Who will mash?

Further to my post about enterprise mashup yesterday, I’ve been thinking about who in the BPM space will jump on the enterprise mashup bandwagon first.

In my Making BPM Mean Business course, I discuss the history of BPM, and I’ve noticed that BPM vendors who started on the workflow side of the house typically expand their capabilities through OEM agreements and partnerships (the “United Nations” approach), whereas those who started on the EAI side typically expand by building functionality in-house or buying a small company outright and submerging it into their product (the “world domination” approach). That could be because the pretty UI stuff that is usually developed for the human-facing workflow functionality is perceived as the “personality” of the BPM product, and everyone needs to author their own personality, or at least be perceived as being its author. (Okay, for a comment about technology, that’s pretty philosophical.) There’s lots of exceptions to this, but I find that’s true in many cases.

Does that mean that the BPM vendors with a workflow heritage are more likely to embrace the mashup concepts than their descended-from-EAI competitors? While the old guard thinks it over, the “nouveau BPM” vendors (who are built on web services from the ground up) are probably already demoing the integration of Yahoo Maps with back-office transaction processing, and rewriting their marketing materials to include the word “mashup”.

By the way, I signed up for MashupCamp, so if you’re headed there in February, look me up.

Mashing up the enterprise

I’ve spent the past few days mulling over the differences between mashups and the more traditional integration that’s done with enterprise applications. My initial reaction? There’s a lot more similarities than differences: in both cases, a third party uses published application interfaces to create functionality that integrates the capabilities of two or more applications/services. I know, that’s a bit of a simplification, but how soon will it be before overly complex (and expensive) enterprise integrations start taking advantage of the lessons to be learned from the mashups of web services?

Obviously, I’m not the only one thinking about this: the ZDNet SaaS blog just posted about enterprise mashups, and what’s needed to make them a reality.

Makes me want to go to MashupCamp.