BackBase really pushing AJAX

BackBase is another AJAX toolkit. This one is different though. It’s not really an AJAX toolkit, more a toolkit powered by JavaScript taking advantage of AJAX.

The clue is the price. Yes it has a price - $2000 to be exact. There is a “community edition” that is free for personal use though. Anyway, I don’t have time to run down all the features but basically it defines a whole new bunch of tags allowing you to create complicated content in a declarative HTML style way. These tags are then translated into proper XHTML on the fly by the back end JavaScript engine. Since the clever work is actually handled by the browser, you’re free to use whatever you like on the server (PHP, Ruby) including static HTML pages - outputting BXML is no different to outputting HTML. In fact BXML has a very ASP.NET feel to it and embedding BXML into an XHTML page along with ASP content could have the ultimate cleanness about it (syntax isn’t one of my complaints about ASP.NET).

It should be noted that Microsoft are working on Atlas which could be something very similar but I haven’t looked into it… It all seems very clever.