After attending the Australian Architecture Forum I have put some thought into what Dr Donald Ferguson said about Web 2.0 and how it may shape the enterprise. There seem to be some simple protocols that for the foundation of Web 2.0:
AJAX seems to have allowed the development of richer web based applications that allow the development of different types of web sites compared to what can be done with only HTML and DHTML. Probably the best example is the first big AJAX application google maps.
RSS and Atom are protocols that allow the syndication of information. This blog that you are reading has an RSS feed that can be used by an aggregator application or web site. This allow someone to read multiple blogs without having to visit each of the sites.
REST is a way of interacting with the resources that are part of a web site. Within this blog that you are reading there are posts. If I look at a URL of a post it looks like this:
after the url of my blog it drills down by year, then month, then day and finally the name of the post on that day. If I wanted to see all the posts from my site for July I would enter:
Based on this standards I can use these resources from another application to interact with this site.
The last piece of the puzzle is the mashup which is the application what pulls all these technologies together in a way that empowers the user to build the site they want. One mashup site that I use on a regular basis is live.com where is have been able pull the various blogs that I read into one site. I also have a weather gadget and a favourite gadgets that provide a richer set of data on the screen that is personalised, the weather is for Melbourne and the favourites are the ones I have loaded it to my live favourites.
At a personal level it is because so many disparate sources now have rss feeds that I am able to simplify my life by putting all the information I need onto one site. Within ones enterprise if applications can be enabled with these technologies then by introducing a way of creating mashups this data can be turned into applications customised for each individual in the organisation. One such project is Zero from IBM that is taking the concept of the mashup to a new level creating a web 2.0 development platform, maybe not for every end user.
As you can see the technologies are getting to the point where information is accessible for people to do with it what they want. Applications can be built based on the personal requirements of that user.
What will such applications do to an enterprise? As Dr Ferguson pointed out in his presentation the number of ‘applications’ within an enterprise is going to increase and the number of ‘administrators’ is going to grow. Probably the big thing here will be the mind shift from the T1 application with its associated overhead to the Web 2.0 application with a new dynamic delivery model.