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Skinny applications could be a better term than roll-your-own

Skinny applications have a bright future as small groups of workers can create custom apps.
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Written by Tom Foremski, Contributor on

Roll-your-own software, or do-it-yourself software, are some of the terms being used to describe very simple development platforms such as Jotspot and Socialtext. (The technology is powerful, it is the interface that is simple.)

They enable custom applications to be built very quickly, that serve small groups of users. Typically this market is dominated by Microsoft Excel, but the use of Excel is a kludge rather than specifically designed for this type of job--especially these days since everything is "collaborative" and shared.

When I met with Joe Kraus of Jotspot just before the holidays, he said he didn't think those terms were good ones to describe the class of software that Jotspot and others provide.

I agree, and I've been thinking about the possibility of introducing a new term, while it is still not too late. How about "skinny applications" or "skin apps?"

When I was looking through my notes on the meeting with Joe Kraus, I had asked him could you create a CRM-type application using this technology. He replied, "Why not? What is an application anyway, but a skin on a database." Which is true, if you think about it.

So what do you think? Skinny apps? It might even get into daily IT language. When discussing smaller user applications, you, or your colleagues might say, "let's just skin it." Or "did you get the events skin done yet?" Or "No problem, I can skin that by the end of the day."

I haven't mentioned it to Joe Kraus yet, maybe the blogosphere will deliver this post and we'll hear back from him :-)

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