Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Meteoric Theory of Applications

The Meteoric Theory of Applications (to paraphrase Mary Loomis) is this:
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 language: Javascript
  • New client toolkit: Dojo
  • New styling language: css
  • New IDE: eclipse
No wonder there is such a shortage of Java web developers!

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!


Anonymous said...

Many many thanks for such an excellent tool and congratulations for 1000 downloads/day !!!

Tarun Sukhu said...

Majority of the legacy client/server applications will need to be redesigned for Web 2.0 with the main reusable component being the underlying business logic. The challenge would be to provide not only a framework which appeals to developers of the VB era providing similar features or advanced but a complete solution with minimum user customization. WaveMaker definitely does provide both. For non experts the ability to create a “Web 2.0 application that works!” is an exciting prospect. For experienced developers in Web 2.0 the ability to drastically cut down development estimates makes it an excellent alternative.

Anonymous said...

1000!!!!!! Nice job!!