Kaazing Turns Browsers Into Real-Time Apps

Kaazing at DEMO today is launching an enterprise software platform that lets companies build reliable, two-way messaging atop web networks. Think Tibco over Firefox. And while it sounds like enterprise-grade software, it can in fact drive a new generation of real-time Rich Internet Applications.

Enterprises have massive communications needs. Banks have to proactively push messages out to traders, for example, or broadcast news to millions of Bloomberg terminals. Despite modern web technology, financial institutions still depend on glowing mainframe terminals and complex message bus technologies like JMS. They may not be pretty, but they work — and today’s Internet can’t take their place. Here’s why:

Basic HTTP is a series of requests (from the client) and responses (from the server.) Over the years, we’ve twisted this basic model in many ways: RSS feeds, Microsoft’s Feedsync, and two-way applications like Meebo. But none can handle large-scale, real-time, two-way messaging. “All traditional approaches have one thing in common,” says Kaazing co-founder and CEO Jonas Jacobi. “They all need to send one message per client even though the answer is identical for a million clients.” Jacobi should know: Prior to launching the company, he was a Java EE and open-source evangelist at Oracle.

Kaazing’s secret sauce comes in two parts:

  • The company’s virtual machine uses software wizardry to turn Java bytecode into Ajax on the client, in real time. This extends the reach of enterprise-friendly protocols like JMS, JMX, and EJB all the way to the browser.
  • At the edge of the enterprise network, Kaazing’s HTTP Multicast Router brokers one-to-many communications, sending a single message out to all interested browsers in real time over a peer-to-peer network.

Today’s launch unveils a model for reliable two-way communications that could transform the web and lead to a wide variety of new applications. It might also get bankers off their Bloomberg terminals — but don’t hold your breath.