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Using web technolgies for RIAs – Appcelerator – RIA Weekly #58

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While in Mountain View a little bit ago, I had the chance to catch up with Appcelerator‘s Jeff Haynie. While Jeff has been on RIA Weekly before, I start out by asking him to go over what Appecelerator does. As he susinctly puts it, their offerings focusing on providing a framework and runtime to develop applications for mobile, web, and desktop apps using web technologies (like JavaScript, CSS, HTML, you know, Ajax). We then get into a discussion of how Appcelerator came to see this as an opportunity, namely, using web programming as the model instead of programming models fit per deployment platform. Next, I ask Jeff if the goal is to provide a platform that automatically spins up UIs for different types of devices, or “screens.” He says, no, in the sense that they want to have each type of interface specialized whether that’s a native feel to mobile applications or desktops. As he says, designers and developers have said that they don’t want applications to look the same across platforms.

After this lay-up of context and capabilities, we get into the actual Appcelerator portfolio, namely Titanium, the runtime and tool-chain for building these web technology based applications. Jeff also goes over the cloud-based services Appcelerator provides – for example, for helping distribute applications, building across different platforms, and more.

Knowing that Appcelerator had recently suveyed it’s user base, I next ask Jeff to tell us the types of applications they’re seeing developed on the platform. There’s a wide spread of application types, esp. in iPhone-land, using Appcelerator, including several internal only applications businesses have been developing. Another interesting data point is that they’ve been seeing about a 50/50 split between developers doing iPhone and Android development.

We then discuss how companies are seeking to do applications that move beyond, you know, fart apps and more into applications that support their business and brand. As Jeff says, some companies have felt they’ve missed out on fuller models of engagement (or “branding and marketing” if you prefer) in the web space and are looking for new ways of doing that in a post-web world.

Finally, we talk about the commercial offerings and services that Appcelerator is going to be providing around (as briefly mentioned at the start) distributing applications, cross-compiling services, analytics, and other cloud-enabled offerings.

Disclosure: Appcelerator is a client and sponsored this video. Adobe is a client as well.

Categories: Open Source, RIA, RIA Weekly.