Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Don't Get Squashed by Mashups

Mashups, the latest Web 2.0 phenomenon, combine content from various Web sites or applications in novel ways. For example, chicagocrime.org uses Google Maps and statistics from a publicly available database (the Chicago Police Department's Citizen ICAM), to show where in Chicago different kinds of crimes were committed.

This concept is making its way into businesses in the form of Enterprise Mashup Services (EMS), which pull data from enterprise search engines, Web services and other storehouses, mix 'n' match them and serve it up to users.

But wait-EMS sounds suspiciously like enterprise information integration suites, whose primary purpose is to join information from a variety of data sources and deliver that information to users. This isn't just a case of competing brands. EMS and EII are different technologies, and enterprises that flock to bleeding-edge mashups may get squashed.

With EMS, users must pull data from multiple sources and then burn CPU cycles on their PCs while the client combines the data before presenting it. It's a waste of resources and bandwidth and there are few good reasons to implement an EMS at this stage of the game. By contrast, EII suites, like those from Composite Software, IBM and MetaMatrix, are designed to integrate disparate data into a single source and are capable of presenting that single result set to the user in whatever way the user wants it.

Of course, some mashups--particularly those using Google's mapping API--are outside EII's realm. It makes sense to combine the graphical data from Google with, say, GPS data on the location of your delivery truck. But between EII and portals, 90 percent of what some would call a mashup can be joined without a massive network upgrade to support the sudden upsurge in data to desktops.

  • 1