Nicole Carrier of IBM, who was on the enterprise mashups panel yesterday, returned this morning to dig into more of the details behind mashups, particularly as implemented on their platform, Lotus Mashups (which I believe started life as QEDwiki). She started by defining mashups and widgets, then outlined what makes a mashup unique in terms of scope, process, users and technology. There are some key differences between mashups on the consumer internet and within the enterprise, however: enterprise mashups typically need to access enterprise systems, which might need to be unlocked/wrapped for accessibility (e.g., create widgets and feeds to access that data or functionality), and enterprise assets available for mashup need to be cataloged in some way.
She walked us through building a mashup with Lotus Mashups, pulling in widgets and feeds from various data sources as well as Google gadgets and arranging them on a page. More than just a portal interface, this environment allows you to create “wiring” between the objects on the page in order to allow data or selections in one widget to impact or filter another one. Once created, pages can be shared with others by publishing in a catalog, and other users can be given read-only or edit permissions on pages.
Joel Farrell, the chief architect of IBM’s InfoSphere MashupHub, joined Carrier to show how some of the data sources are discovered and/or created for use in mashups, and how they’re shared with others.
This quickly turned into an in-depth review of how to use the IBM mashup products, and a lot of the audience started to bail out. Including me.