Web 2.0 refers primarily to advancements in the responsiveness and functionality afforded the user of web applications. You might also have heard about RIA or "Rich Internet Applications." This is Web 2.0 combined with ways to deliver and or incorporate multimedia including how we graphically present information, and how such capabilities are integrated into a web site.
All of this is intended to make web pages behave more like PC applications, which are more immediately responsive to the user and in many ways, easier to use.
Here`s a good comparison of Web 1.0 verses Web 2.0 behavior:
Horde is standard web-mail application popular on *nix based servers. Most people avoid using it directly unless traveling, and rather, rely on IMAP support (the ability to download message to a local client while leaving retrieved messages on the server).
The spell check program in Horde is implemented as a batch process, executed after a document is submitted, where words identified as potential mistakes and correction options are displayed in a basic table, one screen-full at a time. On the other hand, Google`s email client (recently IMAP enabled) underlines misspelled words as you type, just as one might find in MS Word. Right clicking on an identified word provides correction options. The Google application functions without reloading pages.
If you have ever used Horde, or something similar, or can even imagine what I`ve described, you know at once that the Web 2.0 characteristic of the Google Mail application are much easier and intuitive to use.
For those of you whose eyes may be glazing over, a heavy-handed comparison might serve to focus you back on the real issue here.
Out-houses and restrooms provide the same basic purpose. The latter is a significant improvement. If you find the analogy weak, think again. With restrooms comes piping and the potential for leaks. Google mail requires significant piping - don`t run it on a dial-up connection. Plus, the potential for leaks - the potential for loss of security in Web 2.0 mechanisms - is only now becoming clear.
Whatever business focus one may have, fundamentals in how things are accomplished do change. Let`s not ignore this. Marginalizing the changing fundamentals of building web applications by asserting the fundamentals of marketing as immutable doesn`t advance our shared objectives.
Earlier, I too, diverted from the paradigm shift occurring in web development, and focused on the lack of business process integration in most eCommerce oriented web-based applications. I hope to further that position without the unintended marginalization of Web 2.0. On the contrary, I submit that what are currently back-end applications are going to emerge redeveloped as Web 2.0 web-based applications that will ultimately interface naturally with such front-end applications now commonly available.
My point before was more geared toward web designers and developers that don`t realize that the benefits we offer businesses may well be eroded by the ultimate data shuffle that must occur when transactions start on the web and complete on the LAN.
My point now, is to clarify that the redevelopment of LAN-based applications will occur as we advance our ability to create web-based applications that are more responsive and easier to use than our current Web 1.0 application methodologies will support. (Oddly, the existing applications will be redeveloped utilizing Web 2.0 methods before the back-end applications emerge. Such is the way of business evolution. Nevertheless, Web 2.0 or its offspring will ultimately serve to make possible the elimination of process gaps we now experience.)
We are moving business applications to the Internet, just as the delivery of news, movies, music and radio has or is moving to the Internet. It is a slow process, depending on issues concerning:
- General availability of broadband,
- Overall information security at many levels,
- Improvement in service reliability,
- Advancement of development methodologies giving web-based applications the desktop feel that users require, and last, but far from least,
- Dissipation of resistance gained through general awareness and acceptance of the challenges our current environment imposes.
Charles L. Johnson, Managing Member
Verve X3, LLC.
4416 Woodland Ride Dr.
College Station, Texas 77845
Main: (979) 633-4578
Cell: (979) 229-8301
Web-enabled Business Applications? We can help.