I tend to revisit this post quite often, this in fact is the second year that I am revisiting in another post for the simple reason that I made some rather explosive comments considering the fact I work for SAP themselves – but then again the post is not about SAP it’s about development in general.
About two years ago I wrote this blog post about Platforms, APIs and GUIs then I decided to rehash the topic and bring it forward some more.
Here’s a recap of the why I wrote the original blog,
“It seems that James finally got around to blogging about something he saw. He talked a bit about it during one of the RedMonk Radio episodes but did not even scratch the service leaving me sitting ask ‘What the…’ but finally he blogged it and will hopefully be sending over the ‘deets’ from Andrew soon.
James saw a presentation from T-Mobile and how they developed (rather quickly) an app using Adobe Flex. Now I like Flex (I too can get down with Flex) and I’m hoping to add a ‘Flex’ forum to SDN here in the near future (any Adobe guys want to help moderate?) and since I’ve been pushing the use of Scripting Languages his post is right up my alley in fact in more ways than one.”
As for the rehash/revisit,
Well to the fact that NetWeaver is probably one of the coolest platforms I’ve ever worked with and with the recent changes and additions is one reason I think SAP “does get it” not only do they give you a way of expanding their own software but they give you the platform and the means to do it as well.
Some people will of course bring up the fact that SAP has too many ways of doing the same thing, for example SAP has two ways of working with ABAP in a web environment one (a favorite of mine) is BSP and the other is ABAP Web Dynpro. I did a video interview with the creators of BSP who also happen to be some of the brains behind ABAP Web Dynpro, you should really watch that and see the official stance on the use of the two languages.
Which brings me to today, since then and in the last 10 to 11 months I’ve seen an explosion of new web services as well as technologies around which to connect and work together with those web services. I’ve seen services pop up and fail, I’ve seen some hit breaking points when they have to many users involved but the one thing that annoys me the most and I myself am guilty of it (it’s corrected now though), I see a ton of services come out with now API available.
I know the excuses I used on myself to not feel guilty about it, when I do it myself but WHY? Why do we as developers not include the API from the beginning? Why do we not actually use the API ourselves to connect to a frontend? I doubt there is any one or even remotely right answer about those questions but it’s quite annoying.
When I look at the SAP platform the following still comes to mind,
Agile, flexibility, expandability, scalability these are terms you can’t help but use when you begin working with the SAP NetWeaver platform it’s all there it’s like the Baskin & Robbins of the development world – just pick your flavor!
Choosing the the flavor is one thing but you can’t have a good sundae without the toppings and extras so as an Enterprise developer and Business User I want to use my tools, my it look the way I want but I also want to pull in, connect to and integrate with your services – make it easy for me – give me an API!
“Of course with Leopard and Vista almost around the corner, it is hard not to get enthusiastic about the future of widgets. Gabe Dorfman, a Microsoft product manager is predicting a widget boom. Yahoo, MySpace, AOL, and scores of others are part of this ‘atomization of web’ movement. ‘The Google personal homepage is the fastest-growing Google product,’ Marissa Mayer tells Newsweek, ‘This market is going to be very large.’”
Now midway through 2008 I’ve been sitting back and reflecting was 2007 really the year? Did things like the iPhone, AIR and Silverlight alter that path? At the end of 2007 SAP and SDN hosted a “Widget Contest” and we were blown away by the shear number of participants and activity around Widgets in the Enterprise. Last year during the SAP TechEd event Widgets even took center stage winning at the Demo Jam!
So was 2007 it or does 2008 and 2009 look interesting for widget technologies? I think so!
Now I won’t just leave it at that, let me at least say why I think it looks interesting. The simple fact that we are gaining ground in small, usable and portable devices in an “always on” mode the idea of small consumable apps (widgets) becomes more and more appealing – perhaps it’s not just a Yahoo, Vista, Google or Dashboard thing but still the idea of a small consumable app giving you what you need, how you need it and when you need it, well frankly the appeal is growing and growing.