Web 2.0/AJAX - What They Mean to Executive Project Management

Posted by Romeo Elias on Mon, Mar 06, 2006 @ 12:21 PM

Much is being reported online about new web applications leveraging Web 2.0 and AJAX technologies. You are probably wondering what do they mean to you or how you manage your business. I will try to briefly shed some light on these technologies in this posting.

According to Wikipedia.org, "Web 2.0 generally refers to a second generation of services available on the World Wide Web that lets people collaborate, and share information online. In contrast to the first generation, Web 2.0 gives users an experience closer to desktop applications than the traditional static Web pages." As for AJAX or Asynchronous JavaScript And XML, Wikipedia describes it as "a Web development technique for creating interactive web applications" and "meant to increase the Web page's interactivity, speed, and usability."

To simplify, Web 2.0 refers to web applications that run like desktop applications and AJAX refers to the techniques and tools that enable one to develop such web applications.

For executives and managers, using Web 2.0 applications can provide numerous benefits:

  • All interaction with the application functionality is in the browser - one doesn't have to install any other applications on their desktop.
  • All the functionality and data is accessible from any PC anywhere with Internet access and a browser.
  • The application performs more like a desktop application with right-click menus, quick navigations, minimal refreshing of pages, familiar user interface etc. enhancing useability.
  • If the application is configurable (e.g. Interneer Intellect), all the configuration happens in the browser and from any PC with a browser.
  • Overall, the performance of the application is faster as compared to traditional web applications since the pages don't refresh as often.

Bottom line, Web 2.0 applications represent the next wave of tools for business users, enabling them to be more productive and mobile than ever before.