Monday, 11 June 2012

ZK: Simplifying AJAX

I have been using ZK for the last few months and have found it to be a very scalable and impressive framework in terms of its features and the ease with which they can be implemented within an enterprise application. ZK  is described as the No 1 Ajax framework on SourceForge based on the number of downloads and it is easy to see why it might be so popular. It integrates well with Spring, Hibernate, JQuery , JSON and other frameworks that make up the web application stack. Dreamworks has put up a concise and very focussed presentation that describes the features and the functionality of ZK.
One major advantage in using ZK is that the developer need not worry about writing Javascript to realise Ajax, instead all coding is carried out in Java. ZK also provides a very rich array of  UI components that can be implicitly attached to the business logic using a feature called 'data binding'. Thus, the need to explicitly attach UI components to backing beans in order to retrieve and send data is not required.
Finally, ZK provides a robust security architecture which can be further extended via third party libraries such as Spring Security. The MVC pattern that forms the core of the ZK implementation pattern, makes designing components intuitive. Further, components can be customised using a rich set of custom-renderers that cater for  extensibility and reuse.
In conclusion, the ZK framework is easy to learn and implement. It provides a very efficient and scalable framework for developing Ajax based enterprise level applications featuring a rich UI set.

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