Thursday, March 27, 2008

Look How Rich and Thin We Are - The State of the RIA Market

I spoke yesterday with Michael Cote of Redmonk and Ryan Stewart of Adobe (the RIA blog is here, on ZDNet here podcast is here). What follows are some of the highlights of our discussion on the state of the RIA market.

Today, there are two ways to build your first Web 2.0 application:
  1. Buy $300 worth of O'Reilly books and kiss the next few weekends goodbye

  2. Download WaveMaker and follow the 15 minute tutorial
For anybody but the most hardcore or masochistic tech-heads, this seems like a no-brainer decision.

If Web 2.0 is about putting more power into the hands of end users, that message hasn't hit the Ajax world yet. In general, Rich Internet Applications toolkits from Dojo to Flex are well beyond the reach of anything but the most sophisticated developers (not that I am a particular fan of Flex).

WaveMaker is focused on lowering the price of admission for Web 2.0 application development. WaveMaker provides an easy on ramp to building web applications, allowing non-expert developers to build rich internet AJAX applications

How complicated an application can you build with a visual Ajax tool? Well, we built the WaveMaker studio using WaveMaker, so you can build a very complex application indeed using visual Ajax tools!

What kinds of applications are best for a visual Ajax tool like WaveMaker? We see our community building three kinds of applications:
  1. Rich Internet Application prototyping. Business analysts

  2. Rapid Application Development using database driven forms generation

  3. Face of SOA applications. Assemble rich internet applications by combining web services and data services.
WaveMaker is the PowerBuilder for Web 2.0 - we make it easy for large community of people to get benefits of rich internet applications.

As usual, the bogeyman for all this Rich Internet goodness is Microsoft. The current fragmentation of the Ajax market and related squabbling between toolkits fanboys makes Microsoft's Silverlight solution a much simpler choice for developers.

More importantly, before the introduction of WaveMaker's visual Ajax studio, Microsoft's visual studio was winning over the novice developers by default. It's time for the open source world to provide a compelling and CIO-safe alternative to Silverlight and WaveMaker is just the company to do it!

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