Category: Office and Client Development
Description: Most software as a service products offer customers a server. Adesso NOW OE|S, from Adesso Systems, offers a synchronization service that developers can customize themselves. The distributed architecture behind the service makes the most of basic economics, CEO John Landry said. "Storage is cheap -- you can fit 2 GB in a postage stamp -- but bandwidth is dear," he noted.
A layered development system sits atop this architecture. Developers can not only sync data between a back-end server and a mobile device but can wrap an application around a folder containing data files. For example, a user can extract the travel budget information from each department's budget spreadsheet, extract it as metadata and pull it into the app. Writing the expressions that pull data from a file is as easy as writing an Excel formula, Landry said.
Adesso NOW OE|S is currently in a controlled beta release and free for non-commercial use. This strategy is based on Landry's experience at Thinking Bytes Technology, which build a handheld database system that ran on Palm devices in the early 2000s; single users were exposed to the product on their own and then showed it to their bosses, Landry said.
The offerings available now are featured on the AppsNOW site, which gives developers access to the tools that build certain data-sync applications. Downloads are divided into four categories -- NOW.fun, which includes tools for screensavers, social networking and podcasting; NOW.geekstuff, which offers a chess game and a file sharing tool; NOW.gizmos, which add barcode equipment into applications, and NOW.work, which covers asset management, contract management and the like.