ZapThink: Client-side Web Technologies Inadequate to Meet Evolving Needs of Web Services

ZapThink: Client-side Web Technologies Inadequate to Meet Evolving Needs of Web Services
New Class of Rich and Smart Clients Evolving to Solve Next-Generation Computing Needs

WALTHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–March 3, 2004–The Internet and Web have provided immense scalability and manageability benefits to computer users for a decade now, but at a price – poor support for rich interactivity. Now, companies are increasingly demanding a rich set user experience capabilities that include visual interactivity elements and instant access to information, interaction with distributed and remote applications, and integration with local desktop applications. ZapThink concludes in its report entitled “Rich and Smart Clients for Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs)” that today’s Web technologies are wholly inadequate to meet the needs of emerging standards-based, loosely coupled, distributed applications.

“Simply put, today’s corporate portals must move beyond Web-based thin client technologies,” said Ronald Schmelzer, senior analyst with ZapThink. “Rather, companies must leverage the power of Web Services and Service-Oriented Architectures to offer rich clients that provide deep interactivity, yet retain the scalability and manageability benefits that browsers provide.”

ZapThink’s report analyzes a new class of rich client vendor offering and several approaches to providing rich clients that in part rely upon SOAs to provide the optimal combination of rich user interaction and low cost of ownership through standards-based distributed computing. The report identifies the windows of opportunities as well as market growth predictions for new entrants and incumbent vendors.

Other key findings of the report include:

  • Rich clients will supplant portals as the primary interface to Web Services and Service-oriented functionality in the enterprise by the end of 2007.
  • The total opportunity for rich clients for SOAs is over $923 million by 2010.
  • The window of opportunity for new entrants in the rich client market will start to wane with the release of the Microsoft Longhorn update of windows in the 2006-2007 timeframe.
  • The increasing adoption of sometimes-connected devices, mobile computing, asynchronous computing, and e-Forms will mandate widespread and rapid adoption of rich clients.

The report, available on ZapThink’s website at, discusses several companies, including Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE), Altio, Apple, AT&T, Citrix, Curl, Cysive, DreamFactory, FileMaker, Focus Solutions, General Interface, Harmonia, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, JackBe, Kinitos, Laszlo Systems, Lucent, Macromedia (NASDAQ: MACR), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Motorola, Mozilla, Nexaweb, Novell (NASDAQ: NOVL), Oracle, Plumtree, RatchetSoft, SAP, SCO Group (NASDAQ: SCOX), Siebel, Softricity, TiVo, Vignette, and Vultus.

Read more at: ZapThink Press Release