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Aptana Jaxer is an open source Ajax web server for building rich web pages and applications

Aptana, Inc. is based in San Mateo, CA. Founded by Paul Colton in 2005, the company is focused on creating tools and products for web developers who use scripting languages (JavaScript, Ruby, PHP and Python) for Web 2.0 and Ajax application development.

Aptana's main products are Aptana Studio, Aptana Cloud and Aptana Jaxer. Current company leadership is Paul Colton, Founder and CEO, Uri Sarid, CTO/VP, Engineering and Kevin Hakman, Director of Evangelism; total staff passed 25 after Labor Day 2008. Aptana is an active participant in the OpenAjax Alliance, with Hakman serving as director of the IDE Working Group.
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Aptana Studio is an open source integrated development environment (IDE) for building Ajax web applications. It includes support for JavaScript, HTML, DOM, and CSS with code-completion, outlining, JavaScript debugging, error and warning notification and integrated documentation. Additional plugins allow Aptana Studio to be extended to support Ruby on Rails, PHP, Python, Perl[1], Adobe AIR, and Apple iPhone.

Aptana Cloud is Aptana's Cloud Computing infrastructure and features an application hosting platform (consisting of Apache, MySQL, PHP and Jaxer) in the form of an Aptana Studio plugin. This plugin enables developers to create applications locally and deploy to Aptana's subscription-based Cloud service. In addition to providing a scalable hosting platform this service provides team management, hosted source control (using Subversion), remote editing/preview and synchronization between local applications hosted within Aptana Studio and production versions deployed to the Cloud.

Aptana Jaxer
is an open source Ajax web server for building rich web pages and applications using a unified Ajax model wherein both client-side and server-side code can be written in JavaScript. Jaxer's server-side engine is based on Mozilla Gecko, the same browser engine that's in the Firefox browser. The Mozilla engine allows Jaxer to provide a server-side DOM in which a page may be manipulated during server-side processing using the techniques familiar to client-side programmers. Jaxer's server-side JavaScript APIs enable database access, file system access, network communications, user sessions, and other functions typical of web application servers. Jaxer also provides for access to Java objects via the open source DWR project.

Aptana Jaxer

Aptana Jaxer provides a page-processing environment based on the Mozilla engine. This provides a Gecko-based DOM and SpiderMonkey JavaScript engine to enable pages to be rendered and manipulated on the server before being sent to the browser. Jaxer also provides an Ajax model for performing asynchronous requests to the server. Its client and server APIs allow such requests to be made by simply calling server-side JavaScript functions from the client. Behind the scenes, Jaxer provides the logic required to manage the request and retrieve the response from the server.

Jaxer is not a standalone web server but works with another server such as Apache, Jetty or Tomcat. Jaxer provides server-side DOM and API processing for pages served by the web server before delivering the results to the browser.

Jaxer is included in Aptana Studio and available as a separate server bundle. It is open source (GPL) and available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux/Solaris.

Database, file, and socket access from JavaScript

With Jaxer, your JavaScript gains full access to databases such as MySQL or the integrated SQLite database. Rich filesystem I/O as well as low-level network socket access are available to you all directly in JavaScript on the server. And you can call those server functions seamlessly from the client — exposing only the ones consistent with your security requirements.

Easily create RESTful JSON data services

Not surprisingly, JSON is native to Jaxer, so creating RESTful JSON services to provide data to Ajax, Adobe Flash, Adobe Flex and even Microsoft Silverlight clients is dead easy.

Use your favorite Ajax libraries server-side

Run jQuery, dojo, Ext JS, prototype, scriptaculous and other Ajax libraries on Jaxer to manipulate the HTML page and DOM before the page gets sent to the browser and those libraries can be used again. Customize content or forms server-side based on user profiles, optimize app performance by aggregating external scripts, CSS, and even images into single HTTP requests, generate pages optimized for devices that do not support Ajax, or flatten pages for search engine optimizations.

Manipulate, mashup and morph any existing HTML page

Consume and transform content from HTML pages written in other languages like PHP, Python, Ruby on Rails, .NET or Java. Jaxer includes a rich framework for many useful tasks on the server, including accessing local or remote web resources and services without cross-domain security restrictions that a browser might impose, or rewriting HTML pages generated by other platforms.
Full DOM and JavaScript on the server

Because Jaxer is a full Ajax server, you can not only run JavaScript on the server using the same techniques you've mastered in the browser, but you can also manipulate the DOM in the APIs you already use.

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Directly call server-side functions from the browser

No need to write cumbersome XML HTTP requests with Jaxer (though you can!). Instead you can "proxy" your scripts by setting "runat=server-proxy". Then you call the function in the HTML page just as you would any other client-side function but Jaxer executes it on the server and returns the result to the client. All of the data marshaling and communications are handled transparently for you. And to enable asynchronous communications, just prepend "Async" to the function name and specify a callback function.

Latest release Version 1.2.6 (Stable) / 2009-04-09

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About Hugo Repetto

Ubuntu is a Linux distribution that offers an operating system predominantly focused on desktop computers but also provides support for servers. Based on Debian GNU / Linux, Ubuntu focuses on ease of use, freedom in usage restriction, regular releases (every 6 months) and ease of installation.
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