IBM Previews Suite of Web 2.0 Mashup Technologies for Businesses
IBM (NYSE: IBM) today unveiled a preview of its new mashup platform to allow non-technical users to create situational applications in minutes, empowering line of business professionals to get the information they need no matter where it resides. The IBM Mashup Starter Kit, available today on IBM alphaWorks, enables line of business users to assemble their own Web 2.0 mashup applications, solving business problems without aid from information technology (IT) specialists.
The IBM Mashup Starter Kit contains two key technologies. The IBM Mashup Hub is a mashup server that stores information feeds such as in the RSS, ATOM or XML formats to enable reuse and collaboration. Mashup Hub can also merge, transform, filter, annotate or publish information in new formats. From there, the newly-enhanced QEDWiki serves as the user interface and allows non-IT users to ’mash’ information from any data source to create a single view of disparate sets of information in minutes. Together, this package of software collects and processes information that ultimately provides data for next generation applications.
The IBM Mashup Starter Kit can combine information from databases, departmental information, personal information or the Web. It rapidly blends information and Web services, such as real-time weather reports or maps, with enterprise content and services, and easily “mashes” them together to generate fast, flexible and affordable applications for specific business needs.
For example, highway construction planners bidding on a new project could use mashup technology to combine weather data feeds with information from engineering and estimating software to bid more accurately, estimating how many days to allot for rain or snow. In another example, insurance agents could combine tropical storm tracking data with geospatial information to perform more precise loss and risk analyses. Likewise, pandemics such as Avian Flu have a massive impact on businesses, governments and people. Available knowledge on the transmission of the disease could be mashed together with climate information and wind and bird patterns to help predict where Avian Flu could travel, allowing organizations to warn people early, activate preventive measures or transport vaccines to an area.
“The combined solution of IBM’s Mashup Starter Kit and JustSystems XFY product holds the promise of letting key decision makers within our business easily and rapidly unlock valuable data to address our business needs,” said Susumu Haraki, vice director R&D Information Management Department, R&D Division, Daiichi Sankyo, Japan’s largest pharmaceutical company.
Web 2.0 is driving a massive increase in the volume and complexity of data flow. This includes conventional business data as well as public and personal, structured and unstructured information, making it difficult for IT departments to respond to rapidly changing business requirements. Meanwhile, organizations are looking for an easier way to share and consume this information with business partners, customers and even competitors. With the help of the IBM Mashup Starter Kit, tech-savvy users can take some of the application development off of the IT department and respond immediately to new business challenges. This enables all types of information to be extended and used as a service, and delivered to the people and applications that need it without high IT costs.
“We see very exciting opportunities for IBM’s mashup technologies,” said Paul Raymond, business director, AccuWeather, Inc. “Widget-delivered weather information allows our clients to utilize AccuWeather data to identify and exploit business opportunities, while at the same time helping manage risks imposed by adverse weather conditions.”
This new approach to delivering Web 2.0 applications for the enterprise builds upon IBM’s Information on Demand strategy for helping organizations seize control of runaway data growth and rapidly respond to emerging opportunities by using information as a strategic business asset. Emerging technologies, such as those announced today, represent a new way of approaching business with real-time access to information.
The IBM Mashup Starter Kit with the enhanced version of QEDWiki is available for download now on alphaWorks, IBM’s online community for early adopters. Please visit http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/ibmmsk to download.
The first commercial version of the IBM Mashup Starter Kit is expected to be available from IBM and IBM Business Partners in first quarter 2008.
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