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A Marketplace For Business Mashups?

Enterprise mashup
service provider
Serena Software announced yesterday that it's
giving away 12 pre-built mashups aimed at common business tasks.
But if mashups are so easy to make, why is giving them away such a
big deal?

According to Serena, it's because they aren't necessarily simple:
While mashups can make development easier, it's still not something
that just anyone can do -- or at least, not something that just
anyone can do with little effort. Rather than simply presenting data
from multiple sources, they're real applications: closer to BPM
(Business Process Management) than to Google Maps.

So who actually builds mashups? Last month, I took part in a
Webinar for this
site
along with two users who were very enthusiastic about
Serena's system (and even more enthusiastic about Second
Life
). At Thomson, it's mostly business analysts who don't
necessarily work for the IT department but are still well-versed in
the kind of development skills needed.

If Serena gets its way, outside developers also will create
mashups that they share with others. But Serena isn't expecting
people to just give their efforts away. It wants to create a
marketplace for enterprise mashups: If you build something and find
it useful, you can post it online and charge others to use it. This
hasn't launched yet, so it's hard to say whether it will find many
buyers or sellers.

One obvious problem is that mashups designed for one organization
could be so customized that they won’t necessarily move well
over to others. For this reason, most of the 12 pre-built
mashups
that Serena offers are fairly generic. Three of them are
designed to work with Salesforce.com, where they're having to compete
(for developers as well as customers) with Salesforce's own
AppExchange.