Tuesday, January 11, 2005

RSS and Enterprise Applications

Here is a phenomenon that is sweeping the next generation of the Web often called Web 2.0 - the ability of expose information to a devoted set of people via RSS. What is interesting here is the lack of adoption in the Enterprise application areas. Do Enterprises do not need this ? Here are few examples:

CRM - can we get a RSS feed for new Knowledge base items that have been added for the products that a customer may have purchased? Or a Sales rep being notified when new marketing collateral comes out, competitive information is published or pricing is changed?

SCM - how about when a customer can easily track shipping information, replacing or augmenting formal ASNs(Advanced Shipping Notifications) with RSS feeds - that are personalized and relevant?

Typically event based frameworks have tried to get a stronghold in the enterprise application space - the ability to raise alerts and explicitly manage subscriptions, role and permission based content management, and end user filtration to ensure only the relevant messages get to the end users. This is a typical example of the control and auditing that is common in enterprise apps. Contrast this approach with the ones that we are seeing right now, founded on very basic principles:
a) There is only one set of information
b) The end user decides what is relevant and interesting

Now only if we add the capability to audit this information, and provide the ability to aggregate the RSS information into a portal, enterprise apps will now have a capability to participate in the next wave of the web.

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