Mashups for the Enterprise

Loraine Lawson

The term "mashups" tends to bring to mind some bits of code cobbled together to do something mildly interesting on a MySpace or Facebook page. I'm starting to see some business references, but by and large, the focus is on the business potential of mashups.


That's changing, as two articles published this week show.


The first example came from the Enterprise 2.0 conference held in Boston this week. Microsoft and IBM both were a strong presence at the conference, suggesting they're planning to slug it out for the top spot in the Enterprise 2.0 space, according to TechWorld's coverage of the event. The article outlines the various Web 2.0 offerings unveiled by both companies.


Most of the new offerings centered on social networking capabilities, which is an interesting read in and of itself. But IBM's Info 2.0 includes mashup capabilities for enterprise data.


The article includes an interesting observation from Yankee Group analyst Josh Holbrook that at this point, Enterprise 2.0 technologies are being used at the business-unit level, but not adopted corporate-wide. This could be because until recently, the technology has been available from point-solutions, not in suites.


eBizQ also ran a column about a recent panel discussion on enterprise mashups. The group included representatives from BEA, IBM, ShareMethods and Near-Time.


The column discusses mashups presented by each panelist. One item that caught my attention was David Coleman's definition of an integration project versus a mashup. David Coleman is with Collaborative Strategies and organized the panel discussion.


According to Coleman, a mashup is something that can be built in less than a day. Anything longer is, by default, an integration project.


That struck me as a bit of a convenient distinction, sort of like saying if it works, it's my idea; if it doesn't, it's yours.

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