Sunday, July 3, 2011

Back again and focusing on Enterprise 2.0

Why did I rename this blog Enterprise 2.0 Appplication Tecchnologies?

I am not abandoning ECM and SOA, but I am expanding to incorporate a more generalized concern.

To me, enterprise 2.0 is bringing the promise of web 2.0 to enterprise applications. Not just in providing a better social experience, but providing a better user experience in general, with more user centered and natural user interfaces.

Since Sun quoted "the network is the computer", many (myself included) have been trying to find a way to build enterprise applications that have a rich client experience but are not locked into a heavy installation footprint. Conventional web development has allowed us to build Software as a Service (SaaS), minimizing client and installation requirements and maximizing availability. But on the other hand, these applications are typically designed for the least-common-denominator, heavy on server side processing, have very unnatural user experiences, are constructed with a cacophony of languages, and tend to be a slave to bandwidth and availability of the network.

An ignorant corporate sponsor might ask "Why can't we have the rich user experience of the desktop while leveraging the ubiquity of the web?"

Well, now we can. Through the power of JavaScript and HTML5 the browser can support truly rich client experiences, while still leveraging the advantages of the web and being available anytime, anywhere on any device. Constructing access to information and actions using the power of REST and semantic net, different user experiences can be developed to share and leverage the knowledge of the enterprise in different ways. And still the enterprise applications can leverage well tested legacy services, be secure and achieve the availability and performance requirements demanded by the corporation.

However, I am still concerned with requiring constant connectivity. Most of even the best internet applications that deal with transitional data require continuous high bandwidth connectivity to the services. Especially for the mobile worker (an ever increrasing demographic), being able to work 'off-line' sometimes is essential.

So, my search for the answer to the question "Why can't we have the rich user experience of the desktop while leveraging the ubiquity of the web?" includes the following:
  • Rich client experience supporting many user types and many devices, including the use of graphics, multimedia and alternate input technologies
  • Secure access to semantically rich resources and services that are flexible and can be leveraged from many different clients
  • Connectivity to other legacy systems and services, supporting synchronous and asynchronous models
  • Mechanisms that allow users to share and collaborate and work off-line as well as on line
We want secure access to corporation's transactional information and services available at any time, from anywhere on any device, while allowing users to organize their own experiences and collaborate with others the way they want to.

The purpose of this blog is to try to address these concerns and others through technology available today, relevant to my own direct work requirements as well as the purely theoretical.

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