What is web 2.0

Hi, my name is Andi Gutmans. I’m Co-Founder of Zend. Today I’m going to talk about what is Web 2.0. A lot of people ask me what Web 2.0 is. They’ve heard of things like blogging, they’ve heard of mash-ups, they’ve heard of Ajax and other buzzwords, but they don’t quite understand what it actually means. They’ve used Web 2.0 applications such as YouTube, Flicker, a lot of the Yahoo sites, but still there is something missing in explanation.The first part of Web 2.0 is RIA, or rich internet applications. Some buzzwords that relate to that are Flash and Ajax. What rich internet applications really are is how do we bring the experience from the desktop into the browser, whether it’s from a graphical point of view or from usability point of view, such as drag and drop, which everyone is used to from the desktop.

The second piece of Web 2.0 is SOA. SOA are service oriented architectures. It’s one of the key pieces in Web 2.0. That includes buzzwords such as feeds, RSS, web services and everyone’s heard of mash-ups. What SOA is all about is how do Web 2.0 applications expose their functionality so that other applications can leverage and integrate the functionality, providing a much richer set of applications, including the infamous mash-ups.

The third piece of Web 2.0 is the social web. Web 2.0 applications tend to interact much more with the end-user. The end-user is not only a user of the application, but is a participant, whether it’s by tagging the content, whether he’s contributing to the wiki, or doing podcasts or blogging. Part of the social nature of these applications, the end-user is an integral part of the data of the application, providing feedback, allowing the application to leverage the users that are using it.

There are really three things you should be looking for in a technology. The first one is that they have very good Ajax support. Ajax is a set of key technologies used to build Web 2.0 applications. It is used to create the rich user experience and it works in any browser, whether Firefox or Internet Explorer.

The second thing you should be looking for is a language with very good web services support. As I mentioned before, web services is a key part of Web 2.0 and you need a language that makes it very, very easy to leverage those services.

The third is have a language that is iterative. What that means is that you can very easily add features, deploy new features and get those applications updated. It’s critical when these web applications are being used by so many end-users and you have to constantly update them.

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