Turning up the heat for application users

A focus on the Internet browser has left application development in a half-formed state that Hurwitz calls "watery gruel." But a few visionary vendors are starting to make things gel.

The last handful of years has seen a wide sweeping focus on delivering more technology for server-centric, Web application development.

Industry visionaries have brought us architectures, tools, frameworks, and patterns to make development highly productive, scalable, and modular. We are, no doubt, better developers for it--able to deliver Web applications more quickly to meet business requirements.

All this development has been in service of the lowly Internet browser. "Must go to the Web ... must go to the Web" has been the mantra at the opening of the 21st century. As a result, we now feed application users a steady diet of watery application gruel. The average Web application user has had to come to terms with dead-end browser windows; low-grade, static functionality; a lack of interactive data on the browser's face; or counterproductive, fat downloads requiring a lengthy wait for fireworks to begin. But all of that is changing, or at least it should be.

The Hurwitz take: Hurwitz Group knows that we have only begun to scratch the surface of ways we can use the Internet to deliver the kind of applications that users truly deserve: copious functionality, easily adaptable to a user's commands and overflowing with data context throughout the window.

A few stalwart and visionary vendors are leading the charge on richer, more interactive applications that don't sacrifice the low cost and easy maintenance of Web applications. Altio, Curl, Digital Harbor, Droplets, and Lazlo Systems have turned their attention to better client experiences for Web applications.

Developers and users don't have to have the "either/or" conversation with each other anymore. Yes, developers can have low total cost of ownership and use the Internet to deliver applications, and yes, users can have rich, highly interactive applications. Isn't it about time?

A Breath of Fresh Air for Application Users
By Tyler McDaniel
First published by Hurwitz Group August 23, 2002

Can developers have it both ways, and use the Internet to deliver apps that are both low on cost and high on interactivity? TalkBack below or e-mail us with your thoughts.