Here are some of the predictions of what future holds for the industry software in 2008.
1. User Experience Reaches the Enterprise. In 2008 we will see several major enterprises start efforts to build UX centric applications that increase worker productivity, reduced transaction costs and increase pull through as the UX meme of the consumer facing world leaks into the enterprise. The days of the battleship gray, forms of data application as the king of the enterprise are numbered because of an imperative towards richer visualization of complex and interconnected data. While there will always be a need for the traditional sort of application, by the end of 2008, it is no longer the only element of the corporate landscape.
2. Testability Becomes a Requirement for Software Development Frameworks. No longer satisfied with simple reductions in costs for initial development, a growing community demand frameworks and tools that facilitate sustainable and agile practices. 2008 is the year that frameworks and tools take notice and start to deliver solutions that are testable out of the box. Technologies such as Test Driven Development, MVC/MVP patterns, and frameworks that support mocking become mainstream. After seeing this year’s cool demos at software development industry conferences a common question will be: “...And how do you test that?” Let’s hope the presenters have an answer.
3. The Companion Applications Become Practical. While RIA and AJAX application categories continue to grow, many consumer facing web applications and enterprise applications developers realize there is a need for desktop exploitive applications as well as reach web applications that work everywhere. What meaningful application wouldn’t benefit from a pairing like that of Outlook and Outlook Web Access? In the past it has been prohibitively expensive to build these applications, but with the circa 2008 technology such as .NET Framework 3.5 and Silverlight, it is finally becoming practical to have a single codebase that fully exploits the desktop and offers a rich web experience.