Overhype

by Mike Masnick




Understanding Why All Your Base May Belong To Google

from the it's-not-that-complicated dept

There's a lot of talk today about the supposed leak of a product called Google Base, with plenty of people predicting that this is a shot across the bow of eBay or Craigslist. While that could be the end result, it doesn't seem like that's the real target for this offering at all. Years back (when I still remembered how to do database design and SQL queries) I needed to do a quick prototype of a web-based application, and came across a great little service (long since deceased) called ActiveSpace. It was, basically, an online database system with an easy front-end creation tool and a little bit of middleware magic. Basically, everything you'd need to quickly build your own web-based app without having to do any of the real dirty work or set up a real database yourself. That went away, but soon afterwards, Intuit launched a similar (though, not nearly as useful) system called Quickbase. All of these systems realized the basic fact that most software is really just a front-end stuck on a database, with just a little magic in the middle to help make the app do what it needed to do. By having a simple, easy to set up database tool online, with easy front-end development tools, you can build simple applications without too much trouble at all. It appears that's exactly what Google is trying to do with Google Base. It's not about taking on Craigslist or eBay -- both of which are more about the community than the technology -- but about enabling people to create their own specialized apps, using a simple online database powered with Google's search tools. If this sounds familiar, it's the whole concept behind situated software, where people are developing specific apps that fit their needs, rather than for a huge community. In other words, Google Base seems more like something that the folks at Ning and Jotspot should be concerned about, rather than anyone at Craigslist and eBay. Of course, what isn't clear is what kind of tools Google then provides for adding front-end capabilities to the Google Base -- but that would be the next obvious step if I were building the tool.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    valnur, 21 Feb 2009 @ 12:38am

    Comment

    We are in a similar market as Google Base but our product gives structure (while still not imposing any set of predefined categories) to our index and therefore makes it possible for users to not only perform keyword search but also browse hierarchically with the ability to specify unlimited number of filters to refine their search.

    Valnur
    http://www.valnur.com

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


  • Add Your Comment

    Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
    Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
    Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
      Save me a cookie
     tdicon 
    Follow Techdirt
    Special Affiliate Offer
    Anonymous number for texting and calling from Hushed. $25 lifetime membership, use code TECHDIRT25
    Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
    Advertisement
    Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
    Essential Reading
    Techdirt Deals
    Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
    Techdirt Insider Chat

     
    Advertisement
    Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
    Recent Stories

    Sunday

    12:00 Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt (1)

    Saturday

    12:00 This Week In Techdirt History: November 12th - 18th (2)

    Friday

    19:39 Judge Halts Copyright Troll's Lawsuit Against A Now-Deceased Elderly Man With Dementia And An IP Address (37)
    15:47 Good Ruling: Court Affirms Fox's Victory In Trademark Suit From Empire Distribution Over Its Hit Show 'Empire' (10)
    13:38 Surveillance Fans Angry Journalist Used Metadata, Contact Chaining To Out Comey's Secret Twitter Account (16)
    12:03 Sheriff Thinks He Can Use Bogus Disorderly Conduct Charges To Shut Down Speech He Doesn't Like (58)
    10:45 Defense Department Spied On Social Media, Left All Its Collected Data Exposed To Anyone (20)
    10:38 Daily Deal: The Complete Ethereum Blockchain Mastery Bundle (0)
    09:34 Court Denies Government's Demasking Demands In Inauguration Protest Case (4)
    06:23 Wireless Industry Lobbies To Ban States From Protecting Your Privacy, Net Neutrality (23)
    More arrow
    Advertisement
    Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

    Close

    Email This

    This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.