Serena, IBM Zero In on Enterprise 2.0

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2008-06-09 Print this article Print

Serena calls it rich interface mashups that let non-coders drag and drop widgets, as consumer data and social graphs find a home at work.

Serena software plans to announce a new version of its Serena Mashup Composer at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston on June 10.

The new Serena Mashup Composer not only will enable developers, IT departments and power users to build situational applications or business mashups, the new version introduces the notion of RIMs (rich interface mashups) where non-coders can drag and drop widgets to build applications. And Serena also will include some widgets with the release, said Tim Zonca, director of product marketing at Serena.

Serena is capitalizing on the increasing popularity of mashups an increasingly popular way for enterprises to deliver applications. Indeed, Forrester Research projects that the enterprise mashup market will reach nearly $700 million by 2013. Meanwhile, in a more aggressive projection, Gartner predicts that up to 80 percent of applications will be created via mashups by 2010, Zonca said.

Zonca said business users are looking to blend more consumer information and widgets into their workplace mashups.  Thus the new version of Serena Mashup Composer that lets users drag and drop widgets, RSS feeds, Flash components and more into their  business mashups. The resulting RIMs show that consumer data and social graphs are finally finding their niche in the workplace, Zonca said.

For instance, a sales rep preparing for a meeting with a new customer might start with the customer's record in, and have the mashup fetch related information like a photo and details from the customer's Linked In or Facebook profile, external news feeds showing the company's latest stock price, credit report information from a Dunn & Bradstreet Web service, and widgets showing local weather and traffic in the customer's location. And the mashup can be reused for other meetings.

"Consumer data, widgets, social graphs and mashups have finally found a legitimate purpose in the enterprise," said Rene Bonvanie, senior vice president, Global Marketing, Partnerships and Online Services, Serena Software. "With Serena Mashup Composer, any data from any source - whether it has SOA hooks or not - is now mashable. We're entering a brave new work world where individuals are empowered to create new business applications that work for them, that make their lives easier."

A Business Context for 'Cool Technologies'

Serena Mashup Composer will consume and mix any kind of widget or RIA (rich Internet application), including: Adobe Flash, Amazon Search, Flickr, Microsoft Silverlight, RSS feeds, YouTube, any of the 30,000 Google Gadgets  -- such as calendars and maps  -- and more , Zonca said. These can be mashed with business processes and data from internal applications -- such as, Siebel, Oracle and more -- and any Web-based services to create RIMs that can be delivered on demand with a single click, Serena officials said.

"The Serena Mashup Composer has enabled our customers to build out business mashups, and the people building mashups are these Web 2.0 savvy, tech-savvy people like business analysts that are used to the cool technologies out there," Zonca said. However, the new version extends that mashup capability to enable users to make more useful presentation of social networks in a business context, he said.

This also is part of the next revision of Serena's overall business mashup strategy where the company turns on its on-demand, software-as-a-service capability, Serena officials said.

Zonca said the latest version of Serena Mashup Composer, with services and support, will be available free of charge as part of Serena's on-demand release in the third quarter of 2008.

Serena listed Monsanto and Financial Engines as two key customers using its business mashup technology.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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