Iceberg wants to bring that same democratization to programming. In fact, that's their vision for Web 3.0 - the web where everyone is a programmer.There was a time when only technically-savvy people knew how to create content and publish it to the internet, but the rise of easy-to-use blogging and CMS systems changed that. Today, everyone can be a publisher. Now,
We covered Iceberg last year, when it was still in private beta. Back then, co-founder Wayne Byrne was declaring "war on software," and today, he continues that battle. With Iceberg, any user can create a web application using its simple, DIY tools. And to make sure everyone has a chance to learn how to do so, Iceberg is made available for free. The free version supports up to 5 users, but once you go beyond that, each additional user is $200/each. For non-profits and educational institutions, though, the software remains free. There's even a high school in the U.K. where the teens are being taught to program using Iceberg instead of code.
Learning Iceberg is relatively easy - Byrne says "20 minutes and you can be a programmer" - I'd argue it's a bit more than that if you haven't ever been exposed to any programming concepts, but it's far from impossible. To get you started, there's a vast and well-documented training section available from Iceberg's web site, which includes free sample applications, step-by-step guides, screenshots, diagrams, videos, and more.
Build an App in 3 Minutes
As far as what you can build with Iceberg, it's really up to you. Although the focus is on business applications, like CRM or PM tools, you can interface with anything that offers up a web service. For enterprise environments, instead of using Iceberg as a service, I.T. departments can download and use Iceberg offline, behind the firewall, to work with their in-house servers, like Windows SQL server for example.
For companies making an investment in using Iceberg, the team will even go a step further than just providing the service, but will also work with the business to help them with the process of building and customizing their apps. Several of the companies out of the 2000 or so downloads Iceberg has had to date have had this type of assistance, including companies that have moved from Zoho's CRM to their own personalized version.
Today, Iceberg is revving up to a new version: Iceberg 2.1. In this latest iteration, there are new features like a getting started wizard that makes creating applications as simple as answering simple questions about their business needs. They've also added a bug tracker, a more flexible interface, and a new embed feature that lets you "mashup" snippets from any web site or widget right into your form or application.
Google Maps Mashed Up in Form
They've also introduced what they're calling their first "killer app," a project management application for any design/development agency. With this app, users can manage projects, get intelligent estimates based on history, interact with clients, view charts, and more. Unlike with Basecamp, for example, emails are built into the system, you can automatically track and refer to all the communication about the project with ease.
Email functionality in Iceberg's PM App
If you've already written off Iceberg as just another business/enterprise app and therefore not for you, then you're missing the bigger picture. Of course, Iceberg is offering tools for business - that's where the money is - but it's also offering tools for the everyman/novice programmer. Want to build the next great Twitter app? You can use Iceberg for that...but you can also use it to build the next Twitter, too.
If you want to try Iceberg today, you can download it from this link here for a special deal. The download includes 5 licenses, but if you choose to tell your friends about Iceberg, then you can get access to 2 more free licenses, as will your friends.