Enterprise jQuery Manifesto

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Enterprise jQuery Manifesto

EnterprisejQuery.com is run by appendTo.

appendTo launched in October of 2009 with Mike Hostetler and myself having the vision of providing enterprise grade services for jQuery. Both of us have a long history of experience in the large enterprise as well as startups. We’ve worked in the trenches and have seen first hand the challenges that organizations face.

appendTo has a diverse set of enterprise experience with the 7 additional employees we’ve hired: Levi DeHaan, Scott González, Elijah Manor, Doug Neiner, Andrew Powell, Leah Silber, and Andrew Wirick. Of which we’ve worked at, contracted for, and consulted with several large organizations such as: AOL, Apple, Blue Cross Blue Shield (NE), BMW, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Chrysler, CSC (Computer Sciences Corporation), Ford, GM, Guardian Life, IBM, Microsoft, Motorola, National Instruments, National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), Union Pacific Railroad, Xcel Energy, and Zurich International.

Every organization is different, but core themes naturally emerge. In July of this year, appendTo launched EnterprisejQuery.com to cater to this audience and it has sparked a debate about “what is the enterprise” and “does jQuery fit in the enterprise”.

What is the Enterprise?

So far, there have been a number of definitions of “what the enterprise is” and while they make a good attempt, they’re too focused. The point missing from the discussion thus far is that the enterprise is comprehensive and cross discipline. It’s not solely large applications or large teams, it’s any company that is using it’s resources (people, time and money) to build applications and tools for the desktop, web and/or mobile platforms.

The intended audiences of these applications vary drastically between companies with some corporations developing almost exclusively for an internal audience. These organizations traditionally have multiple stakeholders and development decisions encompass varying agendas and goals. This is why EnterprisejQuery.com covers and will continue to cover basic and advanced jQuery techniques.

Does jQuery have a place in the Enterprise?

A little more background first. jQuery has seen adoption in the enterprise since its first release. Initially it was a grassroots movement with developers adopting jQuery because it solved their problems. It’s important to point out that these problems were (and continue to be) integration focused. Enterprise already had (and has) existing tools and architectures in place. Then starting in 2008, the next change took place in which the jQuery movement shifted from grassroots to corporate policy. jQuery gained critical mass to the point in which management became aware of the need to standardize, as many did and did so with jQuery.

So what about some of the technical challenges presented such as code organization, best practices, and large scale projects? jQuery fits in the enterprise stack well, even in large applications, in that it does not preclude finding the right solutions to these problems. jQuery fits the needs for all of these because it integrates as you see fit. One question was raised as to why you need jQuery with additional components to integrate and saw it as a weakness, making an argument that jQuery should provide the entire “stack”.

It’s a fundamental philosophical difference in that jQuery is focused on doing the best at a core competency. Just like in a *nix environment you can take a series of discrete tools and chain them together via pipes. It integrates however your environment is established. If a library requires too many changes to adopt, it becomes a greater risk than a help to the enterprise. Our vision is to build and endorse tools that are loosely coupled and can be integrated into an existing enterprise solution.

So where is jQuery and the Enterprise at today? jQuery is deeply embedded in projects, applications and the culture of the enterprise. It fills a need and solves the problems that developers face in a non-overbearing way. It provides a consistent goal and approach in leading an organization’s development strategy. It does just enough, and leaves the rest up to the developer.

What to expect from EnterprisejQuery.com

EnterprisejQuery.com seeks to cover enterprise topics comprehensively. Though not all enterprise users have large front-end application concerns, we intend to address those topics. Many have more basic concerns and we mean to address those as well. This is why some posts you’ll walk away saying “I knew that!” and others you’ll have to read multiple times. As the amount of site content grows, we will make it easier for you to discern as an enterprise user which material suits your current needs.

So in summary, jQuery is in the enterprise, it has been and will continue making an impact. Enterprises differ greatly, and cover a wide spectrum of disciplines. We will be addressing this space comprehensively. Is there a topic your facing that you’d like to see covered? Drop us an e-mail at enterprise-jquery@appendto.com.