Best Practices for Mashups

By Stan Gibson  |  Posted 2009-04-13 Print this article Print


Best mashup practices

Airtight security is essential for any enterprise mashup system, particularly one used by the military. Not only must the data being correlated be accurate and free from tampering, but access to the critical decision-enabling information must be strictly limited to those military officers with a need to know.

DISA runs two Presto Enterprise Mashup Servers at its DECC (Defense Enterprise Computing Center) in Columbus, Ohio. One is accessible via the military's SIPRNET (Secret Internet Protocol Router Network). To access the servers, users must authenticate themselves via the DOD PKI (public-key infrastructure). The other server is connected to NIPRNET (Nonsecure Internet Protocol Router Network), which carries sensitive but unclassified information. DISA is building a mirrored implementation at a second DECC to provide redundancy.

One of the key benefits of mashup technology is that is simple and intuitive enough for users to create unique data juxtapositions without much handholding. Even so, the DOD offers supplemental training in advanced mashup methods to personnel who require it.

Although a particular mashup may be useful to the person who created it, an enterprise stands to benefit when users share mashups with others who may have the need for similar information. Otherwise, users operating in isolation must reinvent the wheel by coming up with their own mashups individually.

DISA seeks to avoid this pitfall by relying on its enterprise collaboration tools to enable its users to show one another what they have created. Mashups created on the Presto Enterprise Mashup Server are available to all authenticated users, according to Mihelcic. The DOD uses commercially managed hosted collaboration services provided by IBM as well as Carahsoft Technology, an integrator of Adobe Acrobat Connect and Jabber presence and messaging software. The collaboration tools enable commanders to participate in classified real-time chat among themselves across SIPRNET and in unclassified discussions across NIPRNET.

Stan Gibson is Executive Editor of eWEEK. In addition to taking part in Ziff Davis eSeminars and taking charge of special editorial projects, his columns and editorials appear regularly in both the print and online editions of eWEEK. He is chairman of eWEEK's Editorial Board, which received the 1999 Jesse H. Neal Award of the American Business Press. In ten years at eWEEK, Gibson has served eWEEK (formerly PC Week) as Executive Editor/eBiz Strategies, Deputy News Editor, Networking Editor, Assignment Editor and Department Editor. His Webcast program, 'Take Down,' appeared on He has appeared on many radio and television programs including TechTV, CNBC, PBS, WBZ-Boston, WEVD New York and New England Cable News. Gibson has appeared as keynoter at many conferences, including CAMP Expo, Society for Information Management, and the Technology Managers Forum. A 19-year veteran covering information technology, he was previously News Editor at Communications Week and was Software Editor and Systems Editor at Computerworld.

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