StrikeIron, which offers a cache of Web services for businesses to consume, said on Sept. 12 that it has partnered with IBM to deliver Web services through QEDWiki, IBMs enterprise mashup software.
QEDWiki is a Web-based assembly tool used to create mashups, or applications that cull data from more than one source.
Some analysts have championed the software as a prime example of how Web 2.0 technologies will be used in the enterprise arena to help knowledge workers collaborate and improve productivity.
Read more here about QEDWiki and other Web 2.0 technologies from IBM.
Through the partnership, business users will be able to use QEDWiki as the front-end tool to dip into business services from StrikeIrons Web service marketplace, said Robin Griffin, vice president of marketing and business development for StrikeIron, based in Research Triangle Park, N.C.
To date, StrikeIron has published seven widgets for public use on Mashup Hub, IBMs alphaWorks content repository server and feed generator. Users will be able to drag and drop data from the widgets directly into QEDWiki to create mashups of various bits of information without data mapping and data manipulation, said Griffin.
The widgets include Dunn & Bradstreet Business Prospect, which provides data such as names and addresses of businesses to boost corporate sales efforts; Global SMS, which delivers programmatic communication to contacts via text messaging to their mobile phones; and MapQuest Mapping, which allows maps to be added to a Web site or application.
For example, an employee using a Salesforce.com CRM application in conjunction with the D&B Business Prospect widget to have the most up to date information about customers, could send a quick text message to a business partner to alert them to a business-related change using Global SMS, Griffin said.
"The employee could send that SMS on the fly without having to leave the applications," Griffin. "You could literally put those together within hours and not have to talk to IT. This framework and the whole idea behind Web 2.0 is to give people the opportunity to just create what they need when they need it and move on."
Also featured are Reverse Phone Residential Intel, which renders address information in conjunction with a residential phone number; Reverse Phone Business Intel, providing the same for businesses; Sales and Use Tax Rates, which provides tax data for shopping cart applications; and Address Verification, which saves companies shipping costs.
The value of enterprise mashups and wikis is hard to quantify, as few companies seem to be selling them. Instead, in the do-it-yourself fashion that seems to be the credo for those who embrace Web 2.0, large corporations are building their own wikis and mashups.
IBM is looking to change that with QEDWiki by trying to empower business users to build mashups without the help of the typical overworked IT staff.
Forrester Research analyst Rob Koplowitz said that in addition to IBM, which is using QEDWiki in house and through partners, several large companies are experimenting with wikis, mashups and social bookmarking technologies to help collaborate on projects and share information.
Such collaboration was the highlight of the Office 2.0 show in San Francisco last week, where several enterprise wiki vendors, including ThoughtFarmer, SocialText and Atlassian Software convened to demonstrate their wares as trustworthy alternatives to proprietary software.
Click here to read more about real-time collaboration.
For example, ThoughtFarmer CEO Chris McGrath told eWEEK at the show that despite the presence of SocialText and Atlassian in the enterprise wiki market, the biggest competition his company faces is from companies trying to build their own wikis for use among different departments.
But the space is still a long way from quantifying the value of wikis and mashups in the enterprise. Moreover, with so many companies building the technologies in house because they feel more secure doing so, it could be awhile before such technologies are massively marketed and monetized.
At the Gartner Web Innovations Summit beginning on Sept. 19 in Las Vegas, several Gartner analysts and Internet experts will convene to discuss how blogs, wikis, mashups and hosted software are changing the software market.
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