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A breath of fresh air for application users

Web applications have come a long way since the early days of the Internet. Along the road to the mainstream, applications have suffered from various problems--such as slow browsers, static functionality and slow connection speeds. However, a few vendors are proving that you can have interactive applications without sacrificing low cost and easy maintenance.

Market Analysis

A breath of fresh air for application users
The last handful of years has seen a wide sweeping focus on delivering more technology for server-centric, Web application development. Industry visionaries have brought us architectures, tools, frameworks and patterns to make development highly productive, scalable and modular. We are, no doubt, better developers for it -- able to deliver Web applications more quickly to meet business requirements.

All this development has been in service of the lowly Internet browser. "Must go to the Web ... must go to the Web" has been the mantra at the opening of the 21st century. As a result, we now feed application users a steady diet of watery application gruel. The average Web application user has had to come to terms with dead-end browser windows; low-grade, static functionality; a lack of interactive data on the browser's face; or counterproductive, fat downloads requiring a lengthy wait for fireworks to begin. But all of that is changing, or at least it should be.

THE HURWITZ TAKE: Hurwitz Group knows that we have only begun to scratch the surface of ways we can use the Internet to deliver the kind of applications that users truly deserve: copious functionality, easily adaptable to a user's commands and overflowing with data context throughout the window.

A few stalwart and visionary vendors are leading the charge on richer, more interactive applications that don't sacrifice the low cost and easy maintenance of Web applications. Altio, Curl, Digital Harbor, Droplets and Lazlo Systems have turned their attention to better client experiences for Web applications. Developers and users don't have to have the "either/or" conversation with each other anymore. Yes, developers can have low total cost of ownership and use the Internet to deliver applications, and yes, users can have rich, highly interactive applications. Isn't it about time?

Copyright 2002 Hurwitz Group Inc. This article is excerpted from TrendWatch, a weekly publication of Hurwitz Group Inc. - an analyst, research, and consulting firm. To register for a free email subscription, click here.

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