Applications are like meteorites - they never migrate, they just land and stick.With all the excitement over rich internet applications and Web 2.0, there is much talk of a vast migration of applications from client/server to the web (Judith Hurwitz describes when not to salvage legacy applications). While this will undoubtedly happen, it misses a much more important IT skills migration.
The real power of Web 2.0 lies not in modernizing legacy client/server applications, but in modernizing the skill sets of client/server developers. If an app was built in VB or MS Access and it works, leave it there. The real question is what to do with the developer who built that app?
Developers with 10+ years of experience with client/server tools have no clear way to "upskill" to building Web 2.0 apps. Consider the skills that a typical Visual Basic/Visual Studio developer would need to learn to start building an Ajax application:
- New database: MySQL
- New server language: Java
- New application server: Spring ($26.39)
- New database access framework: Hibernate
- New client/server messaging layer: Json
- New client toolkit: Dojo
- New styling language: css
- New IDE: eclipse
WaveMaker is focusing on the skills migration - how to enable non-expert developers to build Ajax applications by using visual tools (for a good review of WaveMaker as an alternative to VB, see Java at the eye of a perfect storm).
Last week, WaveMaker hit 1,000 downloads a day - seems like we hit a nerve!