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Build an interactive web site without coding

Yannis Papakonstantinou (left), a CSE professor who is on leave to launch app2you —an application that lets users create database-driven Web sites without doing any programming, sits with app2you team members (second left to right) Gaurav Bhatia, Kian Win Ong and Keith Kowalczykowski, who are all current or former Jacobs School students.
Yannis Papakonstantinou (left), a CSE professor who is on leave to launch app2you —an application that lets users create database-driven Web sites without doing any programming, sits with app2you team members (second left to right) Gaurav Bhatia, Kian Win Ong and Keith Kowalczykowski, who are all current or former Jacobs School students.

Non-programmers rejoice! In just a few minutes, you can whip up a customized interactive Web application without touching a line of code or a database, thanks to a new Web 2.0 service spinning out of UCSD's Web & Databases lab.

"We envision that small businesses can take control of company hiring, sales lead tracking, event planning and more—all without paying for a programmer or database and application servers," says Yannis Papakonstantinou, the Jacobs School computer science professor who is now launching the beta version of his patented app2you software system.

A variety of UCSD student groups are already involved in the beta testing, including an intramural indoor soccer league that is using the new system to register teams electronically, schedule matches, post scores and build Web pages for teams and individual players.

App2you builds database-driven Web applications based on user provided sketches that describe the page structure and the flow of information in the Web application in simple, non-technical terms. Sophisticated algorithms automatically determine the back-end database design and the interaction of the database with the pages. Users own the live Web applications generated from sketches, and the applications are hosted by app2you.

Boosted by seed funding from the Jacobs School's von Liebig Center, the cooperation of TechTIPS and the hardworking app2you team, Papakonstantinou (who is a second-time technology entrepreneur) has turned the app2you project into a start-up enterprise.

"App2you saves you from coding, database design and the hassle of installing and maintaining databases and application servers," said CSE graduate student and app2you team member Kian Win Ong.

"Database design is an abstract activity that is hard to learn. app2you takes it out of the picture," said Papakonstantinou, whose team also includes CSE alumni Gaurav Bhatia, Keith Kowalczykowski and Michalis Petropoulos. The San Diego Supercomputer Center 's Data Intensive Computing thrust unit is also collaborating.