Trends Report

The Widget Zoo: A Developer's Taxonomy

March 14th, 2008
With contributors:
John Rymer , Charlene Li , David D'Silva , Charles Golvin

Summary

Web widgets are another example of a consumer-focused Web 2.0 technology that is starting to wend its way into the enterprise. There are many different species of widgets, but developers can divide them them into three main classifications: Web, desktop, and mobile. Web widgets are useful for broadcasting public information, and they provide functionality similar to that of simple portals and mashups. Desktop widgets make relevant content and documents immediately and continually available on users' desktops and provide an opportunity for businesses to maintain direct contact with customers and employees alike. Mobile widgets offer the greatest potential for constant contact, but platform fragmentation, and new, more capable devices make this a challenging and risky area for developers. While finding good enterprise widget candidates takes patience, forward-looking development shops are starting to experiment with widgets and are seeing promising early results.

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