Monday, November 13, 2006


I was reading Rod Boothby's blog and he mentioned this new technology from IBM. From the developerWorks Emerging Technology blog:

QEDWiki is a platform for collaboration

  • Lightweight standards based collaboration environment
  • Unstructured to Structured Data Definition
  • Enables personal publishing

QEDWiki is a runtime for aggregated services:

  • Dynamic platform for integrating “live” data
  • Personalization in consumption of external services
  • Application Concept (navigation, menus, install, config)

QEDWiki is an IDE for users to build ad-hoc applications:

  • Consumes SOA services via Wiki markup
  • Flexible visual drag-drop and markup based application development features
  • Enable mark-up based client development
Here's a demo of QEDWiki in action.

And a follow up article from Zend's Developer Zone.

This, combined with the IBM Application Designer for Medium Business, shows a concerted move by IBM that mirrors Microsoft's recent announcements (via Gregg Eldred). There appears to be a desire to push application development down to the masses and I'm not sure where that's coming from.

The concepts are great, I just find the hype overwhelming. You can't force such a fundamental change through, it takes time. It seems like the analysts who sit on the sidelines want this to be the new new thing so they can be proven true in their predictions, but those of us in the trenches really want to take it slowly to avoid disasters.

I spent most of the 1990's cleaning up non-programmers' attempts at application development in Visual Basic and Access. Time will tell whether this is a good thing or not.


  1. There are few things I fear more than having business people write applications that in time become mission-critical apps that business units can't live without or, even worse, start to proliferate across the company. The problem as I see it has never been that writing code is all that hard. The hard part is learning to think like a developer and understanding the impact that your application has on the rest of the IT environment and vice versa. If this type of development is allowed, can you imagine the amount of support calls that the Helpdesk will begin getting?

  2. Sean, I'm not opposed to the concept, just the way it's historically been delivered. Today I use DXL to create applications that can be customized by users. The key is the environment is controlled and locked down. It's not a general-purpose solution.

    For that reason I don't mind, and even embrace, something along the lines of QEDWiki. Sure there are still concerns about a potentially high-impact component getting embedded in too many places, but if I can focus on building widgets that my users need and they can focus on constructing something meaningful, that's a win-win in my book.

    This moves toward Rod's idea of knowledge workers being innovation creators, and it's a concept I fully support. The devil is in the details, though, and those are still sketchy.

    I am absolutely ecstatic to see this coming out of IBM, though. It tells me that they actually do get what their customers want, and that can only have a positive impact on Lotus software.

  3. Charles - is there any indication as to when this might be available to the general public? It sounds like it could be another (simple) tool I could offer some of my more savvy end users.


  4. Donnie, I haven't been able to find much information about QEDWiki beyond what I've shared here and what is in the links I provided. It doesn't have a page on alphaWorks or developerWorks, so I have no idea when it might be available.

  5. Oversimplificatin: Shouldn't your 'business people' be concentrating on 'business,' 'margins,' 'sales' and work with IT to deliver those applications that bring value to the organization?

    And, as Sean points out, there is more to this development thing than slinging code. :-)

    Thanks for the link! :-)