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A widget is a portable chunk of code that can run in any web application without requiring separate compilation
How is a widget different than a portlet?
Widgets are URL addressable fragments and can be written in any language (Java, .NET, PHP, etc.). Portlets are Java code.
Widgets can be as simple as an HTML fragment, so they don’t have to involve any server side code (but they can).
Simplicity of model enables developers to learn how to create widgets in a matter of hours versus days.
Widgets don’t have a complex packaging structure or require a complex deployment model.
>> A simple “hello world” widget can be written in a tool like Dreamweaver, and the file can copied into the file structure on the server. A “hello world” portlet would require a Java-based tool and also consists of multiple files, packaging, and deployment.
No widget standards and many vendors have created their own names: gadgets, blocks, flakes, etc.
Mashups are Catching on in the Enterprise, But Why?
Lightweight integration enables rapid development and lowers skill set requirements
Enables the creation of applications that were previously too costly to build (like situational applications)
Extends web app development beyond IT – out to even knowledge workers
Reduces IT backlog
Availability of many widgets and gadgets allows organizations to assemble applications at a lower cost
Once a component is developed, it can be easily reused across different applications, regardless of the underlying technology
.NET and J2EE and PHP widgets can communicate together on a page
.NET + PHP widgets can be mashed into a J2EE-based app (and vice versa)
Wire up for interoperability
Gartner: By 2010, more than 30% of Global 2000 organizations will enter a new era of end-user computing via user-assembled, composite applications created with enterprise mashup environments.
Examples of Enterprise Mashups Competition Tracker / Web Site Sales – Customer Trip Prep Data Center Administrator Mashup Collaborative Web App for Project Teams