Iceberg on Demand

Note: this is a paid review – ReviewMe is paying me $50 for posting this. However, all thoughts are my own, and I’m saying only what I decide to say. The payment part is so that I say *something* about Iceberg on Demand.

Iceberg on Demand is one of a new class of development tools designed for the web. They kinda make me think of GUI RAD environments, but they’re for the web, and they’re typically much, much easier to use. Similar tools include Sidewalk (which I’ve mentioned before), The Form Assembly, and WyaCracker.

The difference
The difference appears to be that Iceberg on Demand is orders of magnitude more powerful than these other solutions, that pretty much focus on simple web forms to gather data. It’s billed as allowing non-technical users to create “enterprise applications,” which is a major, major claim.

I wanted to personally try it before reviewing the application, so I signed up at their home page for a beta account. However, they appear to be in limited beta, as I haven’t received any access privileges in the 48 hours since I signed up.

The promise
The basic premise – giving non-programmers the tools to create full-functionality business applications – is incredibly compelling: use the business process mapping tool to map a process, create your business forms via drag-and-drop, integrate simply into already-built apps such as HR, CRM, project management, and bug tracking … and voila … you have a working enterprise system to run your business on. It reminds me somewhat of Sigurd Rinde‘s thingamy.

I’m sure the reality is a little different: I don’t yet see accounting apps that you need to run a business and I’m sure there’s a number of other missing pieces, but wow … if this takes off and they increase the number of built-in apps over time, this could be very, very exciting.

The reality is, most of what businesses need to function is to get, store, retrieve, and modify data. It’s not rocket science. It’s data that follows business process rules.

If Iceberg on Demand can essentially automate creation of enterprise systems, look out IBM, Oracle, Infosys, and all the other “business services” tech shops out there: the billions you’re hoovering out of clients’ pockets is in danger.

OK, back to reality for a moment.

Right now, this looks like a great tool for start-ups, young companies, anyone with not much budget but need for real business systems.

In the future? Who knows.