Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Maria C. Horton

Related Topics: Adobe Flex, Agile Computing

Adobe Flex: Blog Feed Post

Five Free Mashup Tools You Should Know About

Do you want to create a visual dashboard from existing widgets?

Mashups is a pretty broad term. A good definition for a mashup tool is a solution that allows developers to combine interesting data and then visualize that data through a web application

Usually, mashups are web applications that can be created quickly using standard web services (e.g., REST) and components (e.g., Widgets).

There are three kinds of Mashup tools: front end, back end and integrated. The differences are:

  • Front end mashup tools: these tools help build web front ends like dashboards using widgets/gadgets and little to no programming (iGoogle, PageFlakes)
  • Back end mashup tools: these tools combine web-accessible data and services into more useful web services that can be called easily using a REST-ful interface (Kapow, Yahoo pipes)
  • Integrated mashup tools: these tools make it easy to build end-to-end web applications that link web widgets to data and services.

When evaluating mashup tools, you need to think about what kind of mashing you are trying to do:

  1. Do you want to create a visual dashboard from existing widgets? Try a front-end mashup tool. These tools make it easy to create a personal dashboard that tracks your stocks, local weather, the time in 51 timezones and the current price of titanium.
  2. Are you wanting to turn web-accessible stuff (like ebay auctions or linkedin contacts) into a web service API? Try a back-end mashup tool to get at data programmatically that you otherwise have to do by hand (and mouse).
  3. Do you need to create an end-to-end web app like a dashboard or simple business portal? Try an integrated mashup tool to build applications quickly and with minimal programming. Integrated mashup tools are effectively the modern version of MS Access for the web.

Another factor to consider is whether you have to download and install anything to use it. Mashup tools can be purely web-based (like Yahoo pipes or PageFlakes), purely download (Open Kapow) or available both as a download or hosted (like WaveMaker and IBM Mashup Center, both of which are hosted on Amazon EC/2).

Here are five free, open source mashup solutions you might want to check out:

iGoogle - Front End Mashup Screen Builder Tool

If you are looking for lots and lots of widgets, look no further. iGoogle has tens of thousands of gadgets (many of the most popular ones NSFW, but that's how it goes). Try iGoogle here.

Open Kapow - Back End Mashup Service Builder

The web is a wonderful place to find information, if you are a human and have a lot of time. Getting programmatic access to data on the web is a completely different story (wouldn't it be nice to see which of your favorite restaurants has a table open at 6 tonight automatically?) Kapow is a web-based tool for creating "robots" that gather data on the web and return the results as a web service. Try open Kapow here.


Yahoo Pipes - Back End Mashup Service Builder

Pipes is a web-based tool that allows developers to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web. It is not as full-featured as Kapow, but you can try it without having to download anything. Try Yahoo pipes here.

IBM Mashup Center - Integrated Mashup Builder

Mashup Center was written with the non-developer in mind. That design objective increases the number of people who can use the tool, but limits the complexity of what you can build. In general, Mashup center requires that developers create a set of enterprise widgets (using IBM's iWidget spec) . There is also a cloud version of Mashup Center, but it requires that you have your own Amazon account set up. Try Mashup Center here.

WaveMaker Studio- Integrated Mashup Builder

WaveMaker provides a fast and easy way to build web applications. It targets Java developers who want a RAD GUI builder as well as novice web developers who want to build web applications with minimal learning curve. You can try the cloud version of WaveMaker here, or try the WaveMaker download here.

WaveMaker 5.0

More Stories By Christopher Keene

Christopher Keene is Chairman and CEO of WaveMaker (formerly ActiveGrid). He was the founder, in 1991, of Persistence Software, a San Mateo, CA-based company that created a new approach for managing data in high-transaction banking and communications systems. Persistence Software investors included Cisco, Intel, Reuters and Sun Microsystems. The company went public in 1999 on the NASDAQ exchange and was sold in 2004 to Progress software.

After leaving Persistence Software in 2005, Chris spent a year in France as chairman of Reportive Software, a Paris-based maker of business-intelligence tools, and as an adjunct professor and entrepreneur-in-residence at INSEAD, a leading graduate business school.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DSR is a supplier of project management, consultancy services and IT solutions that increase effectiveness of a company's operations in the production sector. The company combines in-depth knowledge of international companies with expert knowledge utilising IT tools that support manufacturing and distribution processes. DSR ensures optimization and integration of internal processes which is necessary for companies to grow rapidly. The rapid growth is possible thanks, to specialized services an...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...