After the tremendous build-up and response to Adobe's Apollo platform, which aims to integrate desktop apps with the Web, we must also remember there are other products trying for the same thing. Dekoh is one such competitor and, like Adobe's Apollo, it is in the business of bringing the browser to the desktop.

Launched in private beta at the end of February, Dekoh is a cross-platform development framework for deploying Java, Flash, and Ajax applications. Dekoh itself was built using Java. The public alpha launch of Dekoh is April 15th at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco.

While Apollo has the benefit of huge financial backing and pre-existing developer support, Dekoh is aiming to attract developers by providing more features. Which actually makes it hard to describe what Dekoh is in a sentence. When Ryan Stewart covered the private beta release of Dekoh, he implied it was like the WebOS products that we've profiled before on R/WW. Anyway here's a table showing the main differences between Dekoh and Apollo (courtesy of the Dekoh blog):

A full (and very technical) explanation of the differences, at least according to Dekoh, is on their blog

Dekoh: Open Source and has Social Networking features

Possibly the main point of difference is that Dekoh offers an open source license - unlike the proprietary license of Apollo. This is because Dekoh aims to create a community around their platform and, because they don't have the resources or developer mind share of Adobe, Dekoh has to approach this differently. What they've done is offer social networking aspects to its developer community. As a Dekoh user you can invite other developers in, create profile pages and share photos. There are also "web 2.0 features" like sharing, tagging and commenting. This may hint at a new trend, of deploying an open source development community around a social networking platform. If properly executed, this could be enticing and empowering for the developer community. 


An example of a Dekoh app, a music app

Google Calendar Integration

In speaking with the co-founder of Dekoh, Vijay Pullur, he informed me that for the alpha they will show at Web 2.0 Expo in April, will include a Google Calendar offline integration. This product will allow users to synch events from the desktop with Google calendar. Therefore, you can add events on the go and have them automatically synched when you are online. It will be part of Dekoh's range of applications that can be, with one click, installed on the desktop portal. 

Another interesting feature of this app is the ability to record a personal alert that will play from the system tray icon, by showing a bubble with the event description. This is extremely interesting because of the ability to use devices and the online/offline possibilities we are likely to see in the near future.

Conclusion

Overall, the main challenge that both Adobe and Dekoh face is to create a value proposition for the developer community, in order to attract developers onto their platform - and build a wide array of applications for end-users.

We're interested in the thoughts of R/WW's more technical readers, on Dekoh - how does it compare to Apollo in your eyes?