The latest Demo conference has the usual array of new or enhanced products. Webware is covering most of the more consumer demos. I've found a few products that focus on ease of use that stood out on the first day session (more Demo 08 coverage here).
Demo 08 host Chris Shipley and stage crew open the event with a dance routine
Blist showed off its Web database application for mainstream users. Blist looks like a spreadsheet but presents more of a visual environment in a rich Internet application framework using Flash. Blist allows you to store lists of infinite length in a cell, store documents, and set photos, checkmarks and ratings as column types. You can even have a table in a cell, create pick lists with icons, and show thumbnails of Web URLs. Searches can be initiated by dragging and dropping items for the query. It a good example of how Flash and Flex, or AIR and Silverlight, can be used to change the way you think about applications.
Continuing with the theme of Web applications for mere mortals, Voyant introduced a financial planning solution for individuals. It allows users to create and compare financial scenarios and timelines. Voyant combines its planning tools with a social networking platform that allows users to chat, participate in forums and share plans with others anonymously.
Fabrik introduced Joggle, content management for mere mortals. Joggle creates a online, virtual store of content no matter where it lives. What's cool about Joggle is its Adobe Air interface and the capability to share the virtually aggregated content and create slideshows, playlists and interact with the content in other ways. It also synchs up content as it is changed each time Joggle is reloaded.
Flypaper demoed a tools that bridges the gap between PowerPoint and customer Flash programming. "We bring the power of Flash programming to everyone," said CEO Pat Sullivan. Flypaper provide prefabricated templates, which require a download, including graphics, animation, navigation and other elements that can be edited and saved and shared.
Sprout debuted a Web-based drag and drop environment for building sophisticated Flash files, including widgets. The Flex-based environment includes far more sophisticated design features and options than Flypaper. It includes dozens of templates and components for slideshows and jukeboxes, as well as integration with services such Meebo and Ribbit. User can create their own templates, and Sprout code can be pasted into any Web page and published through widget engines, such as Clearspring, Gigya, and Spring Widgets. (See also Ryan Stewart on Sprout)
GoldMail showed an easy-to-use business application for creating rich media messages. It doesn't overwhelm users with features and provides a custom branded player as well as reporting and tracking capabilities.
TimeDriver makes it easy to coordinate schedules across calendars. When you schedule an appointment with people, TimeDriver offers timeslots that don't conflict with other commitments in your calendar. Appointments in TimeDriver are automatically placed in Outlook or Google calendars.