For me, one of the most exciting developments on the web in recent years has been the growth in services that let you manage raw data. Many of the most useful such services originate when some web-based application–such as Google calendars or spreadsheets–exposes the underlying data. For example, with Google Spreadsheets, it’s possible to use ATOM to query spreadsheets for certain values, or add rows and columns, making this a very powerful way of storing data ‘in the cloud’. (See Web 2.0, Copernicus and Spartacus: Moving the centre of the web.)
We’re building quite a few XForms applications that make full use of this power, and it’s something I’ll be talking about at XTech 2007, in my session XForms, REST, XQuery…and skimming. Since the approach we use could work on any XForms processor, talking to any ATOM-based server, we’ve decided to create an open source project to host the forms, and document their use. If this is an area of interest to you, check out the GData XForms client project on Google Code, and its discussion forum.