Monday, April 09, 2012
The idea of an application platform can be slippery. In the broadest sense, it includes anything that we use to create and run an application. And slippery or not, it's worth spending some time thinking about application platforms--they're fundamental to software development.
Toward this end, I've written a couple of short papers on this topic, both sponsored by Microsoft. The first, What is an Application Platform?
, offers a concrete way to look at the idea. Starting with a general model, it then uses this model to take a high-level look at the Microsoft application platform today.
The second paper, Application Platforms and Business Strategy: Making the Connection
, is a little more general. Starting with a simple definition of what business strategy really means, the paper ties this idea to application platforms, using the example of a fictitious rental car company that wants to reinvent itself. Working in the bowels of technology, as many of us do, can blind us to the connections between what we do and the larger world. But I don't care how technically focused you are: this kind of blindness is never a good thing. A primary goal of this paper is to help people from both the business world and the IT world see the tight link between what the business is trying to do and the application platform they've chosen to build on.
Application platforms are important, and so is thinking in broader ways about this topic. Both of these papers are meant to help you do that.