Businesses Primed for the Mashup Mosh Pit

Web 2.0 components Ajax and mashups were among the key players of dozens assessed in Gartner’s annual report identifying
emerging technologies and their impact on businesses over the next
decade. According to the report, mashups are nearing the hype cycle
peak and “provides incremental improvements to established processes
that will result in increased revenue or cost savings for an
enterprise.”

The mashup term, derived from the pop music scene to describe the
result of combining music from one song with the vocal from another
(think Christina Aguilera and the Strokes hit mashup “A Stroke of Genius”)
has extended its name to the Web. Instead of a combination of songs; a
mashup also describes a Web site or Web application that combines
content from one or more sources (think Craigslist + GoogleMaps = HousingMaps.com).

 HousingMaps took Craigslist’s real estate ad content combined with GoogleMaps’ API to
create a visual representation of CL’s text listings on a map, helping
others better discern where exactly a listing is located.

There is far more to mashups than just maps, but the majority of
mashup activity has been predominant in the consumer space; meaning
they’re public and often created as a proof of concept rather than a
business (think Google Maps + celebrity web data = Celebrity Maps).
Very fun (and popular),
but not exactly useful unless you’re in the paparazzi business. In
recent months companies have begun evaluating whether or not there is a
business in mashups. A new term has come into the IT vernacular –
“Enterprise Mashup,” which essentially means a simpler, more
cost-effective way of integrating applications (think expense
reporting, tracking payments and invoices, sales force collaboration,
etc).

The Gartner report is on the right track – there is a rising
corporate appetite for faster and more effective ways of building
applications. Much like the way blogs have transformed the idea of each
person having a voice on the web, mashups are revolutionizing web
development. They are everything enterprise integration is not –
they’re cheap, far easier to create, more maintainable. In addition,
they don’t require the technical skill sets; so theoretically the
non-tech user can perform the complex task of building applications.
This will potentially foster a new wave of innovation as the barrier to
developing applications is dropped.

Last week, Salesforce.com, the high-profile seller of on-demand CRM
solutions combined their customer management program with Google’s
powerful online advertising services to create the Salesforce for Google AdWords application.
Using the new program, Salesforce customers can create, manage, and
measure search engine marketing campaigns from beginning to end.

Despite Gartner’s recent predictions there are still disconcerting
opinions concerning the infrastructure, system and data security, as
well as real tools for creating, deploying, and managing these
enterprise mashups. Of course this situation will likely change as
mashups and their tools mature. Still, businesses are beginning to
recognize the power and cost-effective appeal. While mashups will never
replace back-end IT assets in the enterprise, there is a world of
innovative solutions, whether it makes your CRM software product more
useful or is a yet to be created custom application.

Originally authored by Stelligent at testearly.com

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