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Web 2.0 Moves into IT, Goodbye RIA as a Name

There are tons of web 2.0 companies out there who were trying to either create consumer sites or provide technology to other consumer/business facing sites. I expected them to begin shifting focus as they run out of places to sell to, the market becomes overburdened by web 2.0 technology providers, and companies starve for cash.

One of the areas with a lot of vendors is the user interface arena, generally categorized as Rich Internet Application (RIA). I'm already seeing signs of repositioning in this overcrowded market. There's only so much money to be had before the need to sell to traditional IT. What usually happens is companies try to re-market into IT and discover their tools aren't sufficient. I suspect next year will be a great year for acquisitions and shutdowns of RIA companies.

I've spotted a few who changed colors from "RIA" to mashups. Jackbe is a good example, but they at least started out as "Rich Enterprise Application" provider aimed at IT instead of a more typical RIA play. Check out their site from last year, then look at this year, and you see the same products with different labels attached. I've talked to a few other companies in this space making the same shift in marketing. I think the other guys will have more trouble because they didn't start with the goal of selling into IT, and that's a different beast from VC, word of mouth and wishful thinking.

Time to say hello to "enterprise mashups". With major vendors plowing money into this space (Microsoft, Adobe, Google, IBM, BEA) you can expect the marketing around mashups and trying to link them to SOA to be one of the marketing pitches you'll be subjectd to in the coming year.

Hi Mark,
(Allow me to introduce myself, I am currently the VP of Engineering at JackBe.)

Interesting post! I agree that there is a lot of repositioning in RIA space.

Yes, you correctly identified JackBe as the company that led with Rich Enterprise Application (REA) to show the benefits of RIA + SOA. A few others in the industry quickly followed and started (relabeling their products!) using this term we had coined.

Anyway, I find your comment about JackBe 'relabeling the same products' inaccurate. Let me elaborate just a bit:

Historically, the product we offered to the market for several years was an Enterprise Ajax toolkit called NQ Suite and a browser-based IDE called JackBuilder.

A little more than a year ago (when a few of us migrated from Sun, eBay, etc. to JackBe), we identified the SOA+RIA space as the focus and over the last year we have completely built a brand new platform for Enterprise Mashups that we call Presto, which includes our Enterprise Mashup Server called Edge and comes with our own powerful declarative user-oriented Enterprise mashup language. In addition to Edge, we added a new Push Server product; an user driven dynamic desktop environment called Dash, an Eclipse based IDE, and our latest innovative offering (under development) called Wires which is our Mashup composer for the Enterprise. So all of these new product components comprise our complete Presto product suite, which we believe is the most complete product suite for Web 2.0 Enterprise Mashup platform.

But, we did relabel one thing! The only item we have relabeled is NQ Suite, which we now call Presto Enterprise Ajax Framework (EAF) which is bundled with the Presto Studio. :-)

I would be happy to clarify further if you have any questions.

Deepak Alur
Thanks for the comment. When I talked about relabeling I probably wasn't clear. What I was referring to is the change in terms from "Rich Enterprise Application" to "Enterprise Mashup" as companies try to find the right marketing message for selling into IT.

The JackBe evolution went from web application development to AJAX tools to REA to enterprise mashup. I see others having more trouble with a message shift because they were not focused on IT but on web companies.

Not limited to the RIA space either. Erstwhile data federation/EII company Denodo is now positioning itself as an "Enterprise Mashup Platform".
Ah, right! Yes, there is a lot of such 'relabeling' in progress from small vendors to big companies to get into the new "Enterprise Mashup" category. Thanks for clarifying.
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