Enterprise mashups meet SOA


The line is blurring between the enterprise and the Web. Mashups live on that porous perimeter, offering the reusability of an SOA plus very rapid development using prebuilt services outside the firewall. Soon, we may live in a world where it’s difficult to tell where the enterprise stops and the Web begins. It’s scary — and exciting at the same time.

But just having the ability to create mashups doesn’t mean they’ll be valuable. You need to properly provision and manage the services available for mashups and understand their purpose and place in an SOA.

The task is threefold. First, you must prepare existing infrastructure to support mashups. Second, you need to understand your requirements. And third, you’ve got to wrap your head around the potential value that mashups can and cannot bring.

Although mashups originate with Web 2.0, which epitomizes development on the fly, mashups in the enterprise require preparation. You need to build and support an SOA that’s “mashable” with services and content, as well as with APIs that are both local and remote to the enterprise. Among other things, that means existing enterprise application services must be able to access Internet-hosted services safely.

With the rediscovery of AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) technology and the mushrooming popularity of rich Internet applications, we now have the ability to create mashups that quickly solve business problems by using the standard dynamic interfaces that front services. Mashups provide powerful ways to take existing applications and services and create something even more useful for business.

Google Maps mashups, which hook the wildly popular mapping service to some database that includes street addresses, have become almost clich

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