The Skooppa Data Object
Although the concept of data objects isn’t really new, as it is an integral part of almost any modern software design, it is definitely new, when non-programmers can create and manipulate data objects on their own within any application.
Here is a good definition of a data object from IBM.
A data object is a logical cluster of all tables in the data set that have one or more columns containing data related to the same business entity. Data objects are not maps, but instead represent an object view of related tables. Grouping tables in this way allows Discovery to narrow the focus of analysis to only the tables that are known to be related.
Although the definition of a data object can vary between its uses in different programming paradigms, this definition is closest to how Skooppa’s Data Objects (SDO’s) will be modeled and used.
Why is the SDO going to be unique or special for anyone? Well, if you own an online community and aren’t a programmer and you don’t have a programmer to help you, then you are basically stuck in a box. If you need anything outside of your box, you need to program, find and add an add-on, plug-in or extension, or you need a programmer. That is why we relate any software bought and sold as a physical object (this even includes downloaded software) to be “boxed software“.
And, if you had followed that link, you’ll see something amazing is happening.
Boxed software is on its way OUT!
Now here is the problem and where the analogy we are looking at with Skooppa to boxed software can be found. The data model for almost all “boxed” applications you are probably using right now is predetermined for you. When you are boxed in like that, you end up with a real problem, as soon as you need to get more out of the box or even want to get more from outside the box. You end up looking for other good applications to get other jobs done, but end up with totally different “boxes” and as you mix and match these applications, each with their own “boxes”, what you end up with is usually a big software mess.
Now some online community applications try to be a platform after being an application. This is often ok in some instances. But yet still, you are working with systems built for the application first and not for the platform. You are victim to their prescribed methods and models, which aren’t really bad, as long as those methods are well thought out. Still the problem often remains, since the systems and methods are thought out for that particular application first, be it a forum or a blog application for instance, then you quickly run into the problem….they are only good for that kind of application and NOT for a platform.
So with Skooppa, we are turning this all around. We are making a system where the basic data object always forms the basis for any application and any site owner can always change any data objects to their liking, at any time. There is no boxing in.
The freedom to create
Because a site owner can manipulate the data object, she can also manipulate the relationships to other data objects too. These two possibilities alone open a whole new world of creativity.
The Skooppa Data Objects will generate new means for creativity and thinking, not only for the site owner, but also for third party application developers too.
Obviously this all sounds quite abstract without hard examples. But, just think about how you as a site owner contemplate every now and then, something like “Gee, I’d like to add this or that to my site to make it more special or unique.” With Skooppa Data Objects, you won’t need to program anything to get a lot of your ideas done.
This is not to say, however, that programming won’t be needed for some ideas. Quite the contrary. To be truly flexible and really open up new depths of creativity, there is no way around programming and Skooppa will allow that too, absolutely. This flexibility is imperative to us! Just remember though, the Skooppa data object allows you to actually get your hands onto the data model to manipulate and change it. It will be a game changer!