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Looking for a Killer Application

Killer apps can be identified by the smoking guns they carry. Those guns are standards like SOAP and SIMPLE for Web services and SIP and H.323 for digital convergence technologies like VoIP and video conferencing. Standards enable products to integrate with existing resources and allow ubiquitous use from multiple devices such as wireless PDAs and phones, PCs, workstations and servers. Without standards, a product is harmless in the marketplace.

So the question to ask if you're looking for a killer app -- or answer if your product wants to be a killer app -- is: "Does the product interoperate with existing standards from a recognized and reputable standards body such as the IEEE or the IETF?"

Watch out for the following answers:

  • No problem, we work with TCP/IP.
  • Of course, it takes standard AC input.
  • Sure it will fit into your enterprise; it's a 1U rack-mountable design.
  • We write the standards in this area.
  • No worries mate, it comes with an SDK.
  • No sweat, it works with all our other products.

These answers are fine and dandy if you're looking for fun on a proprietary gaming console. But they are not compelling on the Internet or in the enterprise, and they don't describe a killer app.

The next killer application needs to work with all the other products running in the enterprise. It needs to fit into your Web services model like a glove and shake hands with your client server systems like a friend. And it needs interoperability testing with published, reproducible results. Anything less is simply a shot in the dark.