Here is an update on the current state of the Open AJAX Alliance:
Though two notable hold outs to OpenAjax still exist (Microsoft andSun), the ranks of OpenAjax continues to swell, with originalsignatories including well-known industry notables such as IBM, Adobe,and Oracle. Recent additions to membership now include over a dozen new members including SAP, TIBCO, Backbase, and JackBe. ...
Boloker also outlined some of the future goals for OpenAjax and theywere essentially a laundry list of features you would expect anyenterprise platform to have including internationalization,localization, security, and much more. The seriousness and scale ofthe effort shows that Ajax has grown from a simple pattern fordevelopment Web applications into an increasingly well-defined andindustry supported platform model.
The article also notes that Boloker announced that the Alliance now has a new web site. There isn't anything useful on the site yet, but its worth bookmarking for future reference.
I'm glad to see this alliance continue to grow and develop. Kudos to Craig Becker and his team for continuing to make this stuff real. Nice job, gang.
Forwarded to me by our collegue in Global Services, Rob Berini: "Typically, the name Web 2.0 is used by computer programmers to refer to a combination of a) improved communication between people via social-networking technologies, b) improved communication between separate software applications--read "mashups"-- via open Web standards for describing and accessing data, and c) improved Web interfaces that mimic the real-time responsiveness of desktop applications within a browser window."
Such descriptions help answer the more freequent question that I receive lately: 'I see Web 2.0 going on and believe that there could be some value. Where do I start?' cperrien
The newly released PHP version of ADIEU (Ad Hoc Development and Integration Tool for End Users) is now available on alphaWorks. The web service creation tool still lets you develop web applications without programming knowledge (neither PHP nor Java knowledge is needed).
There are a couple of online demos to help people get started.
Google continues its quest, if not rampage, to own search on the mobile device. Google purchased ad companies, intends to bid for wireless spectrum licenses, and invested millions in a yet to be release handset. Lacking telephony infrastructure, Google would have to partner with an existing Telco to delivere its intended services.
How would a no-cost gPhone affect the business models of existing Telcos or affect its relationship with Apple's iPhone? Or is there an Apple - Google partnership in the works? Whatever the outcome, the third screen (TV is #1 and PC is #2) will rapidly evolve to being more useful than texting for kids and email for execs.
I observe that the main difference between our generation of managers and those raised on the Internet is that we grew up in a world where Knowledge is Power. Getting ahead often meant knowing the most. They grow up in a world where Everyone Knows and where the Sharing of Knowledge is Power. For our organizations to succeed in this transition, we must be coaches more than managers so that our employees can be players more than spectators. This behavior is different than we're used to and will require commitment, character and courage - hallmarks of leadership.
Leadership, like innovation, assumes many forms and representations:
IBM's announced this morning that our VP for Innovation & Technology, Nick Donofrio, will retire in October. We dreaded this notice. Every time he addressed us, his candid, simply insightful and passionate remarks informed every employee of an IBM that was and strives to be in this uncertain and exciting time. After forty-four years with the company (he and System 360 joined in 1964) he won't be replaced - 'cause we can't.
I hope that you had the chance to read the description of the women's softball game in Ellensburg, Washington last month between Central Washington and Western Oregon. Sara Tucholsky of WO hit a home run to put her team into the lead. Rounding first base, she twisted her knee, falling to the ground unable to continue around to home plate. The game's rules prevent teammates from assisting one of their own players around the bases. No problem. Two players from the opposing Central Washington team carried Sara to second base, to third base, and to home plate so that her hit would count.
On Saturday, the USS North Carolina, SSN -777, was commissioned into naval service in Wilmington, North Carolina. This nuclear-powered submarine is about 350' long with a crew of about 140 and can be required to patrol underwater for up to 60 consecutive days. If you're ever doubtful of the caliber of our young Americans or want to observe the power of purpose, please take a tour of one of these impressive boats.
Now you know a little bit of what I know, please put it to use. Nick would appreciate it. c.perrien
Christopher Perrien Internet Strategist, IBM jStart Business Development Manager
We've spoken with customers about the adoption of mobile devices for financial transactions as we've seen adopted in Asia. This article by John Quain in the May 24th, 2007 New York Times is about CitiBank and Bank of America's related efforts. In late June, we'll see how the iPhone might impel this trend.
As well, the recent acquisition of aQuantive by Microsoft for $6b continues the Microsoft -Yahoo - Google - WPP stampede for predominance of Search & Advertising on the mobile device. It's about to get real interesting, again.
The popular ETTK technology, IDE for Laszo, has graduated to an open source project on Eclipse. This is a tool for writing and testing browser-delivered applications written in the LZX declarative mark-up language. This is an example of how the ETTK shepherds and incubates new technologies that have the potential for significant impact, and moves the technology to the next step. That next step could be integration in to a product, creation of an open source project or additional research.
In this morning's New York Times on the Op-Ed page, David Brooksadvises those interested in the Republican Presidentialnomination. What interested me is his description of theelectorate: "They're anxious because there's chaos all around: foreignpolicy chaos, fiscal chaos, cultural chaos. The authoritystructures they rely on have let them down."
Yesterday I had lunch with the account management team at a well-knownadvertising agency. We discussed who we each call on in the sameenterprise sized accounts. As you might imagine, my contacts arethe CIO and IT staff; they speak to the CEO and SVPs when pitchingbusiness. And this makes sense given the strengths and offeringsof each of our organizations. What stunned me was their commentwhen I spoke of how IBM is trying to elevate the role of the CIO fromCost-Center Manager to Advisor to the Business (my descriptions basedupon my reading on w3). Reflexively, one said, "our contacts hatethe IT shop." Other heads nodded.
I think it is because our customers feel that their technologyinvestments are not bearing the returns sought and promised. Certainly speed to market and improved understanding of individualcustomer behaviour has not been commensurate with their costs.
Along comes friendly Google, offering to pay the customer first (a keytenet of Web 2.0), offering a variety of services that reduce thecomplexity and chaos of computing. Salesforce.com is not farbehind in the positive reception to its Software-as-Service Model. Today Google will announce the availability of an enterprise version ofits Communications and Productivity Apps.: e-mail, IM, Calendars, andWeb Pages, Word Processing, and Spreadsheets - plus programs to readand edit Microsoft Word and Excel.
We'll be reading more about this as IBM joined the fray by announcinglast week its own support of Open Docs etc for Linux and Mac-basedoperating systems. I don't expect that Microsoft Office with 450million users will vanish anytime soon. After all, legacy apps,whether hardware or software, are tough to displace. I predictthat customers, especially of the mid-market variety, will evaluateGoogle's latest as a way of reducing some of their Chaos.
The usage of Wikis is growing at what seems to be a fairly rapid rate. For those not familiar with the term, a wiki is a Web site where anyone can change or add to the site. Sometimes update authority is restricted, but in general, a wiki is a site that is collaboratively created by those who read it. There are many examples of wikis on the internet, the most famous being Wikipedia. Now, we are seeing a substantial roll-out of wikis by businesses. There are a few external enterprise wikis, but most of the usage seems to be behind the company firewall. Those wikis are used for project management, creating knowledge bases to support communities of interest, maintaining documentation of processes or tools and the collaborative authorship of documents like specifications or requirements documents.
IBM has made available to its employees facilities for creating wikis in an attempt to see what ways they might be used by our employees to support their activities. The ETTK team has an internal wiki we use to manage our projects, provide documentation to new ETTK technology developers and develop new ideas. This has worked out very well and we are experimenting with other ways to apply internal wikis.
We are also experimenting with an external enterprise wiki for the ETTK community. We are evolving it now to try to facilitate content that can be collaboratively created by communities of interest that form around some of our technology packages or the problem areas they address. An external enterprise wiki, in my view, is an experiment in community building and cross enterprise collaboration. I'll report on both our internal and external wiki activities, but I hope some interested parties will monitor our external ETTK wiki and contribute to it as it evolves.
As a followup to Christopher's post earlier today, here is a link to a RegDeveloper article, Microsoft joins OpenAjax party about the recent announcement.
"In a statement, Microsoft's Kevin Smith - arguably owner of the most challenging job title in IT as core web platform and tools to UX web/client platform and tools group product manager - said the company will collaborate with other industry leaders to ensure a "high degree" of interoperability in AJAX-style development.
"Microsoft is continuing its commitment to empower web developers with technology that works cross browser and cross platform," Smith said.
OpenAjax Alliance membership puts Microsoft back into bed with IBM, also an alliance co-founder. IBM joined with Microsoft to flesh out the WS* family of web services specifications underpinning many of today's SOA and Web 2.0 architectures. Microsoft and IBM also teamed up, with others, to form the Web Services Interoperability (WS-I) organization in 2002..."
Well, not really. But you'd never know that by listening to the folksat this conference. Here, every time WSDL is shown or mentioned it'streated as a joke and everyone laughs. The concensus here is that WSDLis just WAY to complicated and convoluted to be useful as a programmingmodel. Of course that part is true. The WSDL editor in RAD stillgives me a headache. However SOAP still has a place in the enterpriseas a method for enabling access to data and services. ...Doesn't it?
I'dbe interested in what you're hearing from the broader technicalcommunity inside and outside of IBM about the long term viability ofSOAP. Why SOAP and not REST or microformat delivered gadgets?
Let's see how small we can make our Laszlo apps! Since a Laszlo contest for lowest LOC count would probably result in a lot of messy and collapsed code, why not have a contest for smallest UI footprint instead? There's no prizes yet, except for bragging rights. Here are the rules:
1. Add the width and height of your Laszlo app's main canvas, in pixels. Subtract 10 points for each different visible Laszlo component that is used. (For example, if you use two checkboxes they are counted once.) This is your score and we are aiming for lowest score.
2. To score, each Laszlo component used must be fully visible and clickable. Without going into a philosophical debate on what is the smallest component that is still a usable component, let's just say we want our components to look "nice" and still be recognizable. So if a tree component is used, it should have at least one node to expand and collapse, etc.
3. Scrollbars will be disallowed since they essentially give unlimited screen real-estate.
4. Try to color each component with a different color, so it is easily seen and differentiated.
5. Finally, the IDE for Laszlo will be used for its rapid prototyping and easy preview capabilities. Here is my ridiculously easy to beat example:
The founders of Skype hired the former head of Cisco Acquisitions to lead Joost, an Internet TV provider. I'm not that impressed with Joost so far mainly because you have to be invited to join, the web site is not that exciting (is the guy in the commerical performing magic or.....), and I am not sure of the promise of high quality imaging (doesn't this depend upon my PC?!). So if I marry the Apple TV to Joost (from the PC to my TV) does this obviate the need for Tivo and other recorders? Cable TV is so frustrating to me (hundreds of channels of junk) that I am skeptical that there is anything out there that I am missing. Will this new delivery idea unleash the excellent quality and innovative ideas that are out there (the university edition of YouTube) or only provide 50 more shopping channels in multiple languages?
Been around for about 15 months in an eight part series. Clever and my tip to get the week started. On a serious note, the pace of video adoption is picking up. Good news for storage vendors, I suppose, and better news for those seeking lower-cost, good enough ways of getting their messages to their audiences. My eleven year old launched his video instant messaging system over the weekend (iMac) and is enamored this capability to see himself on 'tv.' 'Appearing larger than you are' is one benefit of YouTube-like capabilities. To me, adoption at this stage is more a matter of thinking differently than it is about technical capabilities. At any rate, you'll get a couple of good laughs out of Darth Vader (Chad) in the grocery store. christopher perrien
We tested mash-up software at the office a few weeks back. The only browser to get thru to ibm.com and deliver pages back to the mobile device was the iPhone with its full Safari browsing capability. An article in the August 9, 2007 WS Journal entitled Breaking Down the Wall of Phones' Web Gardens describes the progress made by Opera Software of Norway to allow users to its load mini-Opera to almost any mobile device, thus improving greatly the browsing experience of cell phones. Telecom carries will either allow access through their garden walls (controlling content and access to content is a major source of revenue) or else they will be by-passed by the likes of the iPhone, the gPhone, and users seeking a 'free-roaming' experience on their third screen. Full citation: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118601819121785624.html cperrien
Disclaimer, I am an long time Apple fan and was an Apple developer prior to joining IBM.Plus, I bought a Newton 13 years ago for $700. So, an 8 meg iPhone for $600seems like a discount.
Purchased phone last Friday, about one week after availability. Out of box to fullactivation and connection to home wireless system required less than fifteen minutes(mostly for me to find the password for our home Wi-Fi network).
Screen is larger and clearer than the combined screens of my video iPod and my formercell phone.
When receiving a call, iTunes pauses; when call ends, iTunes resumes where it left off.Many, many such well-considered features.
Phone + Browser + Music Player, all of high quality. Mobile payments, mobile bankingetc cannot be far behind.
Just as Nadal gives Roger Federer a challenge, the iPhone will shake-up the 'garden walls' of the Telcos. The USA now has the opening to enjoy the benefits of mobile computing as have our friends in Asia for several years. cperrien
Refers to interesting sites: e-patients.com and a wiki for cancer patients: lo-wiki.acor.org. We'll see much more of this ilk in the near future where motivated consumers demand a say in their healthcare or finances or educational systems or government issues at large. So long to program administrators and hello to facilitators of such dialogues.
Knowledge is no longer power. Scholarship and Leadership remain vital, of course. Organizational or industry-specific success will stem from an enterprise's ability to facilitate the abundance of everyone knowing (i.e. Internet). cperrien
The competitive advantage sought by the likes of Nokia, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, RIM, Apple is the theme of 'I know where you are (GPS or cell signal); tell me what you're looking for (search); I'll help you to fulfill this need (location-aware advertising).' cperrien
From the "and I thought computing my taxes this year was complicated!" department... Here is an interesting new development in the field of mathematics that I thought I'd share. It's amazing what large-scale computing can accomplish these days.
"An international team of 18 mathematicians, including two from MIT, has mapped one of the largest and most complicated structures in mathematics. If written out on paper, the calculation describing this structure, known as E8, would cover an area the size of Manhattan. [emphasis mine]
The work is important because it could lead to new discoveries in mathematics, physics and other fields. In addition, the innovative large-scale computing that was key to the work likely spells the future for how longstanding math problems will be solved in the 21st century...
The magnitude and nature of the E8 calculation invite comparison with the Human Genome Project. The human genome, which contains all the genetic information of a cell, is less than a gigabyte in size. The result of the E8 calculation, which contains all the information about E8 and its representations, is 60 gigabytes. This is enough to store 45 days of continuous music in MP3-format."
When you get a moment, check out the new stuff at Virtual Earth. I'm listened to a presentation yesterday on their SDKand the 3D rendering they do on details like buildings and such. Verycool stuff. There will apparently be a new version 4 of their SDK realsoon now that further enables the ability to embed their stuff in webpages. Of course to see the stuff in 3D you need to install theirruntime (same as with Google Earth) and run it in IE (sigh), howeverthe presenter just said they'd be supporting 3D rendering in Firefox in the near future.
But what I really want to know is Why Oh Why is this stuff not included in the new version of Flight Simulator???
He is the President and CIO of British Telecom's Global Services Division. I am fond of telling my customers that whatever the form of community and information exchange - electronic, paper, iPhone, in-person even - there will always be a need for at least two kinds of ships: leadership and scholarship.
JP provides both and both are immediately apparent. To keep my praise to a tolerable level, please know that if one searches the letters 'JP' on Google, his web site is the 7th hit. He welcomes your participation in and linking to his blog: http://confusedofcalcutta.com/
A couple of his ideas that I like:
1) first there must be Relationship, followed by Conversation, then Transaction.
2) Web 2.0 is an 'abundance mentality' not a 'scarcity mentality.'
I do not intend to trivialize his thinking with these blurbs and how I wish many more Presidents and CIOs had the courage & wherewithall to extend themselves in such an honest and sincere manner.
Believe me, you'd like to have dinner with JP. cperrien
This is the week when broadcast television pitches its Fall line-up to potential advertisers. Their offerings appear thin as the content is expensive to produce and the advertisers have many more choices (mobiledevices, Internet) for reaching their intended audiences. For so long we have been 'marketed-at' in the words of Rod Smith, our VP for Emering Internet Technologies, because we viewers had so few alternatives even though we've long perferred to be 'marketed with.'
Google has changed all of this with its 'pay the customer first' strategy by placing relevant ads next to the search string. The television advertisers admit to wanting to follow the Google model of 'engagement' more than 'impressions.' It's about time and will benefit product owner and potential customer alike by disintermediating the lower-value middle layer.
Of course, the enterprise should learn a lesson here by studying how it can better go to market with employees and business partners more than using these communities solely as instruments of execution.
Mukund Raghavachari from IBM Research is the leader of the team that wrote the XML Enhancements for Java (XJ) package that is part of the ETTK. I talked to him about the motivation for the approach taken by XJ - to put XML support natively in to the programming language. Here are his thoughts:
Given the increasing importance of XML in today's world, people have come up with different ways of simplifying XML processing. The drawbacks of runtime APIs such as DOM is that it leads to verbose and fragile code. Imagine programming in Java with just the java.lang.Object class and reflection; you'd have to access fields of a class by passing the names of the fields as strings to the reflection API and perform several 'instanceof' checks to make sure that the class actually had a field of its name. If the class structure changed, you'd have to search through your code to find which portions to change. In some sense, DOM programmers are in this situation.
Another way of integrating XML support into the programming model are data binding tools such as JAXB. You give the tool a schema (perhaps, annotated) and it generates a bunch of Java classes from the Schema. The advantage of this approach over DOM is that the generated classes are based on the XML Schema. So, you get some static typechecking and access XML data using standard Java idioms. The disadvantage of this approach is that there are clear distinctions between the XML Schema type system and the Java type system. The Java type system cannot express XML Schema constructs such as order between element children, differences between attributes and elements, etc. Recently, there was a nice summary of the drawbacks of data binding approaches from HP Labs (http://www.hpl.hp.com/techreports/2005/HPL-2005-83.html).
We believe that the HP Labs folks didn't go far enough in their solution to the data binding problem. By integrating XML support into the language itself, you get the benefits of all approaches. You get XML fidelity because language understands XML and the XML Schema type system, you get ease of use because the programmer can access XML data in a natural manner, and you get good performance because the compiler can optimize accesses to XML data. This, in essence, is the motivation behind the XML Enhancements for Java project, which integrates XML into Java in an intuitive and clean manner. A language-based solution avoids the restriction that runtime solutions (which both DOM and data binding solutions are) face --- it does not have to fit a square peg into a round hole (XML into Java). A language solution can reshape the hole (hopefully, cleanly) so that it is square.
A technology we have been featuring in the ETTK is XML Enhancement for Java (XJ). It integrates XML, XML Schema and XPath support into the Java language. The XJ team has just released an update to this package that improves the efficiency of XPath compilation. XML processing is something Java programmers do a lot, in all types of applications, so Java support for XML is an important topic. So far, feedback on XJ has been very positive. If you have not tried it yet, I encourage you to do so.
Humans love to interact with well-made things. A well-made toy will have kids jumping at the chance to spend hours playing with it. A well-made motor vehicle will have customers paying a premium in order to own it and interact with it daily.
People are also willing to pay to spend hours interacting with video games. This is partly due to the game content and escapism that is offered. But a large part is also because the successful games are designed to be fun to interact with. Very few video games these days offer an HTML-type interface, even if a game task (such as clothing your avatar in a role-playing game) is functionally similar to a browser task (ordering an outfit from an e-commerce website).
Laszlo describes its interfaces as "cinematic". It's based on a simple concept: movement plus fade morphs = eye candy and interface goodness. In other words, make it easier to implement little cinematic touches in web interfaces!
The generation of folks who grew up with Playstations are rapidly becoming an important market demographic. A cinematic interface can do much to attract not only this customer base, but people in general. But I don't think it is limited to just e-commerce. Can you imagine what a more cinematic Eclipse might be like?
One of the big problems to be solved in the world ofwidgets/gadgets/modules/components/etc. is how to publish, discover andingest them. OpenSearch is one such method for searching for widgets that makes sense. But I just heard about another site called Pingerati. Pingerati is effectively a pub/sub mechanism for web pages containing microformatdata. It is a push mechanism, in that a page that is updated must tell(ping) Pingerati about the update. Pingerati then crawls the site andforwards the microformat updates to registered subscribers formicroformats of that type. Listeners can subscribe to all microformatupdates or just microformats that they are interested in. Further,there is an API that a web developer could use to automate this processfor catelogs or personal sites. Lastly, if the name sounds alot like Technorati, that's with good reason given it's a Technorati project.
Thiscould be a key piece of the widget lifecycle puzzle in that widgetspublished to a personal site or catalog, could then easily publicisethat update to other catelogs or interested parties, such as installedinstances of widget frameworks.
Have you ever hung-out with Pharmaceutical sales reps? Talk about highly structured environments: one has to be part-model, part-caterer, part-scientist, and part-psychiatrist and willing to work in a command & control management environment. Take the whole office staff lunch just to get 10 minutes with the doctor! Ugh! To blow-off steam, they participate in a site called Cafepharma.com which offers rumors, job-postings, more rumors, complaints, and advertising. Any site that gets the lone-wolf culture of sales types to collaborate impresses me.
As the likes of Facebook and MySpace gain traction in the enterprise - whether or not hosted or endorsed by the enterprise - I predict that we will see alot more employee to employee discussions such as Cafepharma. If the enterprise gets ahead of the game, these sites will foster collaboration for insight into all of the critical ingredients that can make companies successful in the marketplace i.e, better customer relationships well beyond the currently packaged CRM kind. Laggards into this collaboration space will find themselves critiqued and measured as university professors are at http://www.sin.wm.edu/modules/rank/ or cafepharma.com. cperrien
At XML 2006 this week, there was a lot of attention given to XML Queryor XQuery. The W3C XQuery specifications are now Proposed Recommendations and there are a numberof implementations available. One of those is included in DB2 9,part of the pureXML feature which adds native XML support to theserver. In earlier versions, XML could be stored in relationaltables by being "shredded" into columns or stored as Character LargeObject (CLOB) or Binary Large Object (BLOB). In DB2 9, XMLdocuments are stored in their native form and can be directlymanipulated. In supporting native XML DB2 introduced support forXQuery.
XQuery is a very powerful query language that can do more than justquery XML data. It can perform transforms and introduce new XMLelements to the output, much like XSLT. In fact, some adventurousdevelopers have used it as a stand-alone programming language. Itemploys XPath expressions to address XML structures and supports the"For, Let, Where, Order, Return" (FLWOR) style. As more andmore data is stored in XML documents, the need for storing them in anXML database is being recognized. This is what I heard from manypeople at the conference and what we have heard from companies in avariety of industries. The combination of an XML database like DB2 9, and the XQuery language will be very powerful and open the door tonew ways of processing and deriving value from XML.
I know that some people had given up on XQuery due to its extremelylong gestation period in the W3C. But, now it is time to takeanother look. That is what many going away from the conferencedecided to do.
There's been a lot of discussion about Web 2.0 lately. In fact, most people would agree that "Web 2.0" is currently at the peak of the hype cycle. Recently, IBM developerWorks released a podcast interview from Tim Berners-Lee in which he stated that "Web 1.0 was all about connecting people. It was an interactive space, and I think Web 2.0 is of course a piece of jargon, nobody even knows what it means."
In my opinion, there is no question that the Web is being used novel ways, and that new technology is being built on top of what was already there. Also the speed of innovation has increased because it is so much easier to collaborate with one another partly because of the "Web 2.0" tools and web sites now being made available to the general public (blogs, wikis, AJAX front ends, social networking sites). People could debate on and on whether or not there is enough substance to warrant a "Web 2.0" label for these new technologies and social networking/collaborative sites. (How about we split the difference and call it Web 1.5?! - Just kidding.)
The point I'm trying to make is that it is getting easier to find people and collaborate on a project than it was before. "Web 2.0" is a convenient way to label the current set of leading edge methods for people to connect to each other on the Internet. I'm fine with that idea. Heck for all I care, someone could have called today's web environment to be the "Quaternary Period of the Web" and the Web circa 1998 to be "Jurassic Period of the Web". But the term "Web 2.0" seems to have caught on so let's just continue to use it as a convenient way of talking about today's environment. Whatever we call this current period of the Web, it sure is fun to be part of it. It's evolutionary, not revolutionary. Internet technology is changing quickly and there are lots of business opportunities being created. I enjoy learning about new technologies and web sites such as ProgrammableWeb, MySpace, del.ic.ious, Flickr, and JotSpot. Let's just enjoy the "Web 2.0" ride for now. In just a few years, "Web 2.0" will actually be considered old/stale and some new label will be invented.
On a side note in regards to labeling periods of time, did you notice how people just avoid the issue of calling this decade anything?! Is it the "oh-ohs", the "zeros", or "double naughts decade"? We all seem to be surviving just fine without a decade label. So regardless of whether we label this period in web history as "Web 2.0" or not, let's have fun working with these emerging technologies!
John Feller Manager, Emerging Technologies Development, IBM Software Group [Read More]
I just found this reference to a new Google service called Google Notebook. It's a Firefox extension that feels very similar to Scrapbook (one of my all time favorite Firefox extension thanks to my colleague Stefano Pogliani), however it is different in a couple important respects:
The snippets you collect are not stored on your local machine, but instead on Google's servers
Since the storage for the snippets isn't on your local hard drive, they can be shared with others (sort of like how del.icio.us shares bookmarks. So in this respect Google is venturing into the Social Networking space a bit.
You can collect notes of your own that do not originate in a web page (something I wish Scrapbook knew how to do).
Ihaven't decided if I like this tool yet or not. For one thing,disconnected user (my favorite rant these days it seems) is an issue. With Scrapbook, I can view my pages and notes while offline. Second,if this thing becomes popular, think about the data Google could minefrom this. I'm as far from being a conspiracy theorist as there is,but Google is becoming so big and so dominant, one has to marvel at theshear wealth of information a knowledge management company like Googlemust be able to mine from the queries and other activities most all ofus use Google for on a regular basis.
So what do you guys think? Is a tool like this a good idea or not? would it be useful to you? Thanks for reading, John Gerken
A year ago, I had blogged about the announcement that OpenLaszlo would one day suppport Ajax. Well, it looks like that day has come, with the release of OpenLaszlo 4.0. Good news for rich internet app developers.
Cisco's stock performed well in 2006 - one of the market's stars. And it is still hard for them to shed or to modify their Routers &Networks reputation - as solid as it is. As their hardwareportfolio connects computers, I guess they would like to projectthemselves as being able to connect like-minded people with SocialNetworking (SN) capabilities. We'll see. Marc Andreessen,co-ounder of Netscape and now the co-founder of Ning.com - a SN site -is not so confident (I've gathered this info from the NY Times's3/3/2007 Technology Section; article: Social Networking's NextPhase). The acquisition of Tribe.com follows Cisco's acquisitionof Five Across, a SN design firm.
Will those of us in the enterprise be able to modify our personalbusiness processes (the tools for managing our work) and devote timefor sustained collaboration with colleagues andacquaintances? When we meet and say 'let's stay incontact,' will we be able to take advantage of theseSN-capabilities to do so purposefully or will Social Networking becomeanother spam engine? My feeling is that SN will take offonce we have a useful, visual interface for mapping and sharing ourconnections.
Richard Branson of airline (Virgin Air), music (Virgin Music), mobile phone, (Virgin Mobile) fame announced a foray into the - should we say - virgin territory of P2P lending. This initiative takes advantage of Virgin Group's majority share of CircleLending, a Waltham, MA. firm organized to administer private loans (Mint.com, Wesabe.com, Prosper.com are in similar market). Virgin also in negotiations to purchase the recently troubled lender Northern Rock.
His the emphasis on 'friends and family' lending. We'll see. And the conjunction of banking, mobile devices, deep understanding of the consumer marketplace reminds me of eBay with its subsidiaries of PayPal & Skype, as well as its position as the second largest employer in the USA (if one considers secondary and tertiary (#3) sources of income).
Capital ($) has been mobile for a long while thanks to sophisticated IT systems. Now we are beginning to see the mobility of personal capital due to the ever increasing capability of not so sophisticated mobile devices.
Additional info in 10/15/07 NY Times, section c6. cperrien
An increasing problem in networking today concerns application protocols. An application protocol is something like HTTP, SNMP and FTP that layers on top of the network transport layer. The problem is that although many new application protocols are very similar, they continue to proliferate. Developers usually approach them in one of three ways. First, if HTTP or SNMP is close enough, just use it with a few conventions. If not, define one on top of Web or e-mail. And finally, some develop a new one from scratch.
BEEP, which stands for Block Extensible Exchange Protocol, is a framework to allow application protocols to be built from a common base framework. BEEP's protocol characteristics are connection-oriented (reliable, ordered, congestion sensitive), message-oriented (structured data) and peer-to-peer (allowing client/server). It's protocol mechanisms include framing (delimiting msgs), encoding (representing msgs), reporting (status information), asynchrony (independent exchanges), authentication (verify user ids), and privacy (protecting against 3rd parties).
The ETTK includes an framework for implementing application protocols via BEEP. We call it BeepLite. It is a Java implementation of the main IETF RFC's concerning BEEP: RFC 3080 (BEEP Core) and RFC 3081 (TCP Binding). There is also an RFC for SOAP over BEEP that is interesting. We find that for some cases SOAP over BEEP performs better than SOAP over HTTP, but in other cases, HTTP proves to be better. This is a fruitful area for further experimentation as a possible application of BEEP.
Here is an interesting SD Times Article about a BZ Research study of 578 SD Times subscribers' AJAX usage. "Nearly three out of four software development managers say that they’re using or planning to use AJAX-based rich Internet application technologies."
The Economist of June 16, 2007 page 85 describes an interesting bank chain: Umpqua. Begun in Oregon. Highly focused on customer service, not only ATM fees and deposits. 144 branches in 12 years.
The current riddle for banks is how to attract customers to the branch office (branches matter to customer relationship and customer loyalty which drives sales) when 2x more customers bank online than did in 2002.
Well trained associates (trained by the Ritz Carlton, no less) cater to customer needs and charge accordingly. Link to Economist article.
Maybe the Apple Store is not the only example of the Branch Bank of the future. cperrien
Today's Personal Section (6/14/07 D1) of the Wall Street Journal discusses the variety of community sites that affiliate people who want to better manage their finances. Such interaction and candidness will be natural for the 20 -30 year old demographic and they will expect more from their financial institutions than monthly statements and a myriad of fees.
And it doesn't take a bank to help folks collaborate about their finances: WalMart or eBay or Amazon could do likewise across their own customer bases. Financial institutions will need to increase the caliber of their offerings beyond service counters in grocery stores and ATM machines everywhere. cperrien
How about a revised definition of portal? Instead of one PC with the screen divided into multiple sections, have 4 monitors attached to blade servers thousands of miles away. No fan noise, no heat generation, and alot less power consumption - on the order of 1/20 less (15 watts vs 300 watts for a desktop system. Talk about Net-Centric Computing or a Thin Desktop. Teradici of Vancouver, Canada believes that it has developed the technology to deliver this capability. Carry your data on a thumb drive or flash drive and plug-it into terminal (remember those) and use the processing power from way off. IBM and others intend to sell products based upon this technology later in the year.
The ETTK is continuing to incubate certain important autonomic computing technologies. The latest is the Autonomic Task Manager for Administrators, which was just released. Unlike many of our autonomic technologies, the Autonomic Task Manager for Administrators is not geared to application developers who want to build in autonomic computing functions. Rather, this technology addresses administrators who are confronted with many administration and management tasks that they find can be automated. The Task Manager provides a way a scripting system management tasks via a speadsheet-based model. Spreadsheet templates can be modified to easily create a new automated task, visualize it and get real-time system data feeds. This new ETTK package is applicable to a very wide spectrum of system management scenarios and is well worth checking out.
Read in today's Wall Street Journal that Eye-Fi Inc. of Mountain View, Ca will offer this Fall wireless transfer of images on SC card to the PC. Fantastic! Accomplished by embedding all of the necessary circuitry in the SD card. I hope that the telcos catch-on to this idea so that their camera-phones will have a simple way to deliver their photos. cperrien
I read Navy Proceedings each month as a kind of hold-over from my first 'real job.' Although I never pretend or imply that business should be managed like a cruiser-destroyer squadron, I enjoyed an article in the August 2007 Proceedings, page 19, which encourages improved adaptability in the modern military, and see associations with my Web 2.0 presentations.
As I speak to customers about Web 2.0, most are now aware of what is going on around them. For example, that MySpace will generate close to $1b in revenue this year. Many customers ask me 'how to get started?' 'How to measure the associated business value?' And even more tell me that 'they do not have the time or cycles or bandwidth to take advantage of these Web 2.0 capabilities and trends.'
I may reply to them in the future with the following section titles from this Proceedings article:
Slow Changes are Costly
Rapid Adaption Wins (we need cultures at of every level which are resourceful as information becomes outdated).
Make Distinctions to avoid Extinction (this section says that adaption is not innovation but what one does with innovation).
Adjustment Mean Movement (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act - the OODA loop). 'I know something's happening but I'm too busy' is a receipe for being owned by iTunes.
Movement may need Correction (this is really the feedback component of the OODA loop).
Getting into the Web 2.0 game at the appropriate level is a way of ensuring that we can take advantage of its successes. cperrien
We spoke about the lessons of community building on the popular culture side of the Internet, namely connecting like-minded individuals. This NY Times article by Brad Stone on May 25, 2007 discusses Facebook's intent to move into the enterprise.
And it appears that the Bancroft family will approve of Rupert Murdoch's bid for the Wall Street Journal thereby bringing the grand dame WSJ into the fold with MySpace and Fox TV.
Why do some remain skeptical of the value of Web 2.0 to the Enterpise?!
A good chance for Lotus to discuss IBM's own experience with its own Facebook-like application (w3) and the impending Connections offering.
Dion Hinchcliffe asserts in this post that enterprise mashupsare becoming increasingly important to IT organizations and thebusiness they support. However tools to enable the creation ofenterprise mashups are few and far between. In fact, while he notes "Not sure about any of this? IBM has clearly identified mashups as a key enterprise trend as well", he only cites one tool that meets all his criteria:
"However,I've recently come across one product that clearly shows almost thefull potential of enterprise mashups in a single package, despite a fewrough edges.
I recently came across Applibase's impressive DataMashups.com site,and more than any other product I've seen so far, it clearlydemonstrates the possibilities and potential of enterprise mashupsguided by end-users and shared amongst co-workers. The site has anexcellent service previewthat lets you quickly start assembling mashups visually, right online,using a rich palette of pre-existing widgets, feeds, data from localand remote SQL databases, and much more."
Looks likeI've got a new lunchtime research project for the week. The company responsible for DataMashups.com is Applibase, Inc. On their site they have some additional background material on their offerings and what they are trying to accomplish. Anyone outthere messed with this site? If so, please comment and let me knowwhat you think.
I just returned from 3 days in the Central Region speaking with customers about the possibilities of Web 2.0 for national and regional enterprises. The note from Joe Becker below is consistent with my impressions. Wesabe.com (described previously in this blog) and incredible progress by Apple and its iPod stimulate the imagination of executive audiences. Link to searchsmb has the entire piece.
from Joe Becker, Emerging Tech Marketing: 'A great story from SearchSMB.com on the types of web 2.0 investments being made by the enterprise. The article claims: "CIOs are on board with Web 2.0 technology, but they don't want to deal with emerging vendors in the market. They want to get the technology from major software vendors."
"It's all about integration and security," said Oliver Young, an analyst at the Cambridge, Mass.-based research firm. "They trust Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and SAP. They're running half of their enterprise applications already. It's so much easier and so much more reliable to get it from those guys who are already in their shops."
For his new report, Young surveyed 119 CIOs at U.S. companies with 500 or more employees. Seventy-one percent said they would be more interested in Web 2.0 technology if they could buy it from major vendors such as Microsoft or IBM. And 74% said they would be more interested in Web 2.0 technology if they could acquire it as a software suite.
Young said major vendors are starting to offer Web 2.0 suites. For example, IBM's latest upgrade of Lotus Notes includes several Web 2.0 components integrated into its collaboration platform.'
Friday April 20th's New York Times juxtaposed several articles related to advertising (4/20/2007 section C). The topic of the recent annual 4A Convention (American Assoication of Advertisers) was Accountability and its relationship to Creativity. The ancient Advertising saw is, 'I know that 50% of my advertising investment is wasted, I just don't know which 50% it is.'
As we know, Google, with its Clear Channel and DoubleClick partnership and acquisition, is charging ahead to show the likes of the advertising community what measurement might look like. I guess that we all would enjoy receiving, if we have to receive them at all, commercials both on TV and on our devices that are related to us and our individual preferences. I often hear our Vice President discuss Web 2.0 as millions of markets comprised of dozens of people. The 4As, along with all of us who sell things, are going to have to adjust to this brave new world of Marketing with Customers and no longer Marketing at Customers. I think that Marshall Mcluhan would approve of this trend.
Wow, three in a day! The ETTK team must be working overtime, because the Emerging Technologies Explorer, Semantic Tools for Web Services, and BeepLite Networking Layer all became ETTK technologies today.
The Emerging Technologies Explorer is great way to look at what's going on in the ETTK from within an Eclipse environment. You can use it to quickly learn about new technologies, see screenshots, or look at demos. You can even use it to install certain technologies directly into your Eclipse environment.
The Semantic Tools for Web Services introduces a way to automate the lookup of compatible web services. Sometimes, the answer you need is the composition of two web services. For example, suppose you want to know the population of the capital of Texas. You might be able to use two existing services: one that returns the capital city for a state and one that returns the population for a city. The semantics approach offers a way to do these types of searches.
The BeepLite Networking Layer was updated to Version 0.9.4 and joined the ETTK today. It's a Java implementation of BEEP (Blocks Extensible Exchange Protocol) and helps you more easily implement a secure, multi-channel, asynchronous set of network connections that adhere to standard protocols.