Early in the dot com boom era, a lot of companies implemented the popular portals. Those portals allowed us to "integrate" multiple applications together into a single screen. I write "integrate" between quotes, because there was nothing really integrated, it was just that the set of applications were displayed in the same screen. The reason for the low level of integration was not because of lack of need, or lack of will. It was primarily because the applications at the time were written to produce data mixed with the rendering information, loosing all the semantics of the "data" that was being produced as a result of a request from the clients.
With the services and technologies that are available today I see a completely different future.
The ability to create a Rich Client user interface, with most of the benefits that a Thin Client offer, is an amazing technological resource. Think about it for a second. You can create a Rich Client application, that has zero maintenance cost. It is downloaded from the web, it runs on your client machine, and when there is a newer version, it downloads automatically an update (auto-update). For those of you that haven