Desktop Applications with Web-Based Collaboration

In my post Future Direction of Applications, I discussed some of the issues plagued by our current set of applications.

  • Web-based applications – how do you access your data if you are offline?
  • Desktop-based applications – how do you easily collaborate if you have created a silo of content on your desktop.

There needs to be a merging of the technologies that offer the best of both worlds:

  • Easy Web-based collaboration
  • Access to content while offline
  • Content is secured
  • Seamless experience to the user for online / offline usage

It is these issues that need to be met for a next generation of applications.

Vijay Pullur of Dekoh in his post, No need to go beyond the browser, says his company has a set of applications available in beta right now that meet these needs. From the Dekoh (Beta) site the following set of applications are currently available:

  • Dekoh Photos – Unlock digital photos from your PC. Organize and share them with others.
  • Dekoh Music – Organize, share playlists, and stream music.
  • Dekoh Calendar (Coming Soon) – Calendar is a desktop/offline counterpart to Google Calendar, with audio reminders.
  • Dekoh Books – Catalog your books through easy integration with Amazon, share your interests with friends.
  • WordPress – The popular blogging software. Blog privately to your own personal network [Windows only].

The Dekoh browser-based desktop portal displays other applications that are available. I think the current list of applications is a good start.

Dekoh is based on Java, and the applications run locally on your system on a little mini web server. The application runs on Windows Mac and Linux, using IE, FireFox or Safari. To use the application, you download the Dekoh Desktop, and then each application is downloaded separately.

Help on the installation is easy to find, and is clear and straightforward. There is a large wiki for help, not all of it is currently complete, I was unable to find help in the wiki on using the current applications that are available. I found help checking the forums for help/FAQs on the different applications. I did not see a method of getting to these forums while in the application without opening another window to access the content. I am always a big advocate of help always being within easy reach.

I played with Photos and Books, and Photos seems more functional then Books. Honestly I did not quite get the hang of Books.

Finally here is an interview that includes a demonstration of Dekoh with Vijay on the ScobleShow, that gives additional explanation of Dekoh, the platform and available offerings.

Dekoh is currently in Beta and I think they are worth watching.

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6 Responses to “Desktop Applications with Web-Based Collaboration”

  1. jaypullur Says:

    Thomas,

    We are looking to bring complete developer documentation on Dekoh.org wiki pretty soon. I understand the point you make about Dekoh Books. We are thinking of building on top, what could be critical functionality. Although cataloging one’s book collection is of personal value, it is not a must do or the most cool thing. One of the directions being considered is to provide automatic (or easy) way of sharing all your books with Friends/Friends-of-friends/All Dekoh users/public and so that you can ask opinion on what you are planning to buy. The idea being you value recommendation from someone you know (or can interact) better. Smaller features like, checking on friends/FOF network if someone has or has read this book could also be useful. Also, some form of Facebook integration. Suggestions welecome. Thanks.

    Dekoh team

  2. Thomas Says:

    Jay: One issue that I encountered is that how to use Books isn’t obvious. After playing around I was finally able to figure out how to get the Amazon integration to work – now that feature is kind of interesting.
    One problem I did run into – after I have added a book, how do I delete it?
    Also for Photos, I did not see a way to globally share photos. To share a photo you specifically had to add a username or email address – is there a plan to allow for some type of global share?

  3. jaypullur Says:

    Thomas,
    1. Delete will be there in the next update which is coming very soon; was missed out in UI
    2. Sharing on Dekoh is a platform-level implementation and different apps need to provide only an UI. Dekoh platform will have sharing levels of – Public (everyone who visits yourID.dekoh.net) ShareAll (all content of your apps with people whom you select, making it easy to share all photos with say your mom without explicitly doing it each time) and possibly AllDekohUsers as well.

    Jay

  4. Thomas Says:

    Jay: Thanks for the updated information – I appreciate how quick you are to answer my questions.
    I will continue to watch Dekoh tools and give feedback.
    One additional thing that I think is important to note, is that Dekoh being open source, is allowing developers to create additional applications for the platform. That leaves it open for a 3rd party developer to create on the Dekoh Desktop platform

  5. jaypullur Says:

    Yes, Dekoh has thrown open many possibilities with a desktop runtime, desktop portal, desktop integration (like system tray, run-as-service), web2.0 stlye framework, social networking of a unique kind (personal networks) and RSS to tie in all of this. We would encourange and support extensively all developers who would like to build on the Dekoh platform.

    Jay

  6. Thomas - Technical Blogger Religions of RIA « Says:

    […] my post Desktop Applications with Web-based Collaboration, and Future Direction of Applications, I outline a couple of issues that I see need to be […]


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