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An Open Source AJAX Comparison Matrix

Get an at-a-glance comparison of the most popular open source AJAX frameworks and toolkits. The evaluation categories include installation, development, and support.

pen source AJAX frameworks and toolkits have matured to the point where they can handle just about any rich Internet application development task. To provide a reference guide for how well they handle particular tasks, I developed a side-by-side comparison matrix of the most popular ones. I selected the open source frameworks that the Ajaxian.com 2006 Survey recently identified as the most popular. Ajaxian.com is a leading online resource for the AJAX community, operated by early adopters of the technology.

Specifically, I compared the following frameworks and toolkits:

One might say that comparing these five offerings is like comparing apples and oranges. Each one has its own forte, and their levels of maturity and corporate backing vary. As such, my goal isn't to declare a clear winner by comparing the products directly to each other. Instead, the matrix assesses how each measures up (irrespective of the others) in three key evaluation categories:

  1. Installation and administration procedures
  2. Development aspects: Richness of the API, extensibility, support for multiple server languages
  3. Support and quality aspects: Maturity of the framework, stability, availability of documentation, third-party resources

Editor's Note: To obtain the values for the matrix in this article, the author made qualitative comparisons between the included frameworks/toolkits based on his extensive experience as a software architect and developer. Individual measures shown here may not reflect other users' experiences. The measures are intended to be overall guidelines.

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