Lightweight Programming Models and Cost-Effective Scalability

The final pattern, but certainly not my last blog on Web 2.0… But before we get all emotional lets focus on the task at hand… The final pattern I will be discussing is “Lightweight models and cost-effective scalability” which refers to services, not packaged software, with cost-effective scalability.

Innovation within Web 2.0 is developing so rapidly that it’s no surprise that with each passing year much more can be done for less. This is becoming a growing trend within the web development industry by companies utilizing light-weight models and cost effective scalability to design their services, but what does that mean exactly? And how can the everyday web developer capitalize on this?

In a world where the user’s requirements are always changing and the priority for developers to meet the high needs and expectations of consumers, it is vital that the applications and services have to be faster and updated without downtime. There are a number of successful cases through using the lightweight programming models such as RSS, Google Maps’ simple AJAX (JavaScript and XML) interface.

With considerable changes over the years in cost, reusability, process and strategy, it has become to be expected services should be “doing more with less”. Additionally to this, new services should assume a cost effective and scalable business and development model to allow themselves to be opened up for efficient and effective expansion. This concept has seen massive growth in recent years like never before seen in any industry. An exceptional example for this is just look at how many apps are now available in Apple’s iTunes Store, and then check it again in 6months, or perhaps even check how many new ones even appear by the time you go to sleep and wake up again!! And more importantly this scalability is cheap and effective.

Tim O’Reilly suggests that “Lightweight Programming Models” are the obvious way forward. The three significant lessons from this design pattern he recommends when implementing Web 2.0 services are;

  1. Support lightweight programming models that allow for loosely coupled systems.
  2. Think syndication, not coordination.
  3. Design for “hackability” and remixability.

A perfect example of Lightweight Programming Models and Cost-Effective Scalability is  Windows Live SkyDrive, which is a part of Microsoft’s Windows Lives’ suite of Web 2.0 offerings. Providing you with a free 25GB, Windows Live SkyDrive, although having some limitations (Individual files can be no bigger than 50MB each) allows you to store any type of file to a Private, Public, or Shared folder.

Utilizing your Windows Live SkyDrive credentials, no one except you can access Private folders; but also allowing anyone on the internet to view your Public folders, and invite others to see Shared folders. Being one of the largest companies on the planet, Microsoft utilizes this pattern extremely well, with a service that is easy to maintain, build upon easily and provide an excellent user friendly service to the consumer.

Competitors to Skydrive consist of Drop box and Cloud drive among others which do have their advantages and disadvantages over SkyDrive. However what really sets SkyDrive apart from the rest is the fact that it is already tied in with your own primary email at Live. However, it does fall short with some features offered by the aforementioned like allowing you to stream stored audio files and perform automated backups and lets you synchronize data between two computers.

In a nutshell, the philosophy behind developing for Web 2.0 by using “Lightweight Programming Models and Cost-Effective Scalability” is that “less is more”. Its objectives are simplicity and efficiency. By designing light, adaptable applications companies are able to respond quickly to market needs as in the world of Web 2.0 success depends on the overall user experience and satisfaction.


 Musser. John (nd) Web 2.0 Principles and Best Practices. Retrieved 11th May from,

 Oreilly. Tim (2007) What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software. Retrieved 11th May from,

 Microsoft (2012) Why Skydrive? Retrieved 11th May from,



Filed under Web 2.0

9 responses to “Lightweight Programming Models and Cost-Effective Scalability

  1. Skydrive sure would want to scale as user base increases. I think cloud storage will prove more useful as time goes on, especially as more powerful devices become mobile. Allowing all tasks to be done on the go. I like the idea of being able to access my own content from anywhere, with any device. Do you know if they plan to allow streaming content from your Skydrive account in the future?

    • There is an app called Cloud Music which is designed to make your 25 GB SkyDrive allocation a lot more useful.
      It works by searching your SkyDrive for uploaded music, allowing you to download or stream it and allow one to create playlists.

      The app is a great collection of great ideas, and the UI looks brilliant, but unfortunately the 1.0.0 version of the app is still very buggy and needs a lot of work, but hopefully in the future this will be resolved and will be a much more seamless process.

  2. I think, the lightweight model is the key aspect in this pattern. the lightweight model can make the application development team become can more effective fix bugs or change existing designing to match users’ requirement. for example, in the Perpetual Beta, using the lightweight model is a important practice. in addition, lightweight “allow for loosely coupled systems”. it can help develop team or third developer easy use API to create apps for other platforms and mushup with other apps. it increase the scalability of web application.
    in current cloud storage field, become of the nature feature of low cast and easy implement, google, dropbox and any other web hard disk services are all strong competitors of skyDrive. Good luck to skyDrive!

    • Cloud Computing is growing more and more popular as the years roll on. As mentioned Skydrive does have some major competitors in the form of DropBox, and Google Drive, They all provide similar functionality and have their strong and weak points!
      Google Drive is the best overall in terms of social integration, and ease of use. SkyDrive is the best overall in terms of storage space, and accessing files. DropBox is best when it comes to third party functionality. Its hard to say which is the better of the three. Honestly I’d probably say Dropbox, but they all have pros and cons, what do you think?

      • as a normal individual user, for me, the free space is totally enough. I think, Google, Microsoft, even Apple (they have iCloud), they spend too much spirit in promoting their other products. while, dropbox is more general. they provide the best user experience, which just like using normal PC space. therefore, i prefer Dropbox.
        if you free, plz come view my post. ty 🙂

  3. Hi Brett. It is good to hear of some of the lightweight models that are available today, they have been used in a lot of different sites that have developed well. The fact that skydrive offers a free 25gb is surely a recipe for success, I know that google drive offers a free 5gb and Dropbox only offer a free 2 gb. It looks to me that Microsoft have designed most aspects of their Skydrive well, I am eager to check it out now. Good post:)

    • In terms of free storage space, SkyDrive is definitely the better of the Cloud services out there! It provides you with a storage space of 7GB. And if you install their new app, Microsoft will give you an additional 25GB of free space absolutely free! Hence, essentially, you can get up to 33GB of storage for free with SkyDrive. DropBox offers a storage of only 2GB, which is kind of a let down, considering its other features. Google Drive stands on middle grounds, offering 5GB of free space.

  4. Hey Brett nice post again this week, ive not used skydrive but i have used dropbox for a few years now and i cant imagine how annoying organizing and backing up my documents across computers would be without it. Skydrive being similar to dropbox and in fact a direct competitor is an awesome example for this weeks topics.

    • I think everyone has cursed once or twice in their life when they have lost their USB, or left it at home!! Services like SkyDrive and Dropbox alleviate this stress from consumers by offering a lightweight and cost effective service.

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