The World Wide Web in other words
- By Michael Alexander
- January 1, 2006
Vodafone launched a portal in 2002 for mobile phone users that
served up headlines, ring tones, vid games and later, MP3s. Eventually
35 million people gravitated to the site, so you would think
that the portal was an unequivocal success, but you would be wrong, writes
Alan Joch, in this month's cover story. Screens on handsets are small, and
having to scroll through menus to find the right stuff was a turnoff for
many users. So, in 2004, Vodafone turned to Semantic Web technology
to add leading-edge search capabilities to its service. The result? Vodafone
saw a 50-percent drop in the number of page views site visitors logged
before downloading content and a 20 percent hike in sales.
Online service providers are competing for the attention of third-party
app developers, and it's not hard to see why that is. In looking into
this story, John Waters found that although their business models differ,
eBay, Amazon, Google and Yahoo know that developers can customize
their sites in unique ways that provide a bottom-line value and competitive
Everyone these days is looking for search capabilities that can enhance
the value of existing apps, power new apps and minimize the frustration
of end users accustomed to the simplicity of search engines such as
Google. Alan Earls reports that vendors, some new, some familiar, are
obliging with an array of products.
Also in this issue, Paul Korzeniowski reports on the unfulfilled promise
of running apps on a grid, and Alan Radding looks into SOA tools
for our special report. Developers will continue to use their Java IDE, C++
and other tools, Radding writes. What's new is how app dev for SOA
expands the idea of who builds apps.
Michael Alexander is editor-in-chief of Application Development Trends.