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The Convergence of Web 2.0 Mashups & SOA

A world of opportunities for enterprises

Enterprise mashups – the convergence of Web 2.0 mashups and service-oriented architecture (SOA) – can create a world of opportunities for enterprises to come up with internal and customer-facing self-service, composite and “situational” applications. These applications can be created just-in-time by empowered enterprise business users and by simply combining SOA-enabled information sources and services or SOBAs (service-oriented business application) on the intranet and Internet. To make this convergence even deeper, we need to borrow one important lesson from SOA and Web 2.0 – declarative or non-programming ways to create personalized, shareable mashups. An extended SOA mediation framework with a rich user interface can provide the platform required for enterprise mashups to be a reality. In this article we will show how a service mediator platform can be used as a framework for declarative and personalized enterprise mashups.

Mashups are collaborative compositions of the online capabilities of multiple interoperable software, and SOA preaches for a ready and open standard–based access of the underlying functionality of any software.

Today, these two parallel technologies are converging into Enterprise Mashups – a well-maintained, secured composition of services for enterprise users. While it will never replace “heavyweight back-end” IT assets in the enterprise, it provides an opportunity for enterprises to take a new approach to building internal and customer-facing composite services. The main idea of enterprise mashups is to shift the power of the creation of business applications from the providers of the services – the IT department – to the consumers of the services – enterprise users.

It blends external information and Web services (e.g., news feeds, weather reports, maps, and more) with enterprise and personal content and services by instantly "mashing" them together to create a new breed of personalized, flexible applications, which are termed as “situational” applications.

“Situational awareness, in which a user can grab data from multiple sources and manipulate it on the fly to make better decisions, is the killer mashup app. This type of implementation will pace an adoption cycle in which Gartner anticipates 30 percent of companies will use mashups within the next 12 months.”

For example, a salesperson may integrate his calendar meetings with relevant emails, spreadsheet, ppt, etc., based on the meeting title and attendees. A user may also connect to enterprise sales systems to get the latest sales data and create a dashboard in a sales portal or in his PDA by mashing up external maps or start a travel approval workflow using an enterprise travel system.

More Stories By Rakesh Saha

Rakesh Saha is lead developer for the Oracle Fusion Middleware Integration Platform. He has 7 years of experience with integration platform technologies. Lately he has been researching the usage of mashup technologies for enterprise integration and has filed patents on the area of automated schema mapping using semantics of data definition. Rakesh has a degree in computer science and engineering from IIT Kharagpur.

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