I was chatting to Atlassian founder and CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes recently when I asked him what comes next. You know… the “plastics” question. It was Mike that first turned me on to OpenSocial’s potential as an enterprise technology – as far as I know Atlassian was the first enterprise vendor to adopt the technology, to allow smooth flow across different elements of its product Suite: you can pop in a context from another app into a smooth user flow. Today IBM, SAP and Jive are onboard (OpenSocial apparently made a bit of a splash at IBM Innovate recently – given how many tools are in the Rational portfolio its no surprise IBM would see the advantage of using the technology). Lotus is also playing with OpenSocial containers.
OpenSocial has even hit the desktop. Xobni, the Outlook integration specialist, now supports OpenSocial, which means web apps can be easily integrated with Outlook. Using Xobni Atlassian now gives users to access Jira issue and project tracking via Outlook. Xobi is also supporting DropBox, Evernote, Salesforce.com and Webex.
As ever I’m madly off topic in the intro. Mike said to me the next Big Thing would be online IDEs. Given Everything as a Service its no surprise IDEs would come up (indeed, the idea of online IDEs has been kicked around, then kicked into touch, a bunch of times.)
But Mike just said:
We’re watching a lot of the emerging amazing tools. People say “an IDE will never go to the web”…. Well people say tools will never go to the web and they have been proved wrong every single time.
What is DaaS? Development As A Service – which really goes beyond IDE as a service. You see developer toolchains are changing dramatically. Where IDEs traditionally needed to integrate with heavyweight systems like Maven, the game today is all about Github and distributed version control systems enabling forking and rapid developer-led innovation. Developer services are moving online, and so are the developer tools.
Its early days for the trend, but I think we’ll see major development in the next 12-24 months. I am sure some of you are thinking “an online IDE could never do x”. But as Mike said, we’ve said that about the web before.
Final point before I go. In terms of immediate developer experience the Eclipse guys seem to have the edge over Code9. Orion’s web site is beautiful and you don’t even need to register to start using the editor. Its always great when clients do impressive work.