"IT Road Map" of Web Technology Up Until 2010
— Rich Clients Become Essential in the Era of Web 2.0/SOA —
May 18, 2006
Nomura Research Institute, Ltd.
Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. (NRI: Tokyo; Akihisa Fujinuma, President, CEO & COO) announces an IT Road Map*1 projecting developments in Web technology up until fiscal 2010.
With the emergence of a new trend towards the so-called Web 2.0 and the spread of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) used in core enterprise systems, "rich clients," *2 one particular element of Web technology, offer such high levels of operability and excellent means of expression that they seem set to become indispensable over the next few years and are forecast to be in regular use by fiscal 2009.
Rich clients support the evolution of CGUI
One of the notable new ways of thinking with Web 2.0 is "consumer generated media (CGM). CGM refers to the capability of Internet users to create and provide their own information, such as with blogs and social networking services (SNS). In line with this trend, NRI refers to the user interface (UI)*3 that users create and offer by themselves as the "consumer generated user interface (CGUI).
For example, with the release of Web APIs*4 by companies such as Yahoo!, Google and Amazon, CGUIs that use rich client technology, such as Yahoo! Widget and Google Sidebar, continue to be generated by users. While currently, these CGUIs are in their very early stages, they are forecast to come into wide use by fiscal 2009 if the number of companies releasing Web APIs increases.
Rich clients support the spread of SOA
To date, because business information systems have been developed through the integration of business logic*5 and UIs, different UIs have been necessary for individual business applications including placing/receiving orders and CRM (customer relationship management). This has led to different user experiences (user convenience) for each application.
SOA, which is currently attracting considerable attention, decomposes applications that have so far had a monolithic structure into units of "services," and builds applications by combining these services. Under an SOA, the business logic and UI are separated. Accordingly, the use of a rich client enables standardization of a UI that is no longer dedicated to a single application, thereby improving user experience.
However, to ensure both rapid responsiveness to business needs pursued by SOA and a rich (high levels of operability and exceptional means of expression) UI, currently available rich client products do not offer sufficient levels of functionality. Even if we were to change the business processes or business rules on servers to meet business needs, currently available rich client products do not have the functions to enable flexible modifications of the associated operations.
The first products that will enable business processes and business rules to be implemented on the client are projected to appear in the second half of fiscal 2006. In fiscal 2008, rich client products that are capable of operating together with SOA-compatible server software and which support changes on servers on a real-time basis are expected to go on sale.
*1: IT Road Map
The IT Road Map is designed to provide NRIs forecast of trends in Japanese information technology (IT) over the next five years. With the aim of supporting companies in making decisions on IT strategies, NRIs Information Technology Research Department identifies those technologies that currently merit attention and continues to publish this semi-annual report.
*2: Rich Client
*3: User Interface
User interface is a general term for the display format used on a computer to provide information to a user, or for a method of operation whereby the user enters data into the computer.
*4: Web API (Web Application Program Interface)
This technology enables the services of one website to be used by another website. More and more service providers are releasing Web APIs on the Internet.
*5: Business Logic
Business logic determines system processing procedures and rules applied to each workflow process. For example, at an electronic commerce site, the business logic determines the flow of each process from the selection of a product to inventory confirmation, payment and delivery.
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