Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mashup Definition: Visualized Web Services

Seth Godin, the marketing guru, defines a mashup as a distinct way of spreading ideas. In particular, Web 2.0 mashups allow developers to combine interesting data and then visualize that data through a web application. In practice, a mashup requires a data source and a web visualization platform.

WaveMaker and Xignite announced their own bit of mashup magic today.

Xignite provides financial data as a web service. Real-time financial data that would otherwise cost a minimum of $50K to access through Reuters or Bloomberg is available at a fraction of that cost through Xignite. These services can include foreign exchange pricing, commodities pricing and real time stock quotes.

The problem is that it takes a web application platform to call the Xignite web service, marshall the resulting data and display it in a web page. That's where WaveMaker comes in. With Wavemaker, a web developer can create a ticker widget that calls Xignite services in less than 5 minutes.

Click here to see the Exignite/WaveMaker ticker example. Click here for more Web 2.0 definitions.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ajax Master Class Webinar Series

While there are many entry level tutorials on Ajax, there are relatively few advanced training classes for Ajax in general and Dojo in particular. Over the next 3 months, WaveMaker will offer a series of advanced courses on Dojo development.

Ajax File Upload/Download Master Tutorial
29 July 2008, 11am PT
Matt Small, Senior Software Engineer, WaveMaker

File Upload and Download in Ajax applications can be tricky. This tutorial provides introduction to upload and download widget configuration and their backing Java services. Advanced topics include writing uploaded files to a database and serving files directly from database content.

Debugging Ajax Applications With Firebug Master Tutorial
26 August 2008, 11am PT
Ed Callahan, Director of Technical Services, WaveMaker

Where there is development, there is debugging. In this session, we will discuss techniques for debugging issues commonly encountered while developing Ajax web-apps. We will use the Firebug add-on to Firefox to debug client side errors. We will also discuss the logging features available in the WaveMaker framework to diagnose server side issues.

Dojo Data Grid Master Tutorial23 September 2008, 11am PT
Steve Orvell, Senior Architect, WaveMaker
A grid is a fantastic way to view complex data at a glance. Whether it's data from a database, web service, or java service, WaveMaker provides a simple way to produce complex grids quickly. We'll review how to setup a basic grid and then dive into some advanced ways to manipulate the grid widget in WaveMaker.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Gullible marketing

I used to think that marketing had to do with adjectives: better, shinier, fat-free. I now think marketing has to do with nouns and gullibility - let me explain.

Gullible marketing is based on the premise that customers believe everything that they hear. You assume that a customer cannot distinguish one company's hype (shiny toaster) from another's (fat-free toaster).

In gullible marketing, you cannot win be asserting that you do things better than your competitors. You can only win by talking about different things than any of your competitors.

This brings us to the buzzword-filled world of Web 2.0. It is almost impossible to differentiate one RIA, Ajax, Saas-enabled development tool from another. In the gullible marketing world, Backbase, Nexaweb, Jackbe, Appcelerator and WaveMaker all look the same (if we all merged, we could call ourselves Back-nexa-jack-app-wave).

Gullible marketing would say that no customer can distinguish between our buzzword-laden pitches without a great deal of effort. Thus any time they hear similar-sounding claims from two vendors they get a sort of used-car salesman feeling that leaves them confused and dejected.
Vendor 1: Bright and shiny Ajax, RIA, Web 2.0 tools!
Vendor 2: Brighter, shinier and velvet stippled RIA, Enterprise Web 2.0 tools!!
Customer: sigh…I guess I'll wait to see what Microsoft gives me
Once customers are confused, they are likely to do nothing at all, just wait for the market develop to a point where there is a clear market leader. As a vendor, then, the trick is to say something unique to customers that they aren't hearing from anyone else and hence aren't confused about.
  1. Avoid adjective-driven differentiation. In the tech world, the adjectives faster, better and cheaper have been overused to the point of meaningless
  2. Stake out a unique nouns. Focus your messaging on something that nobody else is saying. For example, WaveMaker is the only browser-based web development tool that you can ship as a part of your application - which is a handy thing for ISVs.
  3. Start with small nouns. The implicit market size of the noun you stake out should be roughly equivalent to the size and momentum of your company. If you are a small company, try to own a little noun first. For example, shipping a browser-based customization tool with your application is going to only appeal to ISV's trying to web-enable their products, a relatively small segment of the web development space.
Another way of explaining gullible marketing is that customers believe none of what they hear from vendors, but that would be too depressing for me as a vendor to contemplate, so I prefer to think of them as gullible instead.