TIBCO's General Interface is an Ajax toolkit that the company recently made available under a dual licensing scheme, offering the choice of the open-source BSD license or a for-pay commercial license that also provides support. The latest release adds Firefox support, the ability to work with large datasets, and SVG-based charting.
TIBCO released version 3.2 of its open-source General Interface (GI) Ajax framework. With this release, TIBCO made GI available under a dual licensing scheme, giving developers a choice to opt for a BSD license, or to choose a commercial license, if paid support is important.
TIBCO's GI product is among the more mature Ajax offerings on the market, offering almost desktop-like user interfaces inside a browser. As with many other Ajax frameworks, at the heart of the GI is a shared MVC framework where server and client share portions of a data model, and plumbing code ensures that the client and server's view of data are in sync.
According to the project documentation, GI currently includes over 100 ready-made components, visual layouts, data management and communication tools. The new release adds Firefox 1.5 support—although the demos seemed to work in Firefox 2.0, too—in addition to GI's long-standing support for various versions of Internet explorer. Visual components include the usual tree, list, and grid components, and the new release adds the ability to work with large datasets in the context of those components. An SVG-based charting package is included in the new version as well.
In open-sourcing the General Interface, TIBCO's GI product manager Kevin Hakman noted that:
We have a very active and growing developer community at developer.tibco.com. People are simply amazed when they understand the full scope of this product, its more than one hundred components and its suite of visual tooling...
We now see a broad range of developers using this ... technology from college students building their projects with TIBCO GI to developers in large corporations building solutions with the free edition to test and then demonstrate the potential impact to their managers before purchasing the commercial license. This is in addition to TIBCO’s current customer audience...
What do you think of TIBCO's open-source move? Do you believe it will increase adoption of GI in an already crowded Ajax toolkit marketplace?