Month: February 2011

Revolutionizing Web Apps: SproutCore Bringing Desktop to the Web

Posted by on February 15, 2011

The HTML5 standard brings endless possibilities to the future of Web applications. By enabling desktop-like features, the Web can finally achieve a new level of rich user experiences. SproutCore is an open-source HTML5 application framework for building responsive, desktop-caliber apps in any modern Web browser without plugins.

What’s the motivation behind the SproutCore project? This new digital age goes beyond PCs and into mobile devices, iPads, and tablet computers. So what’s the best way to make data commonly accessible from these devices? By developing Web applications that can be accessed from anywhere, on any device. This is where SproutCore comes in, to enable development of rich cloud applications with dynamic UIs.

In fact, Apple’s MobileMe, amongst other apps, are currently using the SproutCore framework. Charles Jolley, creator of SproutCore, helped lead that effort at Apple before leaving last year to start his own company. His new startup, Strobe Inc., will focus on “helping companies bring great native-style app experiences to mobile device,” with the center of the company being SproutCore.

What does this new company mean for SproutCore? In Charles’ own words:

“First, SproutCore is now and will always be totally free and open source. I think this business of charging for a commercial license is not an effective way to grow a project. Sure you make a little cash, but at what expense to the community? My goal is to make SproutCore and all of the developer tools that surround it totally free to everyone. All I ask is that you participate in the community somehow to make things a little better for those who come after you.

Second, now that I am no longer held back by big-company legal restrictions, I am going to be much more involved with the platform.

My goal is that by the end of the year, any average developer can pick up SproutCore, build, and deploy a basic app without feeling lost. This is open source and I can’t usually guarantee timelines but at least now we can do what we need to make it happen.

Finally, I started working in SproutCore almost 5 years ago because I believe the future of software development lies in native-style apps in the web browser. It is the platform of the future and when that shift change happens, I want to be there with the technology. Now, I believe that time is almost finally upon us.”

For a sneak peek of what might be in store for the future of Web apps, take a look at the NPR demo built with SproutCore Touch, the first edition of SproutCore that includes complete touch support for touch events and hardware acceleration on the iPad and iPhone. But the beauty of it lies in that apps built with SproutCore Touch can run on both touch devices and desktop computers.

Currently, Strobe Inc. is focused on the digital publishing vertical, however, the possibilities are endless.

Archived Webinar: Enterprise Collaboration with Confluence Wiki and Alfresco

Posted by on February 09, 2011

Yesterday we had our joint webinar with Alfresco showcasing our Confluence Alfresco Integration rivet (CAIr) and how it can be used as part of an organization’s content management strategy.

The webinar discusses current industry trends such as the rise in social software as enterprises are realizing the value they bring, the shift in ECM from Systems of Record to Systems of Engagement, and why a marriage of both systems is necessary to deliver effective content management and collaboration.

The webinar then covers an overview of Alfresco and Confluence as individual platforms, and how through seamless integration with CAIr, Alfresco can be used as the back-end repository for a front-end Confluence . Key features of CAIr include scalability, flexible security models, and the customizability of exposing Alfresco features through Confluence. Lastly, a live demo will follow a review of the architecture.

To view the full recorded version of the webinar, click here.

HTML5: Features, Functionality and What it Means for Content Management

Posted by on February 01, 2011

HTML5 has been generating a lot of hype lately. So what is all this hype about, and how is HTML5 different from HTML4? HTML5 introduces new elements but also drops some deprecated elements from HTML 4.01. Having been in development for the past few years, HTML5 is the cornerstone of the W3C’s open Web platform – a framework designed to support innovation and foster the full potential the Web has to offer.

HTML4, the last major iteration of the language, has been around for over a decade, and we can all agree that the Web has undergone tremendous changes during that time. What was originally used mostly for displaying static information, the Web has evolved into a dynamic environment where users are constantly exchanging information, communicating and collaborating in real-time. When multimedia was introduced to the Web, plugins had to be created to ensure proper functionality. HTML4 became a patchwork of augmentations to accommodate features of the modern Web. With the advent of social media, video chat and other interactive systems, the average daily Web usage continues to increase as more people are using the Web as a means to communicate with each other. Creating engaging, rich user experiences have become more important than ever before.

Enter HTML5. HTML5 introduces a number of new features that reflect typical usage on the modern Web. Notable features include:

  • Multimedia – tags that allow multimedia to be directly embedded without any plugins
  • Offline & storage – ability to store offline data for Web apps
  • Semantics – a richer set of tags, along with RDFa, microdata, and microformats
  • Device access – geolocation API allows Web apps to present rich, device-aware features and experiences
  • 3D, graphics & effects – natively rendered visuals in the browser
  • Interactivity – drag & drop and other desktop-like features

Does this mean HTML5 will kill Flash, Silverlight and the like? Probably not. But it will definitely play a helping hand when it comes to developing Web apps when mobile compatibility is a concern, now that certain plugins that aren’t supported by many smart phones are no longer needed.

In many ways, HTML5 marks the future of the internet. How will this impact content management? In this digital age, time is of the essence. Consumers want access to fresh, updated content when they need it, where they want it, whether it’s at home through a desktop or on-the-go through a mobile device. Multi-channel publishing is quickly becoming an important part of an organization’s content management objectives. HTML5 facilitates this by making it easier to display Web content in various formats. While HTML5 won’t fully mature for quiet some time, it’s exciting to see what it brings to the table and the potential to influence the future of the internet.