Monday, October 31st, 2005
Zimbra has gotten a lot of buzz with their killer Ajax products.
Since they are really pushing the envelope, they are good people to listen to on Ajax issues, and they just blogged about Ajax sweet spots. Here they talk about identifying sweet spots, the notion of an Ajax server, Ajax-based messaging, and more!
How do we identify the sweet and not-so-sweet spots for Ajax?
First, Ajax programming is still too hard (again see Ajax programming report card), and the associated programming challenges need to be taken into account before we suggest that all app’s should be rewritten in Ajax.
Second, we have to sort out where we want the Ajax servers to be deployed. The Ajax architecture is based on a closely-coupled network server providing all of the state/persistence, as well as the connectivity to other web-based applications/services (such as for mash-ups), required by the Ajax client. All Ajax clients have such a server, which can be programmed in Java, PHP, C#, and so on. (Indeed, one pundit even dismissed Zimbra as not an Ajax technology because we had the audacity to release the supporting Zimbra server as well as the Zimbra Ajax client!)
Intranet Ajax Servers
Today, Ajax servers are most typically deployed on the Internet as part of hosted services (such as for Google Maps, Yahoo! Mail, Netflix, and so on), but ultimately I believe the promise of Ajax will require that the industry deploy intranet and extranet-based Ajax servers too. For the Internet-only Ajax model to replace existing computing paradigms, we all have to be comfortable with the location of those Ajax servers and their data. For example, implicit in the Internet Ajax uber alles assumption is that enterprises are ready to outsource the storage of all of their proprietary documents and data. (For a discussion of the trade-offs between on-site and
off-site deployment, see Hosting versus on-premises.)
Posted by Dion Almaer at 8:44 am