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WebObjects is an integrated suite of Java frameworks for rapidly developing scalable, sophisticated Internet and Enterprise applications. It is the most mature platform available for enterprise-level web, web service and java client (three-tier client-server) application development.
It provides a powerful and mature set of Object-Oriented frameworks for managing Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) to any JDBC-compliant database, Session Management, Undo/Redo/Revert, Ajax, Web Services, full Java Client applications, Rapid Application Development, Streaming Media, file upload/download and many other popular internet and enterprise application technologies.
Originally developed by NeXT Computer Inc., in the mid 1990s, it was ported by Apple to Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server in Objective-C and then completely translated to Java for version 5.0.
It is an incredibly flexible set of frameworks exemplified by Apple's own use of it for such varied applications as the iTunes Music Store, the on-line Apple Store, the .Mac group of services including Web-Mail and Calendaring and their website. as well as many applications developed and deployed by others!.
It has a very active developer community and offers excellent support through the very popular WebObjects Development and WebObjects Deployment email lists.
In addition Apple, Inc. also provides free and paid-for support options.
As of WebObjects 5.3, the deployment of WebObjects-based server applications is now permitted on any platform. The Xcode 3.1 license (The last that included any reference to WebObjects) stated this:
D. WebObjects Software. Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, you may incorporate the WebObjects Software included in the Developer Software into application programs (both client and server) that you develop on an Apple-branded computer. You may also reproduce and distribute the WebObjects Software unmodiﬁed, in binary form only, on any platform but solely as incorporated into such application programs and only for use by end-users under terms that are at least as restrictive of those set forth in this License (including, without limitation, Sections 2, 6 and 7 of this License).For avoidance of doubt, you may not distribute the WebObjects Software on a stand-alone basis, and you may not develop application programs using the WebObjects Software (or any portion thereof) on any non-Apple branded computer.