Echo originally started as a request-response web application framework that leveraged the Swing object model to improve the speed of application development. Through the use of the Swing model, Echo was able to employ concepts such as components and event-driven programming that removed much of the pain of web application development.
In late 2005, NextApp formally announced the release of their new Ajax based web application platform, "Echo2". This framework built on the concepts of Echo (well known API, total web abstraction) but delivered the additional benefit of being an Ajax environment. NextApp believed that this approach brought the framework extremely close to the capabilities of rich clients. NextApp also claimed that this reincarnation of the Echo framework provided dramatic performance, capability, and user-experience enhancements made possible by its new Ajax-based rendering engine.
Echo2 has inspired various add-on projects including:
- EchoPoint: "Next Generation" (http://echopoint.sourceforge.net not active, last updated 2009-07-17), The most well known 3rd party component library for Echo2
- Hibernate-Spring-Echo: (http://sourceforge.net/projects/hse/) An effort to provide an out of the box application framework that includes Echo2
- Google maps for Echo2: http://sourceforge.net/projects/googlemaps-echo/
- Google maps v3 for Echo2: https://code.google.com/p/echo2gmap/wiki/Start
- Gantt Charting for Echo2: (http://sourceforge.net/projects/echo2gantt/)
- Echo2Faces: (http://sourceforge.net/projects/echo2faces/) An effort to provide XML markup for Echo2 UI layouts
- jZeno: (http://www.jzeno.org) A full-stack application framework that uses a highly optimized version of the original Echo framework as rendering engine.
- Aejaks: (http://aejaks.sourceforge.net) A Jacl layer on top of Echo2 to easily create rich web applications.