Real-time web browser apps

We believe we are seeing an emerging real-time economy, that is demanding real-time web applications. The best way to build these applications is a fairly proven concept of what is called Event Driven Architecture, and works fairly well in traditional server and client computer environments.

But due to the nature of the HTTP protocol, Javascript and HTML standard, creating a distributed Event Driven Architecture that is seamlessly integrated with a web-browser client-side has a number of challenges.

Recently we started building a generic solution to solve this, and come around some of the common problems that arise.


Right now in more than one application that we are building at this time, we have a need to provide a web-based user interface that is as responsive as a native app of events on the server-side. Many applications solve this with polling, but that has two major drawbacks:

  1. It’s not really real-time, as there is a polling intervall (lower intervalls will make this go away).
  2. It’s very wasteful on resources, both on the server side, networks and the client web browser, as the constant polling creates new requests and round-trips to the server even if there is no new events. Trying to mitigate no 1, will just increase the overhead.

So what can we do to get around this?

We started developing a Remote Messaging framework that consists of a Java back-end (running in our favourite web framework Play!), and a Javascript client framework, that allows Javascript code to subscribe to message (or event) queues in a real-time pub-sub model.

Early tests have worked very well for us, and is not dependent on HTML 5 WebSockets, here is a short example of how the code might look like on the client and server side.

Client-side code can pretty much do this:

RemoteMessagingFramework.subscribe( ‘tweet-xxxx’, function(msg) { … } );

On the server-side, a back-end job listening (and filtering) the Twitter real-time feed might do:

Message msg = new Message( payloadObject );

RemoteMessagingFramework.publish( “tweet-xxxx”, msg );

And that is it!

When the server publish a message, the client will receive and the provided event-handler function (in client-side Javascript) in the browser will be called to process the msg in real-time.

Status of the project

The framework is in it’s infancy and fairly basic, and still needs more testing, bug fixing, and work, but it looks promising, we are hoping to get this to a mature level to be included in our current projects, and the if we reach appropriate critical mass and stability we will do our best to open-source the framework. No promises yet though!

We will also look further into how we can build a HTML 5 agnostic solution, that falls-back to older browsers, but will use HTML 5 and Web Sockets if available. Other options that we might explore is integrating this to a Messaging Queuing back-end (JMS).

Thoughts, ideas? Would you be interested in the framework and use it for your applications? What typical applications would you be interested in building using this?

From the BootstrapWorks blog.

BootstrapLabs is now a Microsoft BizSpark Network partner

BootstrapLabs is a Microsoft BizSpark Network Partner, which gives our companies access to the full startup eco-system that Microsoft offers early-stage companies. Microsoft® BizSpark™ is a global program that helps fast-track the success of early stage technology startups with all the right resources, including software, support & marketing visibility.

Read more about BizSpark here and at their website!

Kiva founder share her story

This is a great video from founder Jessica Jackley, and it tells a great story about Entrepreneurship, both on her account and for the Entrepreneurs around the world that is helping every day.

Jessica Jackley is the co-founder of, an online community that helps individuals loan small amounts of money, called microloans, to entrepreneurs throughout the world. Full bio and more links

Funrock Media says Hallitse Maailmaa!

Today BootstrapLabs’ portfolio company Funrock Media launched its Finnish version of the browser based MMO game Rivality. The game is now localized to six languages and are targeting an English speaking audience (.com) along with Spanish (.net), Dutch (.nl), Norwegian (.no) and Swedish (.se) besides the Finnish version (.fi).

Rivality is a military strategy game and is always free to play, but premium features are charged for. Rivality is all about to Dominate the World! (Hallitse maailmaa!)

Funrock Media is an early-stage web browser MMO and social gaming company with its roots in Sweden and now present in the San Francisco Bay area, Europe and South Asia.

Yahoo to make a bid on Groupon?

It’s no secret in Silicon Valley dealmaking circles that Yahoo has been looking at what insiders have called a “transformative” acquisition to jumpstart the company.
And while many think that has to mean grabbing one of the big content companies–such as AOL (AOL) or Demand Media–right in Yahoo’s wheelhouse, rumours say they are looking at the commerce space and more specifically the Online to Offline commerce space.
The dominating player in the space, Groupon, is being eyed by Yahoo for a bid according to rumours. This would put Yahoo smack in the middle of the hot space around Online to Offline commerce.

As we see it, it would make perfect sense, the Online to Offline commerce space is the next major wave in online advertising, and the market is up for grabs, in what might turn out to be a trillion dollar market in the US alone.

This would be a very interesting turn, as it would put some pressure on the other players in the Internet space Google, Microsoft and even Facebook or Twitter to look at M&A in the Online to Offline commerce space. launches new jobs website, an online community being run by our portfolio company CommunityHeaven, today launched their new Jobs website.

Check it out here:

Launching BootstrapWorks!

We are very happy to announce that today BootstrapWorks is being launched.

BootstrapWorks is a technology and software development lab, that offer world-class software development resources to BootstrapLabs and it’s companies and to some external clients outside the group. BootstrapWorks is part of the BootstrapLabs group.

BootstrapWorks has primary focus in mobile solutions and in building back-end scalable solutions that power millions and millions of daily users.  Read some more about BootstrapWorks on our website, where we will add more information and blog posts as we go on the different projects we are working on. We are heavy on building production level code that can be iteratively refined during the life-cycle of a product or solution. We work mostly and prefer Java and frameworks and technologies such as the Play Framework and scalable databases such as SimpleDB or Apache Cassandra, but we have experience in Python/PHP, Objective-C and use those technologies were applicable.

If you are building a web-scale business and need help building that back-end system, don’t hesitate to contact us!

From the BootstrapWorks blog.

Watch TED head Chris Anderson’s prezi

Fresh from the Prezi blog:

Chris Anderson does not speak often at TED events. He is the curator of the world famous conference, where top brains share their ideas worth spreading in the topics of technology, entertainment and design. This year, Chris spoke at TEDGlobal in Oxford. In his closing speech, he talked about how online videos change the way we interact, learn, think and consume in this increasingly shrinking world we live in.

“Chris Anderson shows how Prezi can be used effectively in a linear talk like this which has the feeling of a story and a journey. But what really made this talk good was Anderson’s idea and the simple organization of the idea around a metaphor,” says presentation guru Garr Reynolds in his related blogpost. Like other experts, Garr puts the emphasis on the importance of the speaker’s qualities and ideas, while he says Prezi has the potential if it is used well.

Read more…

Two books about Prezi have been published

Fresh from the Prezi blog:

Two new resources on how to use Prezi are out now!
Prezi for Dummies (English) explains how to think outside the traditional slide, create your project, and publish your presentation. Presenteren met Prezi (Dutch) discusses how to create better presentations using Prezi’s limitless space.

The Dutch book release was announced at Prezivent in Utrecht, organized by the book’s author Hedwyg van Groenendaal. Prezi founder and lead designer Adam was there talking about how to create better presentations with Prezi and introducing Prezi Meeting to the Dutch community. Check Hedwyg’s blog for some cool Prezivent videos!

Read more…