IBM is working actively on Blue Spruce, a fully browser based application development platform. To be precise, IBM is NOT working on a brand new browser but on a platform for developing and delivering applications through the existing browsers. This is a direct challenge to Microsoft’s Silverlight and Adobe’s AIR platforms, that aim to bring application level functionality to the level of browsers.
Motivation behind Blue Spruce
IBM’s customers reportedly abhor lengthy and heavy applications installs. They are looking at rich applications providing the core functionality, delivered through the web browsers. Also, IBM is looking at collaboration between the application users and sharing of information, with Blue Spruce.
Components of Blue Spruce
Conceptually, Blue Spruce is made up of 2 components:
- Blue Spruce Client Toolkit
- Blue Spruce Web Server
Blue Spruce Web Server provides Conference Management and Real-time Application Synchronization facilities, thus facilitating interactive communication. Also, the Server can subscribe to Push services, that can serve as data for the mashup components.
Blue Spruce Client toolkit provides the collaboration API that the application developers can use to communicate with the Web Server. Also, the architecture will most likely be plug-in based, that enhances the extensibility.
Blue Spruce in action
Right now, IBM is focusing on finance, health and “heavy industry” for their application development. The Proof of Concept demos are mainly characterized by mashups (containing various audio, video and map components in a single page) and real-time collaborations by users across geographies, all within the scope of a browser. These demos were performed on the Safari browser.
So, the Big Blue is again all set, to be noticed by the likes of Microsoft, Adobe and Google.
Presentation – IBM Blue Spruce Demo