IBM has been shipping WebSphere Everyplace Deployment (WED http://www-306.ibm.com/software/pervasive/ws_everyplace_deployment/), and Workplace Managed Client (http://www-142.ibm.com/software/workplace/products/product5.nsf/wdocs/workplaceclienttech ) with ODF (http://www-142.ibm.com/software/workplace/products/product5.nsf/wdocs/wmcodf ) supported productivity editors (for WMC) and ability to compose applications in an open standards based environment. This is based on open standards technology (Workplace Client Technology: Eclipse based http://www.eclipse.org, OSGi components http://www.osgi.org) that empowers application composition using open programming model. OSGi specification allows software components to be installed, updated, and removed on the fly without having to disrupt the operation of the device. The Eclipse SDK comprises of platform, java development tools, and plug-in development environment. It is one of the leading java IDE as well as application development tool (http://www.eclipse.org/articles/Whitepaper-Platform-3.1/eclipse-platform-whitepaper.html).
IBM will be offering similar capabilities with the future version of Lotus Notes (codenamed "Hannover" ). IBM announced the following on 5/15:
- "Hannover" is planned for public beta testing fall 2006 and is now being tested internally at IBM.
- "Hannover" will include the IBM productivity editors, which will be ODF compatible
- "Hannover," with the included productivity editors, will be available to Notes customers on software maintenance
Meanwhile, Microsoft has been talking about "Smart Client" technologies for few years: http://msdn.microsoft.com/smartclient/ . As per Microsoft definition: "Smart client isn't a technology, and it isn't any specific architecture. It is a style of application that combines the best of both Windows applications and web applications." - http://msdn.microsoft.com/smartclient/community/scfaq/default.aspx#88iuzuc8 .
1. Open standards support - including development platform, programming model
- IBM: OSGi, Eclipse, ODF, XML, Web Services, WAP, WSRP, J2EE, JSR168, JSR170, etc.
- Microsoft: Proposed Open XML (see quote from this article: http://comment.zdnet.co.uk/0,39020505,39267678,00.htm on May 8th) "ODF was created by a consultative process, which is some guarantee against hidden agendas. It is an ISO standard: it has passed expert scrutiny and can be considered fit for use. It is properly open: it can be made part of any product without the need for authorisation or licensing. It is available now. None of this is true of OpenXML, which, even as it goes forward for consideration as an international standard, remains under the control of one company, with many of the format's technical details yet to be revealed."
- Web Services
- Application Block: varying levels of maturity. some are pretty old components. For example: .NET 1.1 had No-Touch deployment. .NET 2.0 has ClickOnce. Vista is promising to deliver significant change to ClickOnce. Which is the right choice for Developers? Another example: Composite UI Application Block vs Windows Presentation Foundation, Avalon? How will caching and off-line applicaiton blocks fit with Windows Communication Foundation (WCF - Indigo)?
2. Flexibility and Choice of devices/platforms, operating systems, thin/thick clients for collaboration
- IBM: Choice of devices/platforms (http://www-142.ibm.com/software/sw-lotus/lotus/offering1.nsf/wdocs/matrix2 ), Mac/Windows/Linux, thin, thick clients
- Micosoft: Windows, Windows, Windows, Mac (only for MS Office)
3. Server managed Client: intelligent installation, updates, Provisioning based on rules: IBM leverage OSGi and Eclipse
4. Disconnected usage and Replication:
- IBM provides local and encrypted data store using Cloudscape with associated client middleware such as local application server and EJB container that allows execution of rich client applications on the desktop/device. Uses SynchML4J for replication.
5. Productivity Editors
- IBM: IBM Productivty Editors with ODF support, open/edit/save to supported Microsoft Office formats, as well as PDF format
- Microsoft: MS Office, open/edit save to suppored Microsoft office formats, as well as PDF format
6. Contextual, Improve collaboration IBM: Activity computing paradigm provides context as well as a paradigm shift towards improved collaboration. Role based execution of business processes.