I've been impressed and intrigued by Adesso Systems' potential for maybe a couple of years now. They are so reminsiscent of the best of Lotus Notes ... but based on a relational data store and focused on the application model and infrastructure.
The team includes smart guys from Thinking Bytes and a number of Lotus Alumini, including CTO John Landry, VP Technology Phil Stanhope, Chief Designer Amando Neves, VP Product Management and Development Scott Durgin, and another great Product Manager from Notes and Sametime days, Vin Colella.
Adesso's application platform is based on the premise that storage and processing power have grown faster and cheaper than bandwidth -- and that will continue to be the case. In other words, we can carry all the data we want, and all the processing power we need, all of the time, but we won't always have connectivity to reach or send data.
We've developed application-unique solutions to this problem (like downloading and uploading email) but few have come close to offering a broadly adopted platform solution. Groove and Lotus Notes each goes some wy to addresing the problem, but Groove focused on finished applications (rather than the platform) and IBM has not adopted Notes as a long term strategic application platform (see the post and discussion on that here).
So what's the right application platform for when you want to have your data all the time -- even when you aren't connected to the network? Well, it's some sort of continual and opportunistic replication. Whenever you have connectivity, data moves from your local PC or device to your server, and vice versa. When you are disconnected, you likely have all the data you need, and you can work on what you have.
Combine this underlying replication model with a rich set of ways to view, create and protect data (not dissimilar to the tables, forms and views model you see in Notes, or even Access) and a rich set of semantics for data access rights (John can see this, but Cliff can see this and change it), and you have a powerful and highly approachable way to build distributed business applications.
Add support for a variety of devices (PCs, tablets, PDAs, Smart Phones and so on) and you have the ideal application platform for the mobile data force.
Well, I'm a fan, of course, but check Adesso out for yourself. If you'll be at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles next week, Phil Stanhope of Adesso will be demoing Adesso technology built on top of Avalon and WinFS. Here's a brief description: