Thursday, June 22, 2006

Client Server Comeback?

Interesting post on the Client Server Renaissance (the author's term, not mine). Of course, that particular author doesn't believe PowerBuilder will be part of it. He does reference a Don Dodge column that notes the cyclical nature of the software industry. Not sure Client/Server as we used to know it is coming back, but richer clients that can work with a variety of data sources via standard protocols are gaining vogue.

What that eventually led me to was another Don Dodge post, where he comments on the "Kleiner Perkins 7 rules for software start-ups". While applicable to start ups, I think they are also applicable to mature tools that want to re-invigorate their presence in the market space. They are:

* Instant Value to customers - solve a problem or create value with the first use (Focus)
* Viral adoption - Pull, not push. No direct sales force required (Motivate)
* Minimum IT footprint, preferably none. Hosted SaaS is best.
* Simple, intuitive user experience - no training required. (KISS)
* Personalized user experience - customizable
* Easy configuration based on application or usage templates
* Context aware - adjust to location, groups, preferences, devices, etc.

I've noted where I believe some of those rules relate to one of the "Innovate or Die" posts I made earlier.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The TIOBE Index

I've been following the TIOBE index for a while. It's a measure of the "buzz" surrounding various development languages. PowerBuilder has never really done well in it. But perhaps there's hope now. The Visual Foxpro folks have figured out how to make sure your site gets included in the index and have published that information. If you're running a PowerBuilder related web site or blog, it might be worth ensuring that it's getting included.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Innovate or Die - Core (Reprise)

Geoffrey Moore did an interview with CIO Insight that recently got reprinted in an eWeek special insert entitled "Innovations 2006". I thought that some of his comments dealt particularly with the "focus on the core" argument I made earlier in this blog. Geoffrey Moore first talks about what he considers the three forms of innovation:

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Innovate or Die - Motivate

Prioritize the end-user so that they are motivated to market the products for you
That was the key when PowerBuilder was first introduced. It is an even more important way of “marketing” a product now, particularly when your product is essentially “new” to the vast majority of the target market. Kathy Sierra notes:

Even the biggest ad budgets can't save you today. That's the bad news. The good news is that if what you make is totally f'n amazing, you won't need to advertise. The good folks on the net will take care of that for you, assuming you're keeping up the conversation.

Eric Lundquist (editorial director of eWeek) notes in a recent special supplement entitled "Innovations 2006" that users should be put in charge of innovation:

While listening to customers is a given, how about the idea of taking yourself out of the equation? Instead of listening to your customers, why not give those customers a basic framework, then stand back and let them design, market and fund your products? . . . Innovation in this technological spin of the wheel doesn't mean simply listening to your customers. It means putting the development tools in your customer's hands and letting them drive innovation.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Another take on menu properties

When I wrote my review of the new menu and toolbar capabilities in PowerBuilder 10.5, one of the things I bagged them on was the complexity of the menu and toolbar properties panes. Well, I found an interim solution. I also finally found a use for the "Labels on Left" option for those panes. Provided you've got enough display real estate, they're much easier to work with laid out that way:

Friday, June 02, 2006

PB 10.5 Launch Event

Sybase and ISUG did the LA PB 10.5 launch event yesterday.

PB 10.5 Launch Event

There was also an overview of PowerDesigner 12.0.

Participants asked about or commented on the following: