Platform Architectures are the next change coming to Web applications, though plenty have existed up to now. Salesforce.com is a prime example of a pure platform architecture but Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Google all are Platforms as well (as described in Phil Simon’s book The Age of the Platform).
However, for the first post let’s talk about my favorite platform, and to me that’s the bicycle. What makes the bicycle a platform? You can change it to fit your current needs and desires, all its component parts are individually upgradeable, it uses a common set of standards for all these parts, and it is up to your will or imagination to make the most of it.
A bicycle allows you to do more than you could before you had the bicycle. You can now get from here to there faster. You can meet your friends and go for a ride. You can work on it in your spare time. But ultimately, you decide what works best for you, and when to use (or not use) the platform (bicycle). That’s the essence of the new breed of platform, the customer will decide whether or not it is useful to them.