Thursday, 28 May 2015

David VS Goliath 2.0 - Citizen Developers - Part 1

In the past, the Internet was the realm of IT specialists - web content could only be created and managed by web gurus who knew how to write HTML like it was a second language. Web pages were built from the code up and the consuming public was left to receive whatever the bearded and bespectacled web denizens delivered.

Then, a wonderful thing happened! Web 2.0. Now, literally anyone with a computer and Internet connection could create, share and manage online content.

In these heady Web 2.0 days, the phenomenon of the citizen developer emerged: private individuals who could not only create and manage web content, but deliver enterprise-level web framework from the comfort of their own web dens.

As is to be expected, there are numerous companies offering platforms to enable citizen developers, so we thought we would have another look at two competing companies and see how their solutions stacked up against each other.


nuSoftware offer a citizen developer platform called nuBuilder.


You can read the specifics of Oracle here, but some quick facts worth noting:

• US$38.3 billion total GAAP revenue in FY 2014
• 400,000 customers, including 100 of the Fortune 100
• 310,000 Oracle Database customers
• 120,000 Oracle Fusion Middleware customers
• 90,000 Oracle Applications customers
• 300,000 midsize customers
• 51,000 hardware customers
• 4,500 engineered systems customers
• More than 25,000 partners worldwide
• More than 120,000 employees, including » 36,000 developers and engineers » 18,000 support personnel » 17,000 consulting experts
• 2.2 million students supported annually

Oracle offer a citizen developer platform called Apex.

From the above it can be easy to see which one is David and which is Goliath.

I decided to test-run both nuBuilder and Apex and compare how easy it was to just get a free workspace. I won't cover how each one works, because this would be too in-depth.

This blog post will focus on the David of the equation, nuBuilder. In my next post I will focus on Apex, and give my rating on how they both stacked up.


Upon clicking the link to open up your own nuBuilder database, you are greeted with the sign-in page:

Signing up with Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn is a button click away. I decided to sign up with my Facebook account:

A quick email address and password, and I'm choosing a name for my site:

Luckily for me, the site name I wanted was available:

And I was up and running, ready to go:

Clicking on the site link will take me to my personalised login screen:

And I'm ready to citizen-develop away!

This was a very simple, fuss-free process. In a total of seven steps I was ready to put nuBuilder through its paces. Social media application sign-in is just common sense in this day and age and it was good to see that nuSoftware made good use of this.

So let's pause for now, because (spoiler alert) the Oracle process took considerably longer and will take up a blog post all of its own.

To be continued...

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