Eliad Technologies is a young company with a mission: to bring data visualization components to the Java community in a very small footprint (i.e., 162KB).
The fruit of their labor is JSmartGrid, the smallest Swing grid component designed specifically for the Java 2 Platform version 1.3.0. JSmartGrid can visualize data in tables, grids and spreadsheets. It was introduced in June at JavaOne 2000 and at the XML DevCon 2000 in New York City.
A product evaluation CD-ROM was also distributed at both shows, but Eliad Technologies provides an updated downloadable version of 1.0 on their Web site.
The JSmartGrid, a Swing component and a bean, installs easily on every IDE loading bean such as JBuilder 3.5 and Forté. The only other requirement is the JDK Java 2 Platform version 1.3.0 or JRE Java 2 Platform version 1.3.0; they can be downloaded from Sun Microsystems' Web site, www.sun.com.
JSmartGrid offers a wide range of features that make their product quite attractive. This 100% Java Swing component allows the display of data as text, numbers, graphics and images in GIF or JPEG format, or as Swing components such as buttons and combo-boxes. Such flexibility enables you to replace your old static HTML tables with new dynamic Java tables that allow users to edit, reformat and sort data. You can't do that with lame HTML code! With JSmartGrid you have the flexibility to define the content and the behavior of every individual cell in your spreadsheet. A unique feature is the ability to drag cells, rows and columns and to merge cells into bigger rectangular arrays called spans.
On the technical side JSmartGrid simplifies application design through its flexible models (data, span and style) and offers improvements in performance on the client side thanks to its integration with the Java 2 Platform v1.3.0. If you're familiar with the JTable Swing component from Sun, you shouldn't experience much difficulty getting started with this component. Last but not least is its ability to connect to data though JDBC and to display XML documents.
JSmartGrid is a good, stable product proving once more that a small company can compete in the big leagues. Their product is innovative and useful since they provide features that competitive products lack. What impressed me most is the quality of the documentation, which is exhaustive. Every class is documented in the format used by Sun and O'Reilly & Associates with complete hyperlinks in a tree fashion. In addition, you can download examples, documentation and tutorials from their Web site, which should make learning the product much easier.
JSmartGrid 1.0, Eliad Technologies, Inc.
19925 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014
E-mail: [email protected]
Test Environment: Pentium II 350MHz, 128MB RAM, 26GB disk drive, Windows NT Workstation 4.0 SP6
Bruno Y. Decaudin has accumulated 20 years' experience in the computer field in Europe and the U.S., where he settled down. A graduate of the EDHEC in France, Bruno worked for major corporations and consulting firms before creating his own company in 1991, focusing first on application development and then on network design and Internet development. He can be contacted at: