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May 09, 2007


Jerome Gouvernel

I completely agree with you here.

It’s a case of “when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail”.

Outlook is a platform that already struggles to reliably and coherently deliver basic services so adding more tactical processes on top of that is unlikely to improve user experience.

The complexity of the Duet architecture is testimony to an "after-thought" design.

A universal process delivery platform (which I think is what you refer to as a “thick client”) is surely what is missing. The web browser may seem like an obvious candidate, but I am not sure it is the best technical platform. It is probably the correct paradigm though. RSS and Web Services can be leveraged but as a delivery mechanism, a web browser will simply not cut it…

Leendert van der Bijl


Not to turn this into a love fest, but I couldn't agree with you more that a browser-based delivery platform is not going to make the grade. Another of my never-posted writes in 2006 was about the announcement of Project Muse. I remember thinking this was a sign of new UIs to come and recognition that not everything new should or can happen in a portal. Of course there are numerous applications today of the web/desktop variety, e.g. MS Money which stores banking data on one's machine but accesses all sorts of data on the web for display and manipulation in the desktop client.

Here's that post of yore:

Take a look at Jeff Word's SDN blog post on Project Muse - the new SAP GUI. I want to highlight two important things about Project Muse, both of which are discussed in Jeff's post:

1. Project Muse is services based. This is why it requires ERP 2005 or 2004s as the backend. This new UI is a early manifestation of how the enterprise services approach is going to give rise to new user interfaces for SAP applications.

2. Muse combines the advantages of a desktop thick client and web browser thin client. This is in my view an important tip of the hat in the direction of the thick client. We've seen that browser-based applications - AJAX notwithstanding - cannot fully match the performance and presentation capabilities of desktop applications. Jeremy Zawodny refers to this as web/desktop bridging.

Imagine how HR desktop/web applications are going to provide a richer user experience than possible with today's applications.

Imagine when these applications start to be hooked up to online/offline collaboration platforms ...

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