Meet Your Mashup Maker
Determined to push the envelope in Web 2.0, IBM has fashioned a fresh mashup platform it hopes will help business users pull data feeds from multiple sources and drop them into one application.
IBM Mashup Starter Kit, available Oct. 9 for download on IBMs alphaWorks site, includes Mashup Hub, a mashup server that serves as a sort of backend data repository, storing information feeds in RSS, ATOM or XML formats.
Users tap into the Mashup Hub feeds with the QEDWiki mashup assembly tool, which essentially serves as the user interface and lets users combine information from databases, departments, or the Web into one efficient application, David Boloker, CTO of Emerging Internet Technologies at IBM, told eWEEK.
Boloker said the Mashup Starter Kit is designed to empower users who arent technically savvy, allowing them to gain the intelligence offered from multiple pieces of software with a single, situational application.
Read more here about enterprise mashups going mainstream.
Mashups momentum burbled up from the consumer space, with programmers overlaying Google Maps or other mapping applications over other bits of information, such as housing values or brick-and-mortar store locations.
But as with most consumer technologies, high-tech vendors have been looking at ways to splice various bits of business-class information to create better user experiences for enterprise end users.
For example, Boloker said the Environmental Protection Agency has used QEDWiki to create an Avian Influenza Outbreak Analyzer application, which mixes data from the EPA, AccuWeather and eBird Web sites to determine the path of birds infected with Avian flu.
A member of the Emergency Management Center at the EPA could enter the zip code of where a case of Avian Flu was recently reported. The mashup will then gather weather data from AccuWeather to help forecast wind speeds and bird migrations to predict where potentially infected birds may next migrate to determine risk associated with surrounding areas.
IBM likes enterprise mashups because it provides the Armonk, N.Y. company with another weapon in its Web 2.0 arsenal, which IBM is using to support its broad information on demand strategy for helping companies wrangle the most out of their voluminous data stores.
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IBM isnt the only vendor looking to butter its business bread with mashups. StrikeIron is using QEDWiki to deliver Web services to customers. XIgnite, JackBe and several other startups are also working on mashups.
The Mashup Starter Kit is free, giving business users and developers a chance to test the software and let IBM know how they like it. Armed with that information, IBM will pump out the first commercial version of the product in the first quarter of 2008, Boloker said.
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