Brendan Coveney is a funny man. He’s also head of Americas and Asia/Pacific for Nuxeo.  At last year’s Nuxeo World he gave an entertaining and insightful – seems the two can go together – analysis of content optimization. This year at NuxeoWorld he took on the no less stimulating top of the Power of the Platform for building apps, nudist beaches, and the features a great platform should have.

Application v Platform v Nude Beaches

OK, you’re probably scratching you head over the nudist beach remark, but it did provide a fairly visual image of what Coveney was getting at. Beautiful platforms, he says, are hard to find, just like beautiful people are hard to find on a nudist beach. When you strip them bare all the bragging gets left aside and you are left with -- the bare essentials.

Personally speaking, it is probably easier to find a beautiful platform than it is a naked person when everything is exposed, and during his 40 minute discourse on platforms and their relevancy to businesses he made some notable points that business users should probably keep in mind.

What, you might ask, has this got to do with Nuxeo? Well, clearly Coveney believes that Nuxeo is one of the few beautiful platforms on the market at the moment, and it is from this starting point that he beings.

The Advantage of the Platform Approach

There is a lot of media coverage and press plaudits for vendors that claim to be developing, or building a new release of a vX of their platform. However, in many of these cases what they are really talking about is an application, and not a platform.

For non-technical users this may sound like hair-splitting, but there is a very distinct difference that impinges quite dramatically on the functionality of the software you may be investing in.

Many vendors argue that because they have an API they must be a platform. Coveney knocked that one on the head right from the beginning. If the would-be platform’s API can’t build an application then it’s not a platform, it’s an application with an API, he says.

By extension, this is a key element for enterprises that are looking at investing in IT. Enterprises that are looking to build their own applications need to be sure that what they are investing in can actually build the necessary applications.

So what does Coveney understand to be a platform? For this he turns to Gartner, which has, on many occasions outlined what its understanding of a platform is.