Web 2.0 Apps, Gadgets, & Widgets in the Enterprise

Enterprise 2.0 App Stores

Web 2.0 Apps, Gadgets, & Widgets with AJAX, HTML, & CSS


The interest in Government 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 “App Stores” is increasing.  This is driven by the popularity of mobile apps and app stores like the “Mac App Store“, which published this press release today:  “Mac App Store Downloads Top One Million in First Day“.  Many tools are available to help users mashup data to create apps.  Some of tools can be reviewed in this previous article: Enterprise 2.0 Strategy For Empowering Employees.

Government 2.0 App Stores

Each Government  Agency is unique, their complex needs require state-of-the-art software to get business done.   The General Services Administration’s Cloud Business Apps provide solutions.   These Business Apps are geared towards the enterprise with cloud software solutions such as analytical, business processes, CRM, tracking and monitoring tools, business intelligence and more. Learn more about Gov 2.0 and Government App Stores in this previous article: Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra speaks about Government 2.0.

Web 2.0 Apps & Sharable Content Objects


The concept of Web 2.0 Apps, Gadgets, & Widgets is very similar to the “Sharable Content Object Reference Model” (SCORM) as defined by Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) A “reference model” is something that shows what kinds of services will be needed to solve a particular problem, how they can be put together, the relevant standards that apply, and how they might be used.  The reason for using Enterprise 2.0 App Stores is explained in this article: Enterprise 2.0 Widgets, Mashups, App Stores & Cloud Computing.

The idea of App Stores is nothing new.  The technology used to support app stores is similar to Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) with JSR-168 and JSR-286, except these specifications do not support Web 2.0 technologies (AJAX) very well.  The higher concept of the Producer/Consumer architecture lives on.  New security models will emerge as app stores in the Enterprise continue to grow.  Improving methods for centralizing authentication and authorization will gain more attention as Businesses and Government move toward Federated App Stores hosted in a Cloud Computing Environment.

Web 2.0 Gadgets and Widgets Specifications

Web 2.0 Apps, Gadgets, & Widgets with AJAX, HTML, & CSS

What is the difference between a Web 2.0 App, Gadget, or Widget?  The difference between these terms depends on the context of the conversation and who is involved in the discussion.  Google likes Gadgets, Microsoft likes Widgets, and Apple likes Apps.  People from these organizations seem to use these terms interchangeably.  The high level description of these terms is: “A snippet of code that is shared to serve a specific purpose”.  It is important to know (for security and privacy issues) that the code can be hosted locally or externally.  The good news is apps, gadgets, and widgets can be created with common JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.  Here are a few resources that can help anyone create great apps to be hosted and shared in app stores.

3 AJAX Frameworks That Can Support Custom Dashboards on Apple iPads

AJAX Portal Frameworks For Enterprise 2.0 Dashboards

The maturing Enterprise 2.0 landscape is leading us to increasing our focus on User Experience for improving Enterprise 2.0 Adoption.  The need for Enterprise 2.0 Solutions to support multiple devices is growing as move into the future of the “Dispersed Workforce“.  The use of Adobe Flash was a quick way to create a consistent displays across web browsers during the “Browser Wars”, but focusing on Web Standards will allow us to securely share information like never before.  I believe Adobe Flash still has a place in the market, but it has less to do with web standards and dashboards.   Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) along with HTML 5 provides a framework for Web 2.0 in the Enterprise and the future of the Internet.  There are plenty of AJAX Frameworks to help you create Rich Internet Applications (RIAs).  Here are a few to help you create customizable dashboards that work across multiple web browsers and in devices like the Apple iPad.

Yahoo Developer Network: AJAX Portal Layout with Widgets

The YUI Library is a set of utilities and controls, written with JavaScript and CSS, for building richly interactive web applications using techniques such as DOM scripting, DHTML and AJAX. YUI is available under a BSD license and is free for all uses.

YUI is proven, scalable, fast, and robust. Built by frontend engineers at Yahoo! and contributors from around the world, it’s an industrial-strength JavaScript library for professionals who love JavaScript.

You can play with the YUI AJAX Portal demo here.  You can review the simple code here.

I like this one, because it scales, supports the concept of the Enterprise App Store, and is truly Open Source.

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EXT JS: AJAX Portal Layout with Widgets

Ext JS is a cross-browser JavaScript library for building rich internet applications. Build rich, sustainable web applications faster than ever. It includes:

  • High performance, customizable UI widgets
  • Well designed and extensible Component model
  • An intuitive, easy to use API
  • Commercial and Open Source licenses available

Ext JS is a clean, object oriented framework with development tools, but you will want to check their license before commercial use.

You can play with the Ext JS AJAX Portal demo here.

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JPolite: AJAX Portal Layout with Widgets

jPolite (jQuery POrtal Lite) is a pure front-end portal framework based on jQuery & BlueTrip CSS, with a handful of jQuery plugins integrated.
It provides a compact yet powerful foundation for custom AJAX web applications with Netvibes-like user experiences.

You can play with the JPolite AJAX Portal demo here.


Happy Fav Five Friday!

Fav Five Places

ZK – Direct RIA

ZK is an open source Web development framework that enables Web applications to have both rich user experiences and low development cost as you did for years in desktop applications. ZK includes an Ajax-based event-driven engine, rich sets of XUL and XHTML components, and a markup language.

Echo Web Framework

Echo is an open-source framework for developing rich web applications. From the developer’s perspective, Echo behaves as a user interface toolkit–like Swing or Eclipse SWT. AJAX technology is employed to deliver a user experience to web clients that approaches that of desktop-based applications.

Drag/Drop Portal Interface with Scriptaculous and Drupal

How to create a drag/drop portal in a few lines of JavaScript code, using the excellent Prototype and Scriptaculous JavaScript libraries.  See the demo here.

qooxdoo AJAX Framework for RIA

qooxdoo (pronounced [’ku:ksdu:]) is a comprehensive and innovative framework for creating desktop-style web applications, often called rich internet applications (RIAs). Leveraging object-oriented JavaScript allows developers to build impressive cross-browser applications.

HTML5: Right Here, Right Now Video

In one of the outstanding sessions of YUIConf 2010, author and standards expert Tantek Çelik ( @t ), formerly of Technorati, discusses the current state of HTML5 specifications and their readiness for use in shipping web applications. (Tantek also joined a special YUIConf panel discussion on the future of frontend engineering.)

Fav Five Faces

Who is on your “Fantasy Innovation Team” this week?

Here are amazing people that have connected me to new friends and new ideas this week. You might be familiar with “Fantasy Football Teams” , well this is my “Fantasy Innovation Team” this week. I recommend following these smart, creative people on Twitter.

t-twitter barcamp bicycler coder css designer evolve gtd hacker html5 independent microformats mozilla openweb optimist pescatarian rock-climber scientist skeptic yoga ux http://twitter.com/t
lovisatalk-twitter Public Diplomacy, Mobile, Gov 2.0, Global Citizenship, Privacy, Use Policies, International Development, Social Media, Virtual Worlds, & Foodie http://twitter.com/lovisatalk
ricardolucas-twitter Formación con simulaciones de empresa y juegos serios (serious games). Marketing, Mundos Virtuales, Redes y Medios Sociales, Web 2.0, IT, Innovación http://twitter.com/ricardolucas
CharityIdeas-twitter Positively passionate 4: #charity, social media, #careers, interesting people, China, new ideas. Eternal Optimist! *good + tech = great* :) #monsterww http://twitter.com/CharityIdeas
marccusters-twitter About internet, social media & online Marketing (websites, portals, seo, ezines, mobile, analytics, strategy) http://twitter.com/marccusters

E 2.0: Can the Enterprise Learn From Twitter’s Success Secrets?

3 Simple Secrets to Twitter’s Success

  • Understanding Culture
  • Harnessing Technology
  • Empowering Others

Trends about our culture today show us people are busy and tolerance for complicated things seems to be getting lower with each passing day.  Twitter tapped this culture trend of time commitment by keeping post limited to 140 characters and with it’s User Friendly / People Focused Design.  The Mobile Market is exploding, more people own mobile devices than computers.  Twitter tapped this trend by integrating a mobile strategy early in their plan.  People like things to fit their needs, this is why Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) should be a critical part of any technology strategy.  Twitter empowers people through it’s API with the ability to share custom information across multiple environments.

Happy Fav Five Friday!

Fav Five Places

I actually have a few more than five favorite places.  I hope you don’t mind.

The Famous Twitter Sketch

You can see the birth of the idea for Twitter in this sketch and you can read Jack Dorsey’s thoughts about this sketch here.  Notice the simplicity of the design and how the idea of sharing across multiple channels was an early thought.  The discovery (“find-em”) part toward the bottom is a very smart piece to include early in the design too.  Sharing ideas (Collaboration) is the main point of Enterprise 2.0.  This sketch reminds us of how a simple idea, shared with others can grow into something beyond your imagination.

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Twitter Talk at TED

Evan Williams of Twitter talks about integrating his ideas about SMS with Jack Dorsey’s ideas about Twitter.  Evan goes on to talk about the Fundamentals of Twitter.  He quickly describes how people discover uses of Twitter for Business and in Government.

A great quote here is, “One of the many ways that users shaped the evolution of Twitter”.  I can’t wait to here this in the Enterprise, “One of the many ways that USERS shaped the evolution of Enterprise 2.0″.

Twitter’s design and API make this tool so simple to use, that a common house plant can communicate to the world.   This reminds us of the power of simplicity.  Technology should lower barriers, not create new ones.

“Going far beyond the original idea” is another great quote.  I believe Enterprise 2.0 is designed to support doing this very thing.

There are many things taught about innovation in this video

Twitter CEO Evan Williams speaks to users in Tokyo

“What we learned time and time again from listening…”  is an important quote in this video.  You can also see the chart of all the tweets over the course of the World Cup.  This got me thinking about what would happen to your business if an idea had this much collaboration through Enterprise 2.0 tools.

Biz Stone and Evan Williams on Twitter

In this more recent video we hear Biz and Evan talk about how relationships are important.  Listening to customers can help avoid PR disasters and improve brand loyalty.  A little communication can reverse a customers decision about going to your competitor.  They also share some important thoughts on privacy.

How Twitter Changed My Life

This is an impressive presentation about Twitter and how to harness it’s value.

A Collection of Twitter Case Studies

Twitter provides a nice collection of case studies.  These case studies include reports from big businesses, non-profits, and government.

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The Power of the API

In the first video Evan mentions there were over 2,000 applications using Twitter’s API.  Their API enables people to share filtered customized data across multiple environments.  The ability to share information across multiple environments increases the opportunities for collaboration.  What if  your Enterprise 2.0 Solution had an API to support sharing data when you need it, where you need it?

Twitter API Mashups and Apps on Programmable Web

You can discover and learn from a huge collection of APIs and developers at Progammable Web.

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Twitter API Mashups and Apps on Yahoo Pipes

You can discover some new ways of using Twitter at Yahoo Pipes.

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Fav Five Faces

Who is on your “Fantasy Innovation Team” this week?

Here are just a few new friends that have connected me to new people and new ideas this week.  You might be familiar with “Fantasy Football Teams” and such, well this is my “Fantasy Innovation Team” this week.  I recommend following these smart, creative people on Twitter.

twitter-db Communication strategist. Digital Something. Connector. Entrepreneur. Anime & SciFi lover. http://twitter.com/db
twitter-bhc3 VP of Product at Spigit, the SaaS enterprise innovation management platform. And a Dad who misses running marathons. http://twitter.com/bhc3
twitter-dzhu IT consultant, managing software development/ integration projects for a living; .Net, CMS, intranet, collaborative workplace, knowledge management, e-learning http://twitter.com/dzhu
twitter-eric_andersen Technology consultant/architect at IBM in Cambridge MA, enterprise search, social computing; piano, a cappella, cyclist, origami, iPhone; my tweets are my own! http://twitter.com/eric_andersen
twitter-rickmans social media strategist, technological optimist, blogger, consultant, father, spreker, innovatie, php, wordpress | I collect and tweet interesting links http://twitter.com/rickmans

5 Twitter Success Secrets for Enterprise 2.0

  • Listen (people, users, customers, partners, metrics)
  • Respond (people, users, customers, partners, metrics)
  • Empower Others
  • APIs Rock
  • Practice “People Centered” Design

Enterprise 2.0 Widgets, Mashups, App Stores & Cloud Computing

Empowering E 2.0 Users with Enterprise App Stores

It’s exciting to see Enterprise 2.0 becoming more mature.  More Enterprise 2.0 vendors are focusing on standards and adopting Web 2.0 technologies.  This is actually very impressive when you think about Enterprise 2.0 was born in the Spring of 2006.  Andrew McAfee talks about the birth of E 2.0 in this article Enterprise 2.0 vs. SOA.  More Enterprise 2.0 solutions are also taking advantage of AJAX technologies to improve the user experience.  AJAX is a group of interrelated web development techniques used on the client-side to create interactive web applications.  We are also starting to see a trend for the use of Cloud Computing in the Enterprise.  Cloud Computing is proving itself as an approach to cutting IT costs while improving innovation.  You can read more about this in Dion Hinchcliffe’s article, “Enterprise cloud computing gathers steam“.  The big news for the Summer of 2010 in the world of Enterprise 2.0, is the release of Presto 3.0.  You can use Presto to empower people in the Enterprise with the ability to mix, match, and mash data into apps powering your own Enterprise App Store.

Power and Freedom through Enterprise Apps

The Presto Platform empowers application developers and power users to create, customize and share Enterprise Apps mashups for faster decisions and better business results. Presto provides a solution for every part of the Enterprise App lifecycle, from Services to Mashups to Apps to the App Store, while also meeting the toughest enterprise security and governance requirements. Equally important, Presto empowers your high-value employees to take advantage of your organization’s information assets – large applications like ERP, CRM, and SFA – and quickly marry them with external data sources such as Web services and news feeds to make better decisions from this disparate information.  [ Learn More ]

Presto Enterprise Apps

The App store model that Apple has proved so successfully with the iPhone is becoming the next frontier when it comes to next-generation software distribution. And it’s one that creates clear value for both customers and companies alike.” ~Dion Hinchcliffe @dhinchcliffe

Fav Five Faces

Here are just a few new friends that have connected me to new people and new ideas this week.  You might be familiar with “Fantasy Football Teams” and such, well this is my “Fantasy Innovation Team” this week.  I bet we would see some very innovative solutions, if this team worked together.

Who would be on your Fantasy Innovation Team this week?

twitter-ppk Mobile platform strategist, consultant, trainer, writer, blogger, and speaker. Mobile browser compatibility expert. http://twitter.com/ppk
twitter-ericaswallow Motivated, vivacious, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, chocolate-obsessed social media enthusiast, loving life as an editorial assistant at @mashable http://twitter.com/ericaswallow
twitter-BillIves consultant and writer who helps firms and individuals with their blogs and other social media http://twitter.com/BillIves
twitter-deb_lavoy i think about how teams solve hard problems, coffee, chocolate and my kids. this annoys my husband. Gig: Dir, Prod Mktg.@OpenText for Social Workplace http://twitter.com/deb_lavoy
twitter-ellenfeaheny Integrations: Atlassian, E2.0, Alfresco, Fed Search, SCRM, etc – Eng. svcs & resales. Experts only, to fuel business – customer focused for good journeys… http://twitter.com/ellenfeaheny

Fav Five Places

OpenAjax Hub 2.0 Interactive Dashboard

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How OpenAjax Hub 2.0 Addresses the Security Challenges

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The launch of Jive Widget Studio

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Opera Widgets and Ajax: Connecting to multiple servers

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ZK Enterprise Framework

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