JonFerraiolo 2006November Whitepaper Ideas

From MemberWiki

Jump to: navigation, search



This wiki page describes Jon Ferraiolo's analysis and recommendations about OpenAjax Alliance's "second generation" set of white papers in advance of the 14November2006 Marketing Committee meeting.

Note: the first generation was a single Technical Overview White Paper that was posted on the OpenAjax Alliance web site at /whitepaper.html and that was repurposed into 3 articles for the October 2006 edition of AJAXWorld magazine [1].

Background: Suggestions so far from members of the Marketing Committee

As of 2006-11-12, 4 people have submitted concrete suggestions about future white papers:

  • Ian Wenig produced an early draft of a Market Overview white paper titled "Building a Business Case for Ajax and the Next Generation of Web-based Applications Contents" (/member/wiki/Market_Overview_Whitepaper)
  • Chris Erickson produced a detailed outline of a lengthy "Why Ajax" white paper (/member/wiki/Why_Ajax)
  • Jon Ferraiolo (i.e., me) proposed an overall breakdown of 2nd-generation white papers as follows:
    • 1) A white paper that addresses the "What is Ajax" question. Here is a proposed title: "Introduction to Ajax and OpenAjax". This white paper would be short and the target audience is pretty much everyone. It is a lead-in to the other white papers, which contain the real meat. (BTW - I don't think we should have an article that talks about Ajax and not OpenAjax.)
    • 2) A white paper that addresses the "Why Ajax" question. This paper targets IT managers and their adjacent community (e.g., media people, analysts, business execs) as the primary target audience. The white paper does not go into technical depth (leave that to #3) and focuses on use cases, value proposition, and categorization of users and application areas for deploying Ajax. There is some confusion with the media about consumer-facing Ajax versus Enterprise Ajax, so consumer vs Enterprise is definitely one candidate axis for the breakdown.
    • 3) One or more white papers that go into technical depth about "How to be successful with Ajax". The existing Technical Overview White Paper would serve as the starting point.
    • Note that a similar breakdown was used for the articles on OpenAjax Alliance in AJAXWorld magazine October 2006 edition
  • Erwan Paccard consulted with a new ILOG executive who had been an CIO at a major company. From this discussion, Erwan sent an email that proposed that we need a (short) 5-10 page white paper with the following outline:
    • 1. Intro
      • a. What is Ajax
      • b. Why Ajax (with use case and applications from well-known players)
    • 2. “Chances for it to be around in X years”
      • a. Conformity to and dependence on standards.
      • b. Stability of those standards
    • 3. “Getting to use it” costs
      • a. List the 4 steps to Ajax to show that transition more than revolution
      • b. Overview of available offering / open source / commercial
      • c. “How much to be done by hand” / how much out of the box
      • d. Widely spread know-how in system integrators / how easy is it to find people which Ajax know-how, expertise
    • 4. Integration ease in the IT system
      • a. Any to replace, expand on current IT infrastructure?
      • b. Mention scalability benefits
      • c. Explain correlation, added value & help in the SOA context for future systems

Analysis: Some common vision, some differences

All of the suggestions so far have considerable merit, but looking through the various proposals so far, it appears that we have some differences of vision about what we should do about future white papers. Here are some differences that I see:

  • Long vs short - Erwan appears to be advocating short and sweet (5-10 pages), whereas Chris's outline will produce a more lengthy white paper. (Note: The PDF version of our current Technical Overview White Paper is 24 pages.)
  • IT professional vs LOB manager - There has been email discussion about whether the primary target audience for our marketing overview white papers should be the IT professional or the LOB manager.
  • IT-centric vs use-case-centric - I will claim that Erwan's outline focuses more on operations and management considerations (e.g., technology stability and evolutionary advantages with Ajax) vs. other proposals that have focused more on the kinds of applications that Ajax enables (e.g., mashups).
  • Ajax vs OpenAjax - Some of the proposals focus on the value proposition of Ajax independent of OpenAjax, and certainly I am one of those who advocates that all white papers should include an OpenAjax edge to it somehow or other

Furthermore, if we develop one or more new white papers, we need to think through:

  • Redundancy and overlap with existing Technical Overview White Paper - I have pointed out that the current Technical Overview White Paper has the following major sections, some of which overlap with topics proposed for our marketing-oriented white paper(s), and that we need to address this redundancy by means of a comprehensive plan for all of our 2nd generation white papers, which probably includes changes to the existing Technical Overview White Paper:
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 What is Ajax?
    • 3 Ajax Value Proposition
    • 4 OpenAjax Architectures
    • 5 OpenAjax Alliance - Fulfilling Ajax's Promise

Impending AJAXWorld deadline

We need to make decisions and get going. There is an end-of-November deadline for the next edition of AJAXWorld magazine. We need to submit at least one follow-on article to follow on the great momentum we have from the October edition (where we were on the cover and had 3 articles on OpenAjax inside). The follow-on article needs to have sufficient new information to warrant inclusion in the publication.

Proposed set of "second-generation" white papers

Here is my recommended breakdown of "second-generation" white papers from OpenAjax Alliance:

White paper #1: Introducing Ajax and OpenAjax

Target audience

This document targets a wide audience who might not fully grasp what Ajax is and/or wants to read an executive summary of what "OpenAjax" means.

Expected length (when printed)

5-10 pages.

Topics addressed

This white paper is a high-level overview document that addresses the two questions "What is Ajax?" and "What is OpenAjax?" and thus explains the role that OpenAjax Alliance plays in the ecosystem.

Where we will find the content

The starting point for this white paper would be the existing Technical Overview White Paper, particularly section 2 (/whitepaper.html#What_is_Ajax) and section 5 (/whitepaper.html#OpenAjax_Alliance_-_Fulfilling_Ajax.27s_Promise).

White paper #2: Why Ajax and OpenAjax?

Target audience

People who need to understand the business impacts of deploying Ajax and OpenAjax but do not want to deal with the technology details. In particular, CIOs, executives and senior managers, press and analysts.

Expected length (when printed)

5-10 pages.

Topics addressed

This white paper follows the majority of the proposed outlines submitted by Ian, Chris and Erwan, but references other white papers on some topics (e.g., What is Ajax). The focus is understanding why and when to deploy Ajax technologies. The paper lists the benefits of Ajax, the costs of Ajax, a framework for deciding on whether the benefit/cost ratio makes Ajax appropriate for a given requirement.

The white paper also includes a short section on why it is important for customers to require OpenAjax Conformant Ajax technologies and products to fulfill the Ajax promise of openness, vendor choice, interoperability and longevity.

Where we will find the content

The outline would come from merging some of Ian's, Chris's and Erwan's outlines, but (for the most part) removing sections that are redundant with other white papers. Some of the content would come from text written by Ian and Chris and some text from section 3 of the Technical Overview White Paper (/whitepaper.html#Ajax_Value_Proposition).

We want to avoid making this paper too long that executives will toss it away.

White paper #3: Next-generation applications using Ajax and OpenAjax

Target audience

People who need to understand the value propositions of Ajax and OpenAjax from a big picture perspective but do not want to deal with the technology details. In particular, CIOs, executives and senior managers, press and analysts.

Expected length (when printed)

7-15 pages.

Topics addressed

This white paper highlights the use cases and application scenarios where Ajax is leveraged to deliver Web 2.0, RIAs and next-generation applications. The main thrust of this article is to seed ideas in the minds of the reader about how to leverage Ajax technologies to produce more productive operations and users.

Where we will find the content

The outline would come largely from merging pieces from Ian's and Chris's proposed outlines. Some of the initial content can be found within Ian's white paper and section 3.2 of the existing Technical Overview White Paper (/whitepaper.html#Next-generation_applications_Web_2.0_and_RIAs).

White paper #4: Successful Deployment of Ajax and OpenAjax

Target audience

Mainstream IT professionals who are relatively new to Ajax and want to learn quickly how to plan and execute on future projects which leverage Ajax technologies.

Expected length (when printed)

10-15 pages.

Topics addressed

Some of the topics from Chris's outline, particularly section 5 (/member/wiki/Why_Ajax#Assessing_application_characteristics_and_requirements) and section 6 (/member/wiki/Why_Ajax#Navigating__the_landscape_of_Ajax_solutions). Note that Chris's section 6 overlaps considerably with the existing section 4 of our Technical Overview White Paper (/whitepaper.html#OpenAjax_Architectures).

Where we will find the content

A good part of the content can be found in Section 4 of the existing Technical Overview White Paper (/whitepaper.html#OpenAjax_Architectures).

Proposal for what to submit for next AJAXWorld magazine

I propose that we submit whatever work-in-progress we have towards white paper #2 listed above.

White paper drafts

Under the very great presumption that maybe the Marketing Committee would like the proposals above, I started work on white papers #2 and #3:

Personal tools