Thursday, May 1, 2008

Desktop and Web Convergence

This is not a new topic but it is certainly new for BI and EPM. For the past 5 or so years the focus has been on providing users with functionality while attempting to have zero or limited client deployment. In other words build your front end to run in a browser, preferably with no plugin's (HTML and JavaScript only). Unfortunately this has become more difficult as users have demanded more interactivity and performance from clients. They get this from the consumer application space; while in ITunes they use cover flow to select a song or while checking stocks with a vista gadget the chart animates open and closed. Really we could just select a song in a list view and see the stock chart in a popup window but that would not be cool nor would it differentiate the application from a competitors'. Let's face it innovative user experience is hot! Lucky for us there is now some great technology to help us meet the needs of our end users while still allowing for simple application deployment. Here are a few:

Google Gears

Adobe Air

Microsoft Silverlight

XBAP –XAML Browser Application

Microsoft ClickOnce

Site specific browsers like Fluid and Prism

To try to cover these in one blog entry would not do any of them justice, so stay tuned…


Brad Neuberg said...

How do you see Gears integrating with Oracle EPM and BI technologies? I'm with the Gears team and am interested in hearing how you see Gears meshing with these technologies. Feel free to ping me if you have any questions on Gears or feedback.

Brad Neuberg

Matt Milella said...

Brad good question... I am just getting started with all these technologies and have many unanswered questions. Just by taking an initial look here is where I can see taking advantage of technologies like this for EPM and BI:

Local Caching – Using the local database gears provides to cache content so that it will load faster on subsequent requests.

Async Requests – The ability to run scripts in the backgrounds would be huge for applications that make large queries or run large calculations.

Take Applications Offline.

I am still playing with many of these technologies and when I get to gears I will be sure to ping you.