Thursday, September 27, 2007

RIA Spectrum

With the release of the Technology Study we commissioned from Sonata it is now clear that there is a spectrum of RIA technologies that serve the diverse needs of Internet applications. These needs define a spectrum from simple B2C interfaces to the more complex highly visual interfaces of real-time dashboards.

We have created the following graphic to position the RIA technologies along a spectrum from B2C to B2E and B2B.


From the moment I first heard of Curl it was clear to me that it was uniquely suited for the demanding enterprise applications. But all our evidence was anecdotal. Now with the release of the Sonata report we have actual numbers to support that positioning.

We have been working with Jeffrey Hammond at Forrester to validate this positioning. It was good to see Jeffrey's comments in the Redmond Developer News article by John Waters.

"“Curl has positioned itself exclusively for enterprise organizations, and mainly for business-to-business apps… the Curl platform stacks up well against the competition”
Additionally we have been working with Ryan Stewart, RIA blogger at ZDnet to help educate the market on the Benefits of RIAs. We gave Ryan a preview of the Sonata report which he highlighted in this post.

One of the more interesting findings of the report the trade-off between the size of the run time environment and the size of the application download. The flowing graphs show the RTE sizes and application sizes.


While Ajax has no RTE it ncurs a heavy penalty with the largest application size. At the other end of the spectrum Curl's runtime is the largest at almost 8MB but using pCurl compression it has the smallest application size by a wide margin.

From The Desk
From the Desk

Richard Treadway

Friday, September 07, 2007

RIA Panel at Office 2.0

Jnan Dash

It has been a busy first day at Office 2.0. Marc, Jnan and I are here to represent Curl's Platform as an alternative to other more well know RIA alternatives such as Adobe's Flex.

Marc moderated a panel that explored the state of RIA adoption by enterprises in the

Representing the different RIA technologies were Peter Armstrong for Ruby, Kevin Hakman for Tibco, Ryan Stewart for Abobe, David Tempkin for Laszlo and of course our own Jnan Dash representing Curl.

Marc did a great job moderating and got a lively discussion going.

Marc started the discussion by putting out a definition of RIA from Martin Heller at InfoWorld.

RIAs attempt to combine the strengths of desktop and Web applications without falling prey to their weaknesses. RIAs try to present most of their user interfaces at the client so that they can be responsive and the interface can be as complex as it needs to be. RIAs often do need an installation, but usually only for the runtime engine, which tends to be small and most often updates itself automatically. The RIA application itself typically launches from the remote server.

The first question was when will the fortune 1000 jump onto the RIA bandwagon?
Ryan made the point that it will be end users that will drive adoption, but many on the panel including Kevin and Jnan see that adoption is already underway and it is driven by real business needs.

Jnan pointed as we know that in Japan Curl is deployed in business critical applications at companies like Panasonic, Sony and Toyota. That matched Kevin's experience at Tibco were their fortune 1000 companies are seeing the benefit of RIA in particular at HR block.

All agreed with the point that it's hard to get enterprises to talk about applications behind the firewall. No one wants to give away their competitive differentiation.

Jnan pointed out an insight we got from our recent meeting with Accenture. As I have noted the adoption of RIA in Japan seems to be a couple of years ahead of the US. What the folks at Accenture pointed out is that Japan is much more prone to do in house IT development. This has lead them to implement solutions using RIA directly to satisfy business imperatives. In the US market IT is much more likely to choose packaged software over in house IT development. This means that RIA adoption will be driven by ISVs and to this point ISVs have not felt the competitive pressure to cause them to create better products through the deployment of RIA.

See also the post on the panel at Blognation by Tris Hussey

See also my photos of the panel discussion here.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Gnomedex Report

It was fun attending Gnomedex last week. I was there with Marc Orchant representing Curl and reaching out to the blogger community to raise the awareness of Rich Internet Application technologies. This was Marc's first Gnomedex but as a professional blogger it seemed he knew everyone there. Gnomedex was planned as the event we would out the news that Marc joined Curl to help build the Curl developer community and raise awareness of RIA technologies in the enterprise.

The last time I attended Gnomedex in 2004 the feature was the announcement of Microsoft getting on the RSS band wagon. Blogging was taking off big time. With Rubel and Siffry featured prominently in the BusinessWeek cover article, "Blogs Will Change Your Business." There were 9 million blogs. This was "the wild frontier." Technorati and PubSub were the leading contenders for blog search.

Just 2 years later Gnomedex 7 had a decidedly different tone. Today PubSub imploded in a melt down that I witnessed first hand and Technorati is tracking over 70 million blogs. Now that you can make a living as a professional blogger, the conversation is turned from the "wild frontier" to "getting down to business." Marc's kids friends are always surprised to hear what he does for a living " you mean they pay you to blog." Now we have public voices we also have public exposure like never before with all the good and bad that comes with that. What happened to Kathy Sierra (one of my favorite bloggers) has become a real worry. Vanessa Fox's session generated a good discussion about privacy and safety on-line.

I also especially enjoyed Gregg Spiridellis talk about the history of JibJab and how their business model has been changing on a regular basis. Now they're into the personal cards market making entertaining user generated content. We got a great laugh as he featured Scoble and Pirillo in a Hawaiian number. Good fun. Here's my version.

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!
As always Gnomedex-networking is the highlight. You can find new interesting ideas and get a pulse on the state of the blogosphere from those that shape it on the front lines. I had a great conversation with Ryan Stewart who has been blogging on RIA for almost 2 years know. He recently joined Abobe and it was fun hearing of his adventures on the Adobe onAIR bus tour. He has seen a real increase in the RIA interest level over the last 4-6 months. We also talked about how the event driven publish-subscribe technologies like KnowNow have seen slow adoption. RIA's should be the interface of choice for real-time data driven applications. This is something Adobe is working to evangelize with their Flex Data Services.

Ryan thinks that bloggers are 6-9 months away from really understanding RIA. I think it may even be longer. What we notice with Curl's experience is that the US is at least 2 years behind Japan in the adoption of RIA. In fact in Japan they don't even think of it as RIA but rather as a means to end. The question is not "How can I use RIA to reduce TCO and get to new markets", but "How can I reduce my procurement time" or "How can I get my product to more distributors." Use of RIA technologies are only a means to reach their business goals. Hopefully the US enterprise RIA market will start to see growth in the next 6 months.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Introducing Enterprise RIA

I have started blogging on the Curl Blog about enterprise RIA. You can see my fist post here.

Over the next several months I Will be writing about my experiences in helping Curl with their go-to-market efforts in the US.

Some of the topics I intend to cover include:

  • Enterprise use cases

  • Enterprise application characteristics

  • RIA technologies for enterprise apps

  • How enterprises are measuring RIA benefits

  • How enterprise RIA in effecting the workspace

Curl's deployments in Japan offer a unique opportunity to study RIA in the enterprise and I look forward to sharing the results of my exploration with you all.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Curl Re-Launch - Web2.0 Expo

Curl-Logo 2 color
I'm here at Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco supporting the re-launch of Curl. For the Past 4 months I have been working with Curl to define their go-to-market strategy and execute their launch back into the US market.

We have completed some dozen briefing of press and analysts and the our positioning is being clearly understood. Our theme for the booth played on the Curl name. "Curly brackets aren't just for little girls." Curl's name is from the fact that the key delimiter in the language are curly brackets { and }.

Introducing Curl

Here are some of the photos from the booth.

All in all the launch has been a great success. I'll be posting more on our progress over the next several months.

From The Desk
From the Desk