Can Web 2.0 Be Safe For CIOs?

Do users see enterprise IT as an obstacle to be overcome before they can play with cool new Web 2.0 technologies?

December 18, 2007

2 Min Read
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The Web-based application development tools vendor formerly knownas ActiveGrid has just relaunched itself as WaveMaker Software,claiming that it can make Web 2.0 "CIO-Safe."

If I were a CIO, I'd find that quite patronizing: It suggests thatthe CIO is just an obstacle to be overcome before users can play withcool new Web 2.0 technologies. But perhaps that's how usersincreasingly see the CIO, and enterprise IT as a whole.

WaveMaker's key sales pitch is its ability to integrate RIAs (RichInternet Apps) into an enterprise SOA, eliminating what it calls"rogue IT": people setting up Web services, mashups, orother applications that don't necessarily comply with corporatesecurity policies. SOA security and management vendors often warn ofsimilar threats, aiming to detect or block them, but the idea here isto prevent them in the first place by giving people tools to developnew applications safely within the fold.

The WaveMaker platform is divided into two products, both of whichshiptoday: The Visual Assembly Studio is a Web-based developmentenvironment and Rapid Deployment Framework a server-side run-time thathandles integration with existing apps.

The design studio looks similar to some enterprisemashup platforms. Like them, it's intended to make applicationdevelopment much easier, potentially enabling apps to be developed bypeople without programming skills. The difference is that everythingthe Design Studio creates is compiled into a standard .war file, ableto run on any standard Java server. WaveMaker claims to reducecoding by up to 98%, but it's hard to know how realistic that is.Like most software startups nowadays, WaveMaker uses a mixture ofopen source and proprietary code. The server-side Framework is builton multiple open source platforms (24, according to WaveMaker),including Spring and DoJo. However, it also includes some proprietarytools to integrate them together, so it requires a commerciallicense. Conversely, the Design Studio isn't open source, butWaveMaker is giving it away free (as in beer.) The applications itcreates can be used without the Framework, so the company is bettingthat customers will prefer not to do the integration work themselves.

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