Fulfilling the Promise of Web 2.0

Michael Vizard

The way people want to interact with applications is fundamentally changing. It used to be that when presented with an application, people confined their activities within the borders of that application. Increasingly, however, more and more people are getting comfortable with the idea of mashing data from different applications together to create a composite application. The only real problem they encounter is when the data they are trying to access resides in an application or Web service that has a limited application programming interface (API) or, more often than not, no API at all.

The folks at Kapow Software, however, don't think users should have to put up with that. The company has developed a lightweight Katalyst application integration platform that allows users to, for example, integrate the Google+ service with the Chatter social networking software that resides on Salesforce.com.

According to Kapow CTO Stefan Andreasen, people are demanding the freedom to integrate information at will regardless of the application it resides. The problem that has plagued IT departments in terms of making that happen is that every other integration platform requires a dedicated set of connectors for each application, which have to be upgraded every time there is a new release of an application. Katalyst, in contrast, dynamically creates an API each time a user invokes an application, which he says, from an IT perspective, makes the whole process happen without requiring dedicated IT intervention.

It's taken probably longer than anyone initially expected, but the promise of Web 2.0 applications is finally being fulfilled, albeit inconsistently. What Kapow is trying to bring to the table is a level of API consistency that makes application integration truly transparent.

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