This post is more on "the long tail" post earlier.
Small business: We define this market segment as a company with less than 500 employees and no internal IT department.
Software development is expensive. A programmer needs a lot of skills, training and experience to write great software. This comes at a cost. Creating custom software for small business has to date been limited to shrink wrapped packages with a low sticker price that broadly appeal to the mass market. Unfortunately for small business their needs are just as varied and unique as those in a corporation, yet they do not have the budget to build IT systems to meet these needs. What do they do? Create a plethora of Excel spreadsheets and MS Access databases. It's not a 100% fit, but it's close enough.
It is almost impossible for ISVs to furnish this market with custom software. There's simply not enough of a margin in it.
Puakma is a well defined framework for creating complex web apps. The framework we have been showing to our developers is too complex for end users, they still have to learn HTML, Java, etc. What we are investigating now is a web application which works much like MS Access. The end user defines the fields they want to store (surname, firstname, jobstatus, etc) and with the click of a button we have a built and deployed web application! My estimate is that a proficient user could create a web application for their office in about 15 minutes.
...and then preview
It doesn't stop there. Suddenly the field is wide open for ISVs to use this tool to create complex custom applications by generating an application with an 80% fit, then customising it. Here the ISV will save perhaps a day's work building the 80% and only charge the small business for the customisations. We will be offering this tool to our partners when it is ready to go.
Suddenly supplying small businesses with custom software is a distinct reality.