Compuware has made it possible for Uniface developers to write Web applications that use the open-source Dojo JavaScript library without having to change languages or learn the AJAX architectural style.

Uniface 9.4, released today, adds a layer of abstraction to Web application development though an extension of the Uniface fourth-generation programming language platform. The company claims that Uniface Web applications require only one-half to one-eighth the lines of code needed by equivalent Java or .NET implementations.

Applications execute in the browser using the Dojo engine; a container architecture provides for mashup creation. “It’s transparent and secure…developers don’t need to learn complex architecture. We take care of that,” said Ton Blankers, product manager for Uniface.

Developers can determine what parts of an application execute client-side and which parts run on the server, he said. Uniface applications typically have “heavy lifting parts” on the server-side, he added. “We also use Dojo widgets, which have gone through an extensive performance-testing program.”

Compuware also strove to make certain that applications would be browser-independent, Blankers said. Further, he said, developers can reuse Uniface components and application models. He likened Uniface’s Web application support to when Windows application programming was added to the platform during the 1990s.

“A key trend we are currently seeing within the application development marketplace can best be summed by the phrase ‘Back to the Future with Application Development Productivity,’ ” said Al Hilwa, program director for IDC’s Application Development Software research.

“Development environments that provide a productive, model-driven paradigm for rapidly constructing applications that maximize the reuse of enterprise business logic while leveraging new capabilities to support Web 2.0 and cloud computing continue to be in great demand. Uniface appears to be well-positioned to meet this demand,” he added.