Well, actually I intend to maintain a high degree of civility and respectfulness in this blog even as we (you and I) make bold, unflinching pronouncements.
I am the v.p. of Product Management and a founder of IdeaBlade, a .NET enterprise application development framework company (www.ideablade.com). I won't shy away from talking about our product - it is my passion after all - but I'm not here to flog it either.
I am excited by issues surrounding development of enterprise apps such as Smart Client, Object Relational Mapping, data access, web services, WinForm UI development, Microsoft Composite UI Application Block (CAB), deployment, and agile development practices. If you are following along, you'll be reading a lot about these topics and adding your two cents I hope.
"Enterprise Applications" is one of those broad, typically meaningless terms. I have something quite specific in mind - something that many would call "line of business" applications.
These are "sovereign applications" (see Alan Cooper, http://www.cooper.com/articles/art_your_programs_posture.htm) that capture the attention of "knowledge workers" for extended periods almost every day. Think stock traders and travel agents.
You would recognize such apps instantly; they
- fill the screen (rather than a small corner of it)
- sport many "forms" and window panes
- demand crisp user interaction
- support rapid task-oriented "context switches"
- display a lot of rich, often complex data
It always amazes me how many organizations will inflict a poorly performing mess of browser eye-candy on a put-upon work force. The culprit typically has been promoted by the time the company acknowledges that productivity has actually declined. Not that the users didn't scream from day one; it's just that no one seemed to care or they were too powerless to resist the juggernaut of money and senior management committed to the browser app fantasy.
Here comes Ajax, giving mouth-to-mouth to that corpse. We see the chest rise and fall and shout "it lives!" Sorry folks. I think Ajax is great for the one page app but it is hopeless for the multi-page, highly stateful, enterprise app.
That's my rant of the day. Cheers, Ward