Do you have a backlog of information that would add value to your customer Web sites or company intranet, but it never gets processed? Bandwidth concerns, staffing requirements, time-to-market, or costs of production can all impede the amount of information that your organization makes available on its Web sites or applications. However, there’s a new technology on the rise that promises to streamline the process. This article highlights Fourbit Group’s soon-to-be-released MicroFablet application and what it could mean for your organization’s information processing and publication.
When Fourbit Group Founder, CEO, and CTO Rick Sanderson and his team began researching the development on an application framework that would separate the client side and the server side, they made an interesting discovery. “We found that the client side of our application could operate independently of any kind of back-end server,” said Sanderson. “At that point, we changed course and directed our efforts [on] completing the Fablet technology that we’re beta-testing today.”
The end result of the Fourbit Group’s efforts is an application that, by way of either browser plug-in or direct installation to a PC or mobile device, eliminates the need for any programming on the server side to deliver a user interface to the client side. While current applications require continuous communication with servers, Fablet functions more like a desktop application that operates independent of the server.
For example, when you perform a customer relationship management (CRM) transaction by locating a specific customer, the request travels back to the back-end server and sends all Web pages, including how the information is displayed, to the client device. The Fablet process differs in that the how (the user interface) is already encrypted into the device; Fablet only retrieves raw data and renders it accordingly. The amount of bandwidth required in the process is diminished significantly because the markup required to transmit UI information is eliminated.
“The user interface generation is on the client,” said Sanderson. “Each product installed on a device knows how to render a user interface for that particular device. That’s what makes it work.”
A strong benefit of Fablet technology is its ability to deploy interactive Web sites and applications to myriad wireless devices without having to create different applications for each client. However, Sanderson and company are aware that enterprises haven’t embraced wireless applications as quickly as many in the industry would like.
“We’re not banking on wireless computing taking off. It’s just an interesting aspect of the technology that it supports wireless computing so effectively.”
With wireless capabilities as an ancillary application of the product, the Fourbit Group expects Fablet to make its mark in the enterprise intranet and business partner/customer relationship space. Because Fablet can quickly hook up with back-end and legacy systems and does not require the transmission of user interfaces, the time it takes to distribute information out through intranet and Internet channels is reduced significantly. Also, with no UI traffic traveling through the channels, the number of back-end servers needed to support the activity is reduced. If wireless transmissions do become an issue for a company, the reduction in bandwidth and the ability to integrate the same application across devices promise a fluid distribution of information.
While there are apparent cost savings associated with Fablet’s technological capabilities, the product could also impact the demands on an organization’s staff. According to Sanderson, “authoring” a Fablet application takes far less time and skill than writing any kind of Java code, Perl, or even DHTML. While an entire development team could be tied up with laborious code writing for information distribution, Fablet requires far less skilled-developer input.
“You’ll not only see fewer developers needed in installing Fablet applications, but you might even see personnel with less skills able to complete the tasks.”
If an organization wished to adopt the technology, Sanderson claims that developers could learn the Fablet application inside of two weeks on their own. After learning a few basic concepts, “the tool basically does the work itself.”
Would Fablet make a difference in your firm?
Would your firm benefit from Fablet’s capabilities? Does it sound like something you would be willing to integrate into your system? Post a comment below and share your thoughts.