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Enterprise Mashup Platforms - Is it for you?

An Enterprise Mashup is an enterprise application that combines data and functionality from multiple enterprise (and sometimes non-enterprise) data sources. Enterprise Mashup Platforms (claim) to enable (non-IT) end users to quickly create enterprise level applications tailored to their individual needs.Before deciding to invest in an enterprise mashup platform it would be worthwhile to consider the following points:

The Enterprise Mashup Checklist

Availability of services

Can you expose enterprise resources as services? Enterprise mashup platforms rely on the availability of services. A majority of the mashup applications will be created by stringing together these services with some custom functionality thrown in. Fewer services imply that fewer applications can be built. In this scenario, going in for an enterprise mashup platform might not yield good results.


Security is an important point to address while embracing mashups in an enterprise context. Enterprise mashups combine data from enterprise and non-enterprise data sources. Further, unlike conventional mashups a lot of applications in the enterprise context might need to write back to enterprise data sources. This increases the vulnerability of enterprise data sources. A good idea would be trying to keep the mashups as read-only or limit the non-enterprise resources that a mashup can access. Can useful applications be built with these restrictions in place?


Some mashups might be technically feasible but might not conform to policies in place. You would need to have good policies in place so you can restrict what mashups can be developed and what cannot. Further, developers of mashup applications would need to be aware of the policies and adhere to them while creating services or putting together applications that use enterprise data.

The POV from internal IT

Is the internal IT team open to understanding enterprise mashups and embracing the challenge of integrating them with the existing infrastructure? Mashup applications access enterprise resources that already operate under tight SLAs. Is there a good governance strategy in place?


Is there a community that would actively use the mashup platform? The mashup platforms strength lies in the ability to cobble together applications that can be easily reused and modified to create other mashup applications. Is the community willing to learn? Any mashup platform involves a learning curve. Though simple applications can be easily put together, many enterprise mashup platforms rely on scripting languages (sometimes proprietary) when it comes to crafting applications that are more complex.


Mashup technologies still need to mature. Further, there exists no standardization between competing platforms. Mashup platforms developed by enterprise software vendors are more likely to be adopted by enterprises since they will have better integration capabilities. In addition, clients will have less resistance to enterprise vendors, whose software they already use, when it comes to managing security and governance in an enterprise environment. Existing mashup vendors might be acquired by enterprise software vendors and become a part of their stack. Consider the above points before you take a decision to invest in mashup platforms.

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