Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Cast Iron Systems - ReThink Integration

www.castironsys.com Cast Iron Systems is the most widely deployed provider of integration appliances in the world, trusted by the Global 2000 to integrate applications in days rather than months and slash application integration costs by as much as 80%. The Application Router can be installed and productive within hours of delivery, with an ROI payback in as little as four months. No other application integration solution even comes close.

How is all this possible with a single appliance? The key is in the simplicity of approach.

First generation, software-based integration solutions were designed to connect applications that were created long before the appearance of standards. As a result, they connected disparate systems using complex methodologies. Today, these complex methodologies delay integration projects and add little or no value.

Such software-based integration and distributed-systems tools forced companies to become experts in the technology rather than beneficiaries of it. Tools and development environments required a high level of expertise, and generally did not provide visibility or effective management of finished projects.

The bottom line: software-based integration solutions provide high levels of functionality but are burdened by complexity, at the expense of project timelines.

The Application Router® defines a new generation of integration solution. The latest industry standards like XML are deployed from within a point-and-click environment, enabling users to focus on the timely completion of projects that have immediate and ongoing business value, rather than on becoming masters of the underlying technology. Everything necessary to deliver integration projects in just a matter of days — connectivity, transformation, intelligent routing and full system monitoring — is delivered in a simple, yet powerful device.

The Application Router combines a straightforward "configuration not coding" approach to integration, with a comprehensive set of management tools, so companies can complete and maintain projects more quickly and easily than ever before.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Shirky - Ontology is Overrated

The Semantic Web, Syllogism, and Worldview and Ontology is overrated

Before quoting from these pieces, I should admit to being someone very familiar with knowledge representation and ontology, and of languages such as Ontolingua and KIF. Having got that out of way, I found this diss of ontology one of the most intelligent around the 'net, especially as I know how an interest in products such as Endeca and Stratify. Isn't it ultimately about an argument about top down and bottom up? Shirky says "Today I want to talk about categorization, and I want to convince you that a lot of what we think we know about categorization is wrong. In particular, I want to convince you that many of the ways we're attempting to apply categorization to the electronic world are actually a bad fit, because we've adopted habits of mind that are left over from earlier strategies." Read on and learn.

Stratify - Discover More

www.stratify.com “Before you meta tag, you need a taxonomy,” says Ramana Venkata, Chief Technology Officer for Stratify (formerly known as Purple Yogi), a taxonomy software company. “So you bring in someone like KPMG and pay them a million dollars, but you still need to figure out how to create and insert the meta data.” In other words, the search process still relies on the meta data behind the content and the taxonomy rules (not to be confused with a taxonomy directory).

Stratify’s product, The Discovery Product, includes a taxonomy builder with auto categorization that automatically creates and inserts meta data in all of the content and then builds a portal presentation layer that is web-based or similar to the presentation of MS-Windows Explorer – in a matter of seconds.

Taxonomy products such as Stratify and Endeca work best when working in tandem with search engines.

Endeca - Guided Navigation, Search and Analysis

www.endeca.com Information overload is eroding employee productivity. Recent studies reveal that the average corporate employee spends 25-35 per cent of their productive time searching for information to do their day-to-day job. “Our ability to create information has substantially outpaced our ability to retrieve relevant information,” claims a recent Delphi Group report (Taxonomy & Content Classification, 2002). Some estimates claim that there now exists some 250 megabytes of information for every human being – and the glut is growing.

New taxonomy software products, like Endeca and Stratify, replace the traditional, manual methods that have a number of drawbacks. Manual classifying, directory building and meta tagging require significant expenditures in terms of people and time, the former which can be inconsistent and not very scaleable.

“Many organizations have spent many years just trying to get it right,” says Paul Whitelam, Product Manager for Endeca Technologies, a Cambridge-based software company that built the Tower Records Website. “Our approach negates this and it’s done automatically as people navigate through the set. Endeca auto-indexes rather than builds from scratch… leveraging content meta data to dynamically generate the taxonomy (directory).”

Endeca is a new technology, delivered as a platform that makes it possible to deploy applications that navigate, search, and analyze data from any source.

One IT services giant uses Endeca to build an "open marketplace for consulting services". Here they sort potential consultants instantly by any and every critrion and in any order. At a particular rate, by expertise in a geo, available next Thursday, etc.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

BackBase - AJAX - Rich Internet Applications

www.backbase.com Backbase provides Rich Internet Application (RIA) software that radically improves the usability and effectiveness of online applications, and increases developer productivity. With Backbase you can build web applications with a richer and more responsive user interface.

Although DHTML technology has been around for some years, Google’s new web applications (Google Suggest and Google Maps) have boosted the awareness of a model based on DHTML, AJAX and W3C standards for creating Rich Internet Applications. The Backbase Presentation Client (BPC) is an AJAX engine based entirely on AJAX technology, and differentiates itself via a generic User Interface declaration language (BXML). BXML is a XML application that also includes many XSLT and XPath functions. BXML is interpreted by the AJAX engine, and translated to native DOM commands in the browser. The Backbase AJAX Engine is developed in JavaScript, and it works in Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Firefox and soon also in Opera and Safari. It does not require any type of plug-in, which differentiates Backbase from other RIA vendors.

Backbase software can be used to build more interactive websites and better user interfaces, web interfaces, web GUIs or web-based replacements for desktop rich clients. From a usability perspective Backbase has a noticable impact: people involved in Interaction Design and User Interface Design suddenly have much more possibilities than with regular websites. The software contains GUI builder functionality that speeds up GUI development significantly and developers are not confronted with the details of JavaScript, XML and XMLHttpRequest, but can just add extra tags to their HTML pages.

Backbase rich clients can be easily combined with Java & J2EE, .NET & ASP.NET, XML, XSLT and XPath. The .NET Server Edition offers drag-and-drop RIA development with Visual Studio.NET. Plug-ins for Eclipse and DreamWeaver are also available. The XML Server Edition can be installed on both Java platforms and on Microsoft Windows (Native .NET Application).

JackBe - AJAX for the Enterprise Web 2.0 Applications

www.jackbe.com JackBe Corporation is a pioneer and leading provider of enterprise AJAX software solutions and professional services. AJAX is a collection of technologies that allows browser-based applications to achieve the look, feel and interactivity of a desktop application. Using AJAX, organizations can make existing web applications much more user friendly and build new classes of applications for the web. AJAX can also reduce bandwidth and server utilization, thus reducing operating costs for the web services provider.

Innovators like Google have invested heavily in developing custom AJAX solutions for their consumer Web applications. JackBe has built a packaged AJAX development platform and offers lifecycle services such as training, design, implementation and support that make it easy for mainstream enterprises to AJAX-enable their own web applications.

JackBe counts over 30 large enterprises as customers, including Forbes.com, CitiGroup, Sears, and health care giant, McKesson Corporation. These companies all selected JackBe's platform and services instead of expensive internal development projects.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Zimbra - Enterprise Messaging and Collaboration

www.zimbra.com Zimbra is an open source server and client technology for next-generation enterprise messaging and collaboration. Zimbra delivers innovation for both the administrator and the end-user as well as compatibility with existing infrastructure and applications (both open source and proprietary).

Laszlo Systems - Advancing the Web 2.0 Experience

www.laszlosystems.com Laszlo Systems is developing an integrated suite of breakthrough Digital Life experiences. Built on the success of Laszlo Mail, these will enhance communications, enrich personal content and engage personal communities across the Web. The open, rich and portable nature of Laszlo's platform is ideal for 'triple-play' and 'home-run' scenarios that extend the user experience across voice, video, data and mobile services.

The Laszlo Digital Life Suite will be licensed to communication service providers seeking to enhance services to subscribers. These applications are designed to create lasting subscriber loyalty through the seamless integration of personal communications, content and community and they are easy and fun to use.

Morfik - Web applications: Unplugged

www.morfik.com Morfik offers a ground-breaking Javascript Synthesis Technology (‘JST’) that allows developers to use a visual design environment and a high-level language of their choice to create applications comprising only of HTML and Javascript. This revolutionary technology combined with its tight integration of the browser, a database and web server, uniquely offers developers the opportunity to create web applications that run on the desktop after being unplugged from the web. It is possible that this will usher in a new era that challenges the dominance of conventional software applications on the desktop. Morfik leverages modern Web 2.0 development paradigms, such as AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript with XML).

SocialText - Get everyone on the same page using Wiki

www.socialtext.com Socialtext is one of the first commercial wiki companies and a market leader in enterprise wiki solutions. Over 200 global organizations use Socialtext to accelerate project cycles and help groups communicate more effectively than with email, while fostering trust, transparency and group memory.

Sxip Identity, A Web 2.0 Identity Management Company

www.sxip.com On-Demand Identity Management: The next generation of identity architecture is emerging. Identity 2.0 will provide the online mechanism for authenticating and managing real-world user-centric identities. As critical customer data moves beyond your firewall, control over access and usage should not. The unique provisioning and single sign-on capabilities of Sxip Access extend the security and manageability of your corporate network to your hosted application.