Home Depot Moves All Of Its Bricks And Mortar On The Web

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Event Summary

Allaire Corporation (Nasdaq: ALLR), announced that Home Depot (NYSE: HD) has chosen Allaire's JRun, a Java Servlet and JavaServer Pages (JSP) engine, to power its in-store information kiosks. Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer, has established JRun as a corporate standard for Web-based development projects.

JRun supports Sun Microsystems' JavaServer Pages (JSP) 1.0 specification and provides an environment to build and deliver Java Servlets and JSP applications on a variety of operating systems using all the major Java Virtual Machines and Web servers. By standardizing on JRun, Home Depot can take advantage of the technology to build Web applications for everything from the in-store kiosks to corporate intranets to e-commerce sites.

Market Impact

If you've ever spent an hour wandering around inside a Home Depot, you'll applaud the arrival of kiosks. Furthermore, this announcement represents two significant issues. The first, is the world's largest home improvement retailer has selected Java based technology as a standard. As the technology evolves it is worth noting who adopts it and how quickly.

Second; Home Depot plans to integrate the technology to directly benefit the consumer. Home Depot is embracing technology which supports a customer self-service model. The inclusion of in-store kiosks is representative of a growing trend of retailers to blend web technology with traditional brick and mortar establishments.

Organizations such as Border's Book Stores and REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) have integrated web technology within their stores. Through the use of kiosks customers benefit as inventory levels, detailed product and related service information are available on command. If successful, this move by Home Depot will lead to increased sales and improved operational efficiencies.

User Recommendations

This announcement represents positive news for Allaire. The company has experienced net losses in each fiscal period since its inception. However, the Home Depot endorsement supports Allaire's focus on major account sales and marketing programs to increase brand awareness. It is important to note that the jury is still out in regard to the adoption rate of JSP technology. The specification was released last summer, and organizations are considering whether it applies to their needs. Perhaps Home Depot's endorsement signals the start of a trend. As Allaire's JRun engine evolves and a sizable library of Java objects is constructed, look for this company to capitalize on its knowledge base and client list.

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