Stories by Martin Heller

  • WebEx vs. GoToMeeting vs. MyTrueCloud

    Thomas Friedman famously announced that "the world is flat" in his 2005 book of that name. He was writing about globalization. In Friedman's view, voice over Internet (VoIP), file sharing, and wireless were the "steroids" that have accelerated the flattening of global commerce. Today I would add video over Internet, which has become more and more prevalent as bandwidth has improved.

  • First look: Microsoft SharePoint 2010 beta

    Microsoft SharePoint 2010 is a major upgrade from SharePoint 2007 in several areas. It has a much improved user interface, especially for online editing. It supports more browsers. It does a better job of integrating with Microsoft Office. It provides more opportunities to developers and designers, as well as to shops that might want to consolidate other products (such as blogs and wikis and business applications) with SharePoint.

  • First look: gDoc Fusion

    If you had asked me a month ago, I would have said that the PDF software category was completely bracketed and saturated, between Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Extended at the high end, Adobe Reader for free, and numerous cheap third-party Acrobat clones in between.

  • Windows Azure Services Platform gives wings to .Net

    Microsoft intends its new Windows Azure Services Platform to be a serious cloud computing platform for a broad range of developers and scenarios, from lone developers starting up a new Web-based company on a shoestring to large teams of enterprise developers looking for high-performance, highly available, and scalable Web sites, computing, and storage. A few years out, Microsoft wants Azure to be seen as the preferred location for enterprise data, not as a business risk. It's off to a good start.

  • Silverlight, for real this time

    Microsoft's answer to Adobe Flash and Flex and several other RIA (rich Internet application) and AJAX frameworks, Silverlight arrived with a flourish just over one year ago. Silverlight 1.0 manipulated its multimedia-savvy, WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) user interface using JavaScript. Silverlight 1.1, which added support for compiled .Net languages and supported more of the .Net API, was available at that time only as an alpha test.

  • The Test Center guide to rich Web app dev tools

    Rich Internet applications, or RIAs, comprise a spectrum of application types and technologies. The lightweight end of the spectrum has seen most of the attention in recent months, with Microsoft's Silverlight and Adobe's AIR (Application Integrated Runtime) getting attention as the new kids in town. But AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) is still where most of the lightweight action resides. And despite the recent focus on lightweight app dev, significant developer focus remains on the heavyweight tools in the Microsoft .Net and Sun Java worlds.

  • Curl 6.0 enriches the rich Internet toolkit

    One of a number of "middleweight" solutions in the RIA (rich Internet application) spectrum, Curl is a language, an IDE, and a runtime engine that goes beyond the capabilities of lighter-weight AJAX without incurring the heavier overhead of the Java or .Net runtime. A number of Curl characteristics make it especially suitable for enterprise use: excellent performance, the ability to handle intermittent connectivity, support for large data sets, and graceful presentation of complex interfaces.