IBM launches online mashup tool

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IBM launches online mashup tool

IBM this month has launched a Web-only trial of its Mashup Center, which aims to enable non-technical business people to experiment and build situational applications.

During the trial, the Mashup Center will be offered via IBM’s free-to-use online portal, which will support users with all steps of the mashup development process.

“Creating mashups is where research can be carried out to dig into the data and content when you ‘don’t know what you don’t know’,” said Nicole Carrier, Executive Lotus Mashups & IBM Mashup Centre, IBM.

“It’s like when spreadsheets first appeared and gave the dumb-terminal user an opportunity to download data from the mainframe and just play with it. They gained insights by doing that and we see the same activity happening now with mashups,” she explained.

The online tool will allow users to create new applications by obtaining and remixing existing information from Web sites and feeds, spreadsheets, databases, applications, and unstructured text from e-mail, video, audio files.

In collaboration with a network of IBM Mashup Center Business Partners, IBM will provide users with widgets from companies such as StrikeIron, Jibes, JustSystems, and Kapaw technologies.

Users also can upload their own applications and information to be remixed, such as spreadsheets of information that could be used in the creation of feeds, in a Web 2.0 environment.

However, under the terms of use for the hosted trial version of the Mashup Center, information that is uploaded to the publically-shared catalogue is subject to public use.

IBM will make available a full, on-premise version of the IBM Mashup Center in mid-2008, the launch of which is not expected to affect availability of the free, hosted offering.

Already, IBM has received strong interest for the on-premise software from Australian customers, Carrier said.

The on-premise offering is expected to include a set of out-of-the-box, business-ready widgets, as well as a catalogue for finding and sharing widgets and mashups, and has been developed in close collaboration with early customers Boeing and Carrefour.
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