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Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Fifth Level of Ajax

We are watching the evolution of web2.0 unfold in front of us and I believe it will eventually evolve into a web cloud of information and data for Users to search, gather, and remix to meet their needs. Whether it be personal or in the enterprise construct. This second location though requires an environment that delivers these user driven capabilities but still adheres to enterprise IT regulations.


Our CTO John Crupi recently described and blog on JackBe's corp blog about what he is seeing as a 5th level to Gartner's Levels of Ajax which is part of this story.

I think that all Ajax vendors have been touting the benefits of 'improved user experience' as their value proposition for a while. The problem with this proposition is that it is very hard to quantify.

But, they are missing something. It isn't just about the "experience" but about empowering the user with a better view and access to any data source. Consider the "Four Levels of Ajax Adoption" from Ray Valdez at Gartner. Ray has said that the levels are:
  1. Snippets
  2. Widgets
  3. Client Framework
  4. Client-Server Framework
I think Ray is missing the next level. The 5th level should be 'User-driven Framework', a framework that has all of the benefits of level 4 but allows the user to be the one pulling and mashing any information that exists in the enterprise, the trusted partner's enterprise and the Web. This may seem to be a small difference, but in reality it is the difference between 'improved user experience' and 'improved access to information which gives the true competitive advantage'. And to most business users, that's an important distinction.

So, we suggest the 'Five Levels of Ajax Adoption' :
  1. Snippets
  2. Widgets
  3. Client Framework
  4. Client-Server Framework
  5. User-Driven Framework
JackBe has embraced this idea through its new products, Dash, our dynamic interface for user-driven mashups, and Edge, our virtualization and mashup server. This is an emerging area and one we'll be talking about a lot in 2007.

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