Monday, January 01, 2007

Web 2.0 (Time to Think Again)

I’m not one to jump on the bandwagon but I have recently finished reading Web 2.0 Principles and Best Practices. It was really thought provoking and based on some interesting research. I think I was sceptical and thought that Web 2.0 was just all about AJAX. Well think again. The book identifies eight core patterns they are considered essential to the Internet. I won’t reproduce them here as they are best explained in the book (No I’m not on commission).

However, the concept of ‘mash-up’ a term introduced in the book got me thinking especially about application development and integration. Mash-up is the term used to describe the mashing together of content, often programmatically, from several different sources. MySpace pages are a classic example where pictures, music and video are drawn together from all over the web. But what is interesting is how the APIs from several sources can be combined like in housingmaps.com. Here is a site that has taken the Google Maps API and combined this with a property rental directory. You click on the Google Map and up pops a listing of rental property in that area.

Not only are the Google APIs interesting, but also those provided by the likes of Amazon. Take S3 (Simple Storage Service) for example. This is brilliantly simple. Amazon have globally deployed terabytes and petabytes of highly available, high performing storage that it uses to support its business. By signing up to S3 and using their API you can store and retrieve any data, in fact any amount of data. I don’t need to build a data centre, I can just start using theirs. The barriers to entry for new business have just been lowered. What is even more fascinating is that you can use your already existing Amazon account for billing! I just registered and as they say I’m good to go.

Google have recently retired their SOAP search API in favour of an AJAX API. Just add some Java Script to your web-page and you can incorporate the power of Google search into your applications. A number of client side controls are provided for doing this.

So in the new Web 2.0 age as designers and architects we should be providing AJAX APIs in addition to WSDL, as this a quick and easy mechanism for integrating applications together. Is SOA dead or being reinvented?

Digg!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I suspect most of the Microsoft developers will just use the object model - I can't imagine them using XAML to design the Office 2009 UI!

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