Keynote: Mashups, and New Trends in Enterprise Software

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  • 1. Mashups, and New Trends In Enterprise Software Brian “Bex” Huff Chief Software Architect Jan 2008
  • 2. Agenda
    • Intro to mashups
    • Demos of mashups
    • Technology behind mashups
    • Limitations of mashups
    • The future of mashups
  • 3. What the HECK is a Mashup?!?!
    • It’s a Hybrid Web Application
    • Reuse formatted data from existing sources
    • Access and display data with dynamic JavaScript
      • AJAX, DHTML
    • Analogous to Portal Servers
      • Portlets written in J2EE or .NET
      • Mashups written with mostly JavaScript
      • Mashup widgets work in both .NET and J2EE environments
    • More of a design philosophy than a tool or a framework
  • 4. What’s the Mashup Design Philosophy?
    • Separate your information from its presentation
    • Upgrade your enterprise architecture for easy data access
      • Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA) with SOAP
      • Resource-Oriented Architectures (ROA) with ReST
    • Create an easy-to-use JavaScript API for data access
      • Access SOAP or ReST services with AJAX
      • Load RSS or other XML-formatted data
      • Keep it simple! Don’t break the web!
    • Tell people about your API
    • Step back, and see what happens!
  • 5. Examples of Mashups
    • Housing Maps
      • http://housingmaps.com
      • JavaScript mashup of Google Maps and rental data from Craig’s List
    • Chicago Crime
      • http://chicagocrime.org
      • JavaScript Mashup of Google Maps and Chicago crime statistics
    • Google Flight Simulator
      • http://www.isoma.net/games/goggles.html
      • Flash mashup of Google Maps and an airplane video game
    • Thousands of other Google Maps Mashups:
      • http://googlemapsmania.blogspot.com/
  • 6. Housingmaps.com Mashup
  • 7. Chicagocrime.org Mashup
  • 8. Google Fight Simulator
  • 9. What’s the Value to Me?
    • If data is easy to reuse ; innovation is bound to follow
      • No enterprise Java learning curve!
      • JavaScript Widgets , instead of complex J2EE Portals
    • Don't need enterprise programmers for enterprise products!
      • Mashups run in user’s browser, not an app server
      • Security, performance, uptime managed in your infrastructure
      • Enterprise programmers focus on infrastructure
      • Application developers need only know JavaScript
    • Important piece of Enterprise 2.0
      • Give your employees a “safe” place to test new apps
      • Lower the barrier of entry for enterprise software
      • Allow innovation to happen at all levels
  • 10. Enterprise Mashup Examples
    • Map customer addresses, or company locations
      • Visualize the geographic area your serve
    • Mashup people with their search history
      • Customer service / Sales knows what they are trying to find
    • Mashup sales activity with sales forecasts
      • Business activity monitoring, updated every few minutes
      • Monitor it with a Flash dashboard
      • Published data also useful for generating reports
    • Any data you have can be displayed in a widget
      • One line of JavaScript on a HTML page
      • Much easier than integrating application servers!
  • 11. Technology Behind Mashups
    • Back-End: data repositories
      • Large enterprise applications: ERP, CRM, ECM
      • Raw database tables
    • Middle Tier: application server
      • Securely connect to back end data repositories
        • Single-sign-on strongly encouraged
        • SOA / ROA interface
      • Publish content statically in JSON or XML format
      • Place dynamic content in a cache for optimal performance
    • Front End: web browser widgets (JavaScript, Flash, Silverlight)
      • Use custom API connector to Middle Tier
        • AJAX, Remote Scripting, etc.
      • JavaScript user interface library (YUI, MochiKit, Dojo, etc.)
  • 12. Sample Public Mashup Diagram
      • Housing Maps downloads Craig’s List data
        • Publishes static JavaScript on a schedule
      • User requests HTML and JavaScript from Housing Maps
      • Google Maps and user’s browser do all the work of rendering the page!
    Craig’s List Google Maps housing maps Static HTML & JavaScript
  • 13. Sample Enterprise Mashup Diagram
      • User requests HTML from intranet page
        • Page includes references to secured enterprise JavaScript resources
      • User logs in to app server middle tier, downloads secure JavaScript
        • Single sign-on makes this invisible to user
      • Enterprise infrastructure handles performance and security for you!
    ECM System ERP System Mashup server Static HTML App Server B App Server A
  • 14. Enterprise Mashup Checklist
    • Google Maps is the gold standard
      • Publicly available static resources: images, JavaScript
      • Easy to use JavaScript API
        • Also supports XML, KML, and JSON
        • Uses Remote Scripting instead of AJAX for more flexibility
      • Access restricted by an API license key
        • Prevents overuse by inexperienced JavaScript developers
    • Enterprise mashups need a bit more
      • Single Sign On ensures secure access to private data
      • Web caching between browser and application server
      • Data caching between application server and back end
      • Guidance for users who design mashups
        • Suggested JavaScript / Flash toolkits
  • 15. Mashups Beyond Google Maps
    • Freebase.com
      • Like a Wiki, but with structured database content
      • Run queries and draw results with pure JavaScript
    • Salesforce.com – hosted CRM
      • Mashups with proprietary APEX language
      • Combined reports on salesforce data, and ultra-secure in-house data
    • Mashup toolkits for any public web sites
      • Google Mashup Editor: http://editor.googlemashups.com/
      • Yahoo Pipes: http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/
      • Microsoft Popfly: http://www.popfly.ms/
    • Not many off-the-shelf enterprise solutions yet
  • 16. Limitations of Enterprise Mashups
    • Accessibility for the blind
      • Text-to-speech readers don’t support JavaScript
        • Have not been seriously updated since 1998
      • Existing web standards that ban JavaScript are obtuse and outdated
        • WAI, WCAG 1.0, WCAG 2.0, Section 508
    • Accessibility solutions
      • Avoid standards, use new tools, empower the handicapped!
        • Web 2.0 can be much more empowering than Web 1.0
      • Use Firevox and AxsJAX to add accessibility to AJAX and Mashups
        • http://www.firevox.clcworld.net/
        • http://google-axsjax.googlecode.com/
        • Use mashups to add accessibility to non-accessible pages!
  • 17. Limitations of Enterprise Mashups, cont.
    • Security
      • Need single sign on (SSO) security for data and services
      • Difficult to do SSO over the greater internet
    • Performance
      • Dynamic service requests slower than static XML files
      • Poorly written JavaScript that makes too many AJAX requests
    • Stability and Uptime
      • Can you trust Google Maps to be up 24/7?
      • What if a server outside your domain breaks?
    • Content reuse problems
      • Potential of data theft if information is too re-usable
  • 18. The Future of Mashups
    • App servers used more to mashup-enable back end systems
    • Service-Oriented Architectures more common
      • Lend themselves very well to mashups
        • As do Resource-Oriented Architectures
      • Make Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) optional
        • Keep the bar low for “hobbyists”
    • New formats:
      • JSON will surpass XML for data transfer
      • ATOM will surpass RSS for syndication
    • Accessibility standards will eventually catch up
      • Good tools and ease of use are more important than “standards”
  • 19. The Future of Mashups, cont.
    • Mashups empower users to find data in silos
    • Enterprise Widgets replace portal servers
      • AJAX and JavaScript replaces J2EE and .NET for some portals
      • Other portals replaced with full web applications
    • Freebase becomes vastly more popular
      • Still in alpha release
      • Unknown if it can scale to Wikipedia’s size
    • Web based data mining, and data visualization tools
      • JavaScript based rapid application development tools
      • Adobe Flex and Microsoft Silverlight visualization engines
  • 20.
    • My Company:
      • http://bezzotech.com
      • Oracle Enterprise Content Management solutions
    • My Blog:
      • http://bexhuff.com
      • Technology, lifehacks, and all that good stuff…
    • My Self:
      • [email_address]
      • Brian “Bex” Huff
    Questions?