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 (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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

  • identicon
    valnur, Feb 21st, 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
    Save me a cookie
    • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
    • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
     tdicon 
    Follow Techdirt
    New Gear From Techdirt

    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

    Friday

    06:30 A Massive Cable Industry Disinformation Effort Just Crushed The FCC's Plan For Cable Box Competition (15)
    03:23 Ridiculously Stupid: 4 State Attorneys General File Totally Bogus Lawsuit Against Internet Transition (63)

    Thursday

    22:46 Cops Dodge 4th Amendment By Phoning In 'Anonymous' Tips; Watch Their Drug Bust Vanish After They're Exposed (18)
    16:34 Racing Game Developers Sacrifice Playability On The Altar Of Anti-Piracy, Deliver Laggy Mess To Paying Customers (19)
    14:21 FBI, DOJ And Their Forensic Scientists State They'll Continue Using Discredited Junk Science To Put People Behind Bars (26)
    12:52 Let These Picturesque Stock Models Explain Techdirt Gear To You (6)
    11:52 Donald Trump Happily Repeating Lie About Google Autocomplete Suppressing Negative Hillary News (104)
    10:47 The FCC Wants To Know Why Journalists Had To Pay $200 For WiFi At Presidential Debate (19)
    10:41 Daily Deal: CompTIA Core And Cisco CCNA Bundle (1)
    09:32 How I Taught A Jury About Trolls, Memes And 4Chan -- And Helped Get A Troll Out Of Jail (41)
    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.