IBM Mashup Center Debut

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


IBM Mashup Center will be hosted as a free trial on the Web, IBM announced June 5, so that non-technical business people can experiment and build customized mashups following the success of early corporate adopters Boeing and Carrefour Group.

IBM officials said the IBM Mashup Center will be available to users by "mid-year" or in a matter of weeks from the June 5 announcement. The IBM Mashup Center will allow business people to create mashups by remixing information from anywhere, such as Web sites and feeds, spreadsheets, databases, applications, unstructured text from an e-mail, video, audio and other information on the Web.

IBM will offer customers the opportunity to experiment with IBM Mashup Center and gain hands-on experience for free through IBM Lotus Greenhouse, the company said. Lotus Greenhouse is a Web site where anyone can register and try out IBM Mashup Center, and many other collaborative products, such as IBM Lotus Connections, Lotus Quickr, Lotus Sametime and WebSphere Portal. IBM Mashup Center will be hosted on Greenhouse, giving customers a safe environment to try the technology and evaluate mashup potential without installing anything in their own environment.

The hosted version of IBM Mashup Center will include widgets from IBM and a growing network of IBM Mashup Center Business Partners, like StrikeIron and Kapow Technologies, IBM officials said.

Stefan Andreasen, founder and chief technology officer of Kapow Technologies, said, "We are just beginning to realize the efficiencies and new competitive advantages that are possible when IT organizations put mashups in the hands of knowledge workers. IBM has done more than any other major software company to provide enterprises with knowledge and easy-to-use mashup tools to help them confidently and methodically leverage this new technology class."

Web 2.0 for Enterprise 'Heavy Lifting'

Moreover, for enterprises to transform information into consumable or "mashable" assets, they need both the application development tools and the access to Web, personal and departmental information. Kapow Technologies provides access to Web data, no matter where it is located, then extracts and transforms it via a Web service or feed which can be used by IBM Mashup Center to power new situational applications for the enterprise.

"As an established innovator, Boeing believes in the power of Web 2.0 and embraces it not only for collaborative work, but also for the heavy lifting of enterprise planning and execution," said Paul Comitz, program manager, NEO (Network-Enabled Operations) Demonstration, Boeing.

IBM Mashup Center also provides capabilities for managing information feeds from enterprise sources, IBM officials said. Information from a wide variety of sources can be mixed, filtered and mashed together to create new information sources and output in many different forms, such as RSS or Atom.

Moreover, with the ability to merge, transform, filter, annotate or publish information in new formats, IBM Mashup Center helps create a single view of disparate sets of information in a reusable manner. Feeds are an easy way to service-enable systems that do not natively provide RESTful (Representational State Transfer) interfaces, and thus provide an on-ramp for SOA (service oriented architecture), IBM officials said.

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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