June 2000

JAVAONE CONFERENCE HAS 22,000 ATTENDEES, as Java continues to gain momentum, particularly as a server language for the Web. The entire Moscone floor was converted into a lecture hall. Virtually all application server companies are touting Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) as the only specification to build to. Using Enterprise JavaBeans, J2EE allows code to be written and debugged once, then reused many times. It allows Web applications to move between the application servers of different vendors. It is easy to modify, and it runs on many different kinds of hardware.

IMPACT DESIGN'S NEW NAME IS 300 FEET OUT. Impact Design has provided great design on OMIX developed sites such as uGetHeard.com and OneChannel.net (see the flash demo at www.OneChannel.net/ocdemo). Now Impact Design is changing their name to 300 Feet Out to match their location on Pier 9 in San Francisco (300feetout.com).

WEB SITES ARE LIKE WEEKLY TELEVISION SHOWS, in that they must be launched not just once but many times in order to sustain their appeal. Ninety-day implementation cycles to incorporate ever new capabilities are becoming the norm, offering better chances of success than huge, multi-quarter sized projects. OMIX often rebuilds sites that were originally built in Cold Fusion, in Active Server Pages or on a second tier application server that originally was not industrial grade enough to scale or flexible enough to modify for future changes. OMIX also rebuilds some sites because companies can't find engineers who can or want to work with the non-standard, proprietary technologies that were used in their initial implementation.

LINKS TO OTHER SITES FOR PROFIT can be set up with sites that have an affiliate marketing program. Amazon.com is the most famous for this, paying up to 15% of the price of a book if the customer came from your site. Now companies are forming to help your site link to other sites and track the compensation revenue. These include BeFree.com and LinkShare.com. Google.com uses BeFree.com to track payment of $.03 for each search performed by a user transferred from your site. ePod provides a mini kiosk page that you can embed in your content site. This kiosk page supports shopping with affiliate programs that pay up 15% for sales, while allowing customers to never to leave your site. See an example at www.epod.com

"PERMISSION MARKETING," by Seth Godin, has several interesting chapters on the Web, which resonate quite well in the wake of the .com market correction. Godin says we should stop thinking of the Web as a broadcast medium. Broadcasting would only be a good model of the Web if there were 8 million channels. Instead, focus on how much it takes to get a person to visit your site (through banner or other advertising), how much it takes to get them to return to your site to buy, and how you can scale this. Think of the Web as a direct marketing tool, where testing campaigns are very fast, response rates can be very high, and stamps, printing, and an ongoing customer dialog are all free. Email is key to this dialog, and OMIX has long pushed email newsletters and reminders as very effective Web investments. Your mail list could be your company's most valuable asset so don't sell it to market spammers.

VIRTUAL CTO'S AND VIRTUAL IT MOVE TO MAINSTREAM. OMIX engineers have been acting as Chief Technology Officers or Information Technology staff for several companies. VC used to frown on a lack of internal technology control, but now the shortage of technology staff is helping them to change their views. Not all Web sites can have armies of IT staff, like Amazon.com and eBay.com, and those large staffs can prove to be an expensive luxury when startups are getting refocused on minimizing burn rate.

XML CONTINUES TO GAIN acceptance as a standard for connecting business sites. A new category of software (often called business-to-business integration or B2Bi), uses XML to help connect sites in the same way that Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) software connects different applications inside your company.

XML STYLESHEETS BEGIN TO EMERGE, with a standard called XSLT and XSL (eXtensible Stylesheet Language). An XML file can contain the data for a page (i.e., order=1234), and an XSL file can contain how to present the page in a browser (i.e., ). This allows designers to work on the front-end look of a site in an XSL file, without having to always use an engineer who knows the backend.

FOR QUESTIONS OR TO RECEIVE OMIX NEWS call Kyle Hurlbut, Jim Chabrier or Milla Milojkovic at 650-330-8950 or sales@omix.com