By Richard Koman / Mobile Tech Today. Updated September 04, 2008.
Google Chrome may be the fastest browser around, but it may actually prove to be even more important to the enterprise for its ability to interact with service-oriented architectures (SOA).
At least, that's the way a number of SOA pundits see it. At InformationWeek, David Linthicum wrote, "Folks, there is something to pay attention to here." As Linthicum sees it, Chrome is a "much larger leap" than previous browsers to a future in which the browser is "really the next platform -- something that will allow you to access a multitude of rich Internet applications, services, and have them work and play well together, no matter if you're on a traditional desktop, phone, PDA, or a screen in your car."
"Having a browser that is built for the use of services, Internet delivered or internal, using better operating and security mechanisms, could revolutionize the way we look at SOA," Linthicum added.
Web Apps, Not Pages
Salesforce.com, a Google partner, is especially enthusiastic about the potential for Chrome to improve adoption of Web services. "As we are increasingly dependent on Web apps, how business users use Web browsers changes," said Adam Gross, VP of developer marketing at Salesforce. "It speaks to a world not about Web sites you visit once, but apps like Salesforce or Gmail that you live in all day, every day."
While the potential for Chrome to makes an impact is "intriguing," Google remains essentially shut out of the enterprise market, according to Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. "Chrome's application capabilities means that it's an intriguing platform for the SOA service-delivery model," King said, but "SOA as it's currently being deployed and imagined is an enterprise-centric effort." Adoption of Chrome in the enterprise would be years off, King added.
The key will be developer adoption. "Chrome's success as a platform will come from grabbing developers' attention to create applications that require Chrome's application capabilities," King explained. "If there are really compelling applications, that will drive adoption."
One thing Google has accomplished with Chrome is the ability to "treat each tab as a separate iteration of the browser," King said. That means any given Web site can only crash the tab it is being displayed in; the browser itself will continue to operate and the crash won't corrupt the rest of the system. "That's a very cool feature," King said.
That kind of resource management means that the "real impact" of Chrome may be in the rapidly expanding mobile market. "To access Web content on mobile devices, it's key to isolate the use of resources," King said. "It will be very, very interesting to see how Google leverages Chrome and the Android operating system."
Case in point: Apple's ability to run its Safari browser on the iPhone has been a real benefit to that platform. "Chrome will offer Android an ever higher step-up," King predicted.
No surprise there. Google cofounder Sergey Brin said at the Chrome launch event, "Probably a subsequent version of Android is going to pick up a lot of the Chrome stack."