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ActiveGrid as an alternative to Java

Feb 13, 20063 mins
Enterprise Applications

* The ActiveGrid Application Builder suite

ActiveGrid as an alternative to Java

I seem to be seeing the beginnings of the market rethinking the value of Java. Java has moved from its original simple incarnation through to the gigantic suite of related and supporting technologies that Java covers today.

The sheer complexity of the Java architecture becomes apparent when building enterprise applications and the large scale of platforms required to run Java-based service-oriented architectures makes for a significant investment and therefore implementation risk.

A company that has a solution to this is ActiveGrid. The company points out that a Java-based application for an online pet store that took more than 14,000 lines of code was rewritten in just over 150 lines of code in ActiveGrid. ActiveGrid also reports that, according to Pfizer, ActiveGrid Enterprise LAMP raised developer productivity by 400% compared with Java/J2EE-based tools.

The ActiveGrid product consists of ActiveGrid Application Builder, a graphical drag and drop integrated development environment, and the ActiveGrid LAMP Application Server based on the well-understood Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Python/Perl environments. ActiveGrid has a few interesting demos available.

The ActiveGrid Application Builder, which runs on Windows, Linux and Macintosh, features an Application Wizard that walks you through the building of data driven applications. You can import existing data schemas into standard XML, create new schemas or modify existing schemas, and export changes back to the original databases as well as integrate and manage external SOAP, REST and RSS services.

The Process Editor is used to develop the business logic and page flows using Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) and you can develop your business logic with the Code Editor in either PHP and Python. Scripts are added as local services and “automatically wrapped in Web Services Description Language (WSDL), making scripts easy to manage and invoke,” says ActiveGrid.

The XForm Editor is used to create the user interface and the Role Administration Wizard defines application access control from roles defined within ActiveGrid, LDAP or other identity management systems.

The Deployment wizard allows you to manage the deployment of your applications to ActiveGrid LAMP Application Servers and ActiveGrid claims that you can scale your SOA solutions from one to 1,024 servers without any code changes!

The ActiveGrid LAMP Application Server is based on the Apache Web server and the servers can be managed by all of the major network management tools.

The ActiveGrid Application Builder is free with the server and the ActiveGrid LAMP Application Server is priced starting at $8,000 per server per year and includes unlimited support.


Mark Gibbs is an author, journalist, and man of mystery. His writing for Network World is widely considered to be vastly underpaid. For more than 30 years, Gibbs has consulted, lectured, and authored numerous articles and books about networking, information technology, and the social and political issues surrounding them. His complete bio can be found at

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