I managed to get the 2nd official Beta invite to eBay’s San Dimas Project, courtesy of Product Manager, Alan Lewis.
San Dimas is a Desktop Application that can be used whilst offline in order to manage your eBay activity (track items, etc). San Dimas is downloadable, which means that all the graphics are stored locally and
this is especially handy in 3rd world countries where Internet Bandwidth is a problem, as the app fetches minimal information from eBay’s servers. You can place bids, track items, search, view & a whole lot more.
It’s been built on the Beta version of Adobe’s Apollo – which is currently in beta. There have been many misconceptions over Apollo, Microsoft’s Silverlight & AJAX – and without going into details, all I will say that they are 3 very different technologies – none of which, in my opinion, will negate the other at this
point. AJAX is still the predominant standard for Web Based Applications within a browser.
San Dimas is basically a giant desktop widget, that allows you to access multiple sections of eBay’s site – without being in a browser. This what I would call a “Rich Desktop Application” (RDA) which is very much unlike Synthasite, which is a “Rich Internet Application” (RIA).
Given that San Dimas is a desktop application – and very lightweight at that – it allows eBay to bundle what is effectively their Website on the Desktop with other downloadable applications, as well as partnering with companies like Dell for distribution onto New PC desktops – this opens up a new world of opportunity. This is purely my own thoughts, as eBay have not announced distribution channels.
Apollo eliminates the need for a Web Browser – and I’m expecting the world’s first 3D Website to be built using Apollo!
Currently, however, the Right Click function gives the user no additional options in the Beta – but I’m told that in the full release, that will change.
To develop San Dimas, eBay worked with a company called Effective UI, based in Colorado – which started out with 2 Developers & 1 Designer – and the team has grown to 4 Developers & 1 Designer.
Hats off to eBay for pushing the envelope here and getting straight onto the Desktop! This will also help them steer customers away from searching Google and having to pay on a PPC basis…how long until the rest of the marketers out there catch on?