Web 2.0 from A to R

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e-Gov meets WEB2.0

How will your agency create new Web 2.0 applications? Most likely with one or more of the following technologies.

AJAX: AJAX enables Web pages that look and behave like regular desktop applications. AJAX comprises JavaScript, which lets developers generate a varied set of behaviors, and XML, the communication format for moving data between the browser and the server. Most current browsers can render AJAX pages, though an application server is needed on the back-end to deliver the AJAX-laced pages.

ASP: Active Server Pages is Microsoft's technology for delivering dynamic Web pages, or pages that can be personalized for individual users and populated with data generated on the fly. Microsoft's preferred version of this Web server extension, ASP.Net, incorporates the company's .Net framework, allowing designers to draw from the full palette of application development tools.

Flex: Flex is the development framework for the Adobe Flash player (formerly Macromedia Flash). The Flash player can be used to deliver through Web browsers full-fledged applications that can execute functions such as calculation, sorting and video streaming.

J2EE: The Java 2 Enterprise Edition is a collection of specifications that developers use to build complex applications for access over a network. J2EE can eliminate a lot of the routine functions that go into building programs, such as messaging and database connectivity, because the J2EE-compliant application server software itself takes care of these duties.

PHP: An open-source programming language often used to generate dynamic Web pages. If you get a Web page with your name on it, or today's date, chances are it was generated on the fly using a Web server extension such as PHP or ASP. PHP works cross-platform, meaning one set of PHP scripts can work with both Microsoft Windows servers and Unix servers.

Python: A relatively easy-to-learn scripting language that can be used to connect different back-end applications. The open-source Python is handy for enhancing a Web page with input from multiple applications, such as authentication servers, databases and calendar applications.

Ruby on Rails: Ruby on Rails is a package of tools that help you to quickly develop database-driven Web applications. Rails comes with a set of scripts to automate many routine tasks, such as connecting databases to Web pages and naming fields on a Web-based form.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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