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Journal of nicholas (3034)

Friday November 27, 2009
06:36 AM

Sun reinvented Zimki and it still failed

[ #39955 ]

I'm a bit slow on reporting this one, but no-one seems to have made the connection...

In 2005ish, Fotango started developing something that "evolved" into Zimki, a hosted "Software As A Service" offering, allowing you to write applications in server-side Javascript. The plan (or at least, one iteration of the plan) was to trial it as "free", but later on charge for it (or at least, above a low "free" threshold). It never seemed to get that many actual users, and folded when Canon Europe folded Fotango.

Of course, nothing is left online describing it, other than a O'Reilly radar post.

So, it seems, Sun re-invented the concept, and called it Zembly. It seems to be incredibly similar - SaaS, browser-based, server side JavaScript, scaling catered for, two syllable name starting with Z. Curiously, they did find a credible pitch for who might want to use it - people writing applications for social networking sites. This is actually a really sensible target - from what I remember reading, social networking apps can explode into resource-devouring monsters, so having all your insane scaling problems handled by someone else with experience seems like a big win. Heck, they even even got a Radar pitch.

Only they too are shutting down [that link likely will break soon after 30th November, try TechCrunch]. Is there any money in this? Or at least, is there any profit, at this level of abstraction?

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