Kingsley Uyi Idehen
Lexington, United States


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The Missing Future
The Missing Future On Random Hacks, Eric Kidd says:
... that between MS and open source initiatives, there will be no room in the marketplace for small software companies.

This is an interesting article, one that brings up many good points. Overall, I don't really agree with him. I think, for the most part, commercial software companies will still be able to co-exist with MS and open source in the market place.

Open source software is great, and I think its a great resource of applications for technologically savvy people (especially developers), but it's still not targeted at novice end users (like my mom). Will this change in the future? Probably to some extent, but I still think open source will lag behind commercial software vendors due to lack of marketing and polishing.

On the other hand, I do see a specific niche of the software development market dieing out in the next few years due to the open source movement: custom control vendors. These guys have been lucky for the past decade because most development shops don't want to spend the time writing the next cool button bar, but many developers on their own time love this kind of development. Just look at Code Project. Anytime we need a control for one of our apps, Code Project is the first place we go. Why? Well, not only do we get great controls, we get the source! This way, if something is screwed up (which is has been), we can fix the bug and move on (which we do [and send it to the control developer]).

BTW, if anyone thinks that a small development shop can't exist when competing against the likes of MS and open source, check out fog creek software. Joel has managed to create a profitable software company, that sells a few great products, make a little bit of money and provide his developers offices.

One day maybe I'll be fortunate enough to work for Joel!

[via WebLogs @ ASP.NET]

OpenLink Software has been able to build a profitable business selling ODBC Drivers against a backdrop of Open Source and Free commercial alternatives. Now this is all well and good if decision makers understand our value proposition
# PermaLink Comments [0]
06/23/2003 12:37 GMT-0500 Modified: 06/22/2006 08:56 GMT-0500
Open Database Connectivity for Mac OS X

Open Database Connectivity for Mac OS X

It continues to amaze me that the fundamental implications of corporate data access remains misunderstood by all parties in the ITsphere. How can any organization afford to be ambivalent about where data is stored, and their ability to transform this data into information and knowledge (ultimate competitive advantage)? Data is the most valuable company asset (we even had data in the enterprise before computers!).

Mac OS X is attempting to make a serious push into the enterprise, but how can this be taken seriously if solving one of the biggest problems in the enterprise today isn't a flagship item driving the enterprise marketing strategy? The excerpt below simply sums this up:

One of the new, albeit virtually undocumented features included in Jaguar is ODBC, or Open Database Connectivity. ODBC allows programs to connect to databases from different vendors using the same set of connectivity protocols. This allows for simplified database programming as well as database access from programs that normally would not allow such access. For instance, with ODBC you can use Excel to get data from MySQL, or you can use FileMaker to get data from Oracle.

From article titled Open Database Connectivity in Jaguar by Andrew Anderson

Open Database Connectivity is the only mechanism today that will enable any application to connect to any database without compromising choices across the following lines: Operating System, Programming Language, Desktop Productivity Tools, and Database Engine. All alternatives fail in one of the listed areas, with the ultimate destination being the painful realization that you are down a technology cul-de-sac (and these cost money via integration and data access quagmires).


# PermaLink Comments [0]
06/23/2003 11:37 GMT-0500 Modified: 06/22/2006 08:56 GMT-0500
Amazon's Software Emerges As Valuable Product

Amazon's Software Emerges As Valuable Product

Amazon has pretty much got it right!
The perennial question re. Web Services has how does one define Web Services in simple terms. My response has always been:

The ability to interact with a Web Point of Presence without visual navigation. A good example being the ability to send the "" site a message in order to order a book instead of physically navigating to the site.

This has been my definition since 2001 long before Amazon implemented it's Web Services APIs.

In recent times I came a cross this post in the general blogsphere at Ecademy(sheer coincedence I might add. I wasn't looking for it, but that's what this emerging semantic web experience is all about):

I thought I'd kick off that old chestnut - "What is a web service?" - again with the definition according to the W3C. They should know ... shouldn't they ...

A Web service is a software system identified by a URI, whose public interfaces and bindings are defined and described using XML. Its definition can be discovered by other software systems. These systems may then interact with the Web service in a manner prescribed by its definition, using XML based messages conveyed by Internet protocols.

Accurate, but kind of obscure for the none technical reader.

Sofware companies always seek to reach the land of critical mass (this is the single destination of every software vendor), and critical mass implies the creation of an ecosystem served by the software vendor (Microsoft is king of critical mass and this is the secret of their success!).

Amazon as an eCommerce pioneer has pretty much figure this out (their patent pounding sometime compromises this reality, I certainly don't like this part of their behavior), and they have correctly used Web Services as the vehicle.

Google has pretty much figured this out too, and before Amazon I might add. 

Amazon's Software Emerges As Valuable Product I'm surprised that it's taken people this long to realize that the most valuable part of's business might not be their stores, but their ability to run stores for others. still has, by far, some of the best technology out there for running an e-commerce site. In the early days of e-commerce, any good online shopping innovation was quickly copied, but more recently it seems that no one has been able to keep up with Amazon's advancements. It's not clear if this is due to Amazon's patent-crazy nature, or if most others have simply given up the fight. Either way, Amazon is doing their best to capitalize on their technology lead, and it seems that there's no shortage of willing customers.  [via Techdirt]

I don't quite understand what eBay is waiting for, especially as the visual web is in decline as we move towards an executable web in which the brand is only as good as the critical mass generated Web Services consumers, and not the eyeballs collated from  home page hits.

See this futuristic piece  (How Google beat Amazon and eBay to the Semantic Web) that sheds some speculative light on how this could play out.


# PermaLink Comments [0]
06/23/2003 10:37 GMT-0500 Modified: 06/22/2006 08:56 GMT-0500
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