessibility.”rnAJAX .NET FrameworksrnAJAX EnginernThis implementation has its focus on building an AJAX Engine and Web Controls upon standard WebServices (SOAP, WSDL) on the web server instead of using a new or proprietary protocol. The benefit for that is that there is no special coding necessary for most parts of the networking infrastructure and that many aspects like caching and security of the WebService implementation can be reused.”AtlasrnAtlas is a free framework for building a new generation of richer, more interactive, highly personalized standards based Web applications. This new Web development technology from Microsoft integrates client script libraries with the ASP.NET 2.0 server-based development framework. In addition, Atlas offers you the same type of development platform for client-based Web pages that ASP.NET offers for server-based pages.”BitkraftrnBitkraft is a CLR based (.NET) web framework that allows distributed web content to be created and served in a unique fashion. It is written in C# and compiles for operation under the Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1+ or the .Mono Framework, making it portable to almost any platform.”MagicAjax“MagicAjax.NET is a free open-source framework, designed to make it easier and more intuitive for developers to integrate AJAX technology into their web pages, without replacing the ASP.NET controls and/or writing tons of javascript code. MagicAjax initially appeared as a codeproject article. Now it is hosted on Sourceforge and you can find the latest release at the downloads section.”MonoRailrnMonoRail (former Castle on Rails) is a MVC web framework inspired on Action Pack. The Action Pack way of development is extremely productive, very intuitive and easily testable”zumiPagernzumiPage makes it easy to build rich, interactive web-based applications With zumiPage postbacks to the server are automatically captured on the client-side, and sent via an XmlHttp mechanism. Using advanced AJAX technology, combined with the unique capabilities of zumiPage to manipulate the ASP.NET framework, an extremely fast server response is executed and the user experience is very similar to well-known desktop applications.”AJAX Perl FrameworksrnCatalystrnCatalyst comes with a built-in lightweight HTTP server for development purposes. This runs on any platform; you can quickly restart it to reload any changes. This server functions similarly to production-level servers, so you can use it throughout the testing process–or longer; it’s a great choice if you want to deliver a self-contained desktop application. Scalability is simple, though: when you want to move on, it is trivial to switch the engine to use plain CGI, mod_perl1, mod_perl2, FastCGI, or even the Zeus web server.”CGI::Ajax“CGI::Ajax is an object-oriented module that provides a unique mechanism for using perl code asynchronously from javascript-enhanced web pages. You would commonly usernCGI::Ajax in AJAX/DHTML-based web applica- tions. CGI::Ajax unburdens the user from having to write any javascript, except for having to associate an exported method with a document-defined event (such as onClick, onKeyUp, etc). Only in the more advanced implementations of a exported perl method would a user need to write any javascript.”HTML-PrototypernA group of code generators for Prototype and the script.aculous extensions.”AJAX PHP FrameworksrnAJAX AGENT – helping WEB become the platformrnAJAX AGENT is a very easy to use, yet very powerful open source toolkit for rapidly building AJAX or Rich Internet Applications (RIA). For the PHP version, it takes only three lines of code to invoke a remote scripting call. Remote scripting is an integral part of AJAX.”Cajax“A PHP class library for writing powerfull reloadless web user interfaces using Ajax (DHTML+server-side) stylez”CakePHP Rapid Development FrameworkrnCake is a rapid development framework for PHP which uses commonly known design patterns like ActiveRecord, Association Data Mapping, Front Controller and MVC. Our primary goal is to provide a structured framework that enables PHP users at all levels to rapidly develop robust web applications, without any loss to flexibility.”Flexible AjaxrnFlexible Ajax is a handler to combine the remote scripting technology, also known as AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript and XML), with a php-based backend.rnThe AJAX Technique is best described in the wikipedia article and the original article on, giving the technique the name AJAX.rnBasically, Flexible Ajax is the tool to call php functions from within javascript and handle the returned values, without having to reload the entire page.”My-BIC = Easy AjaxrnAfter tiring of over hyped ajax frameworks trying to hide the guts that make ajax programming fun I decided to share my recipe for easy to make ajax applications where you still have control over everything, but the setup of it all is handled for you. This is a basic state of mind system rather than a framework. I offer you four files and a design pattern that allows you to focus on making things happen rather than setting things up. This is designed for PHP5 but can be written for php4 if people are interested.”PAJAJ – Object Oriented AJAX FrameworkrnWhat is the PAJAJ framework, it stands for (PHP Asynchronous Javascript and JSON). It is a object oriented Ajax framework written in PHP5 for development of event driven PHP web applications.”rnPipelinernPipeline is an MIT-licensed, object-oriented framework for PHP. We built it so we could build atop it, and we’re hoping that you might want to do the same. It’s free, the code is yours to use, so take a look.”TinyAjax – php5 Ajax libraryrnYou don’t have to write any javascript, but if you want you’re free to do so and you can mix as you want, use TinyAjax automatically generated code and your own existing scripts. You can also export global functions and a class-functions in the same page.”symfony – an open-source PHP5 web frameworkrnBased on the best practices of web development, thoroughly tried on several active websites, symfony aims to speed up the creation and maintenance of web applications, and to replace the repetitive coding tasks by power, control and pleasure.”xajaxrnxajax is an open source PHP class library that allows you to easily create powerful, web-based, Ajax applications using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP. Applications developed with xajax can asynchronously call server-side PHP functions and update content without reloading the page.”rnXOAD – PHP / AJAX frameworkrnAJAX/XAP object oriented framework that allows you to create richer web applications. “Zoop – PHP and AJAX Development FrameworkrnZoop is an object oriented framework for PHP based on a front controller. It is designed to be very fast and efficient and very nice for the programmer to work with. It is easily extensible, and you need only include the functionality you use.”AJAX Python FrameworksrnCherryPyrnCherryPy is a pythonic, object-oriented web development framework. CherryPy allows developers to build web applications in much the same way they would build any other object-oriented Python program. This usually results in smaller source code developed in less time.”DjangornDjango is a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.”rnTurboGearsrnCreate a database-driven, ready-to-extend application in minutes. All with designer friendly templates, easy AJAX on the browser side and on the server side, not a single SQL query in sight with code that is as natural as writing a function.”AJAX Toolkit FrameworksrnAJAX Toolkit FrameworkrnOverview – A technology that assists in constructing Eclipse framework support for AJAX Toolkits and provides enhanced DHTML/Javascript IDE features for AJAX developers. (This is an ETTK technology.)”AJAX ToolkitsrnAJAXLibrnAJAXLib is a small JavaScript tool that makes working with AJAX applications a little easier.”rnCPAINTrnCPAINT (Cross-Platform Asynchronous INterface Toolkit) is a multi-language toolkit that helps web developers design and implement AJAX web applications with ease and flexibility. It was originally born out of the author’s frustration and disappointment with other open-source AJAX toolkits. It is built on the same principles of AJAX, utilizing JavaScript and the XMLHTTP object on the client-side and the appropriate scripting language on the server-side to complete the full circle of data passing from client to server and back.”DojornDojo is the Open Source JavaScript toolkit that helps you build serious applications in less time. It fills in the gaps where JavaScript and browsers don’t go quite far enough, and gives you powerful, portable, lightweight, and tested tools for constructing dynamic interfaces.”JS-SorcererrnJS-Sorcerer is a JavaScript development tool that greatly increases JavaScript programmers’ productivity. It performs syntax checking, variable type and flow analysis on standalone JavaScript files, and provides type-safe linking for applications and projects that consist of multiple JavaScript files.”MochiKitrnMochiKit.Visual provides visual effects and support functions for visuals.”Plex“The Plex Toolkit is a collection of JavaScript libraries which handle the transformation of custom XML markup embedded in an HTML document into user interface components, and creates a consistent environment in which to develop Rich Internet Applications – or more sensationally AJAX – using JavaScript, while smoothing over the browser incompatibilities.”PrototypernPrototype is a JavaScript framework that aims to ease development of dynamic web applications. Featuring a unique, easy-to-use toolkit for class-driven development and the nicest Ajax library around, Prototype is quickly becoming the codebase of choice for web application developers everywhere.”RicornRico provides a very simple interface for registering Ajax request handlers as well as HTML elements or JavaScript objects as Ajax response objects. Multiple elements and/or objects may be updated as the result of one Ajax request.”SajaxrnSajax is an open source tool to make programming websites using the Ajax framework ‚Äö√Ñ√Æ also known as XMLHTTPRequest or remote scripting ‚Äö√Ñ√Æ as easy as possible. Sajax makes it easy to call PHP, Perl or Python functions from your webpages via JavaScript without performing a browser refresh. The toolkit does 99% of the work for you so you have no excuse to not use it.”script.aculo.usrnThe power of AJAX allows for rich user interaction without the trouble that has bugged traditional web applications. Building upon the wonderful Prototype JavaScript library, provides you with some great additionalrn