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Information integration, application integration and component‐based software development
have been among the most important research areas for decades. The last years have been
characterized by a particular focus on web services, the very recent years by the advent of web
mashups, a new and user‐centric form of integration on the Web. However, while service composition
approaches lack support for user interfaces, web mashups still lack systematic development
approaches and mature technologies.
In this paper, we aim to overcome both these shortcomings and propose what we call a universal
composition approach that naturally brings together SOAP services, RESTful services, RSS
and Atom feeds, and user interfaces. We propose a unified component model and a universal,
event‐based composition model, both able to abstract from low‐level implementation details
and technology specifics. Via the mashArt platform, we then provide universal composition as a
service in form of an easy‐to‐use graphical development tool equipped with an execution environment
for fast deployment and execution.