Friday, June 13, 2008

OpenSpan to ease client/server modernization by ushering apps from desktop to Web server

Promising lower costs and greater control, OpenSpan, Inc., this week unveiled its OpenSpan Platform Enterprise Edition 4.0, which will allow organizations to move both legacy and desktop applications off the desktop and onto the server. This will allow them to be integrated with each other or rich Internet applications (RIAs) and expressed as Web services.

Key to the new offering is the company's Virtual Broker technology to enable the movement of the applications, allowing companies to rapidly consume Web services within legacy applications or business process automations that span applications. Companies can also expose selective portions of applications over the Web.

According to OpenSpan, of Alpharetta, Ga., the benefits of their approach include lower costs, because companies will have to license fewer copies of software, as well as giving IT greater control over end-user computing by centralizing application management on the server.

Moving applications off the desktop and onto the server means that companies no longer have to install and expensively maintain discrete copies of each application on every desktop. Users access only the application portion they need. This has the added benefit of reducing desktop complexity.

Yep, there are still plenty of companies and apps out there making their journey from the 1980s to the 1990s -- hey, better late than never. If you have any DOS apps still running, however, I have some land in Florida to sell you.

OpenSpan made a splash last year, when it announced its OpenSpan Studio, which allowed companies to integrate siloed apps. At the time, I explained that process:

How OpenSpan works is that it identifies the objects that interact with the operating system in any program — whether a Windows app, a Web page, a Java application, or a legacy green screen program — exposes those objects and normalizes them, effectively breaking down the walls between applications.

The OpenSpan Studio provides a graphical interface in which users can view programs, interrogate applications and expose the underlying objects. Once the objects are exposed, users can build automations between and among the various programs and apply logic to control the results.

OpenSpan Platform Enterprise Edition 4.0 will be available this year.