in Business Design

Can Web 2.0 Help Anyone Dabble in I.T.?

While discussions of Web 2.0 in the popular press center around the cool technology — and it is pretty cool — the more interesting aspects for me are the changes we’ll see in how people relate to information in fundamentally different ways as companies move from creating products to creating tools.

One ubiquitous software app at the heart of our systems is the database, and along with it is the ubiquitous understanding that mere mortals do not create databases, we need database programmers to do that. Along comes Dabble to change that, at least (for the time being) at the simpler end of applications. Watching their demo video it’s easy to imagine the day when any business person will create database-backed web applications as easily as we set up spreadsheets today.

  1. I’ve had the opportunity recently to see TenFold (http://www.10fold.com/home.htm) applications in use. I’d never heard of this technology before, and when I did, I wondered why it hadn’t landed on my radar. From what I’ve seen, TenFold technology is one step closer to “the day when any business person will create database-backed web applications as easily as we set up spreadsheets today.”

    TenFold can be a very powerful tool for the non-technical person to create a database-backed application that is both instantly useable on and offline. It’s not quite as easy as a spreadsheet, but it’s a huge step in the right direction.

  2. TenFold does look helpful, though a little more complicated. I think there’s value in designing an app like this by asking “How can we make it as easy as possible” as opposed to “How can we make it easier” and that’s where I think Dabble shines.

    Web 2.0 brings conscious attention to the interaction design, trying to make the underlying technology invisible to the end user. And it may sound superficial, but the esthetics of Web 2.0 apps must help people feel confident in the product.

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