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Six Ways to Monetize Your Mashup Development Skills

Recently I presented a “guest editorial” to readers. In this article I tried to explain how to get started in the mashup business and monetize your mashup efforts. Six examples of possible monetization models might be of interest to mashup developers and remind you of the basics providing the success of a useful information resource. Special thanks to Dennis Byron who invited us to share our thoughts with ebizQ.

“Despite what many people tend to think, mashups are not just grabbing someone’s Web content. A well-made mashup is actually a brand new information resource, which is unique, genuine, and represents a greater value than its single components. If the mashup fails to meet the above-mentioned conditions, one can write it off as a dustbin full of informational garbage.”

Read the full article…

Business Mashup Challenges

Dion Hinchcliffe explores “The 10 top challenges facing enterprise mashups” in a recent post. Have a look at his article to get an idea about the state of business mashups today. He raises urgent questions and issues.

If enterprise mashups unleash hundreds of new applications inside an organization, then who will catalog them, support them, maintain them, and fix them when they break? The IT department? The business units? Using what tools? This is an objection I frequently get from enterprise IT about their fears that mashups will bring back the horrors of having unsupported Microsoft Access-based apps running loose in their organization [...]

Definitely, without support or, at least, ongoing collaboration, mashups can become just some old toys buried in a sandbox. That’s why it is a critical challenge when you consider any data integration or mashup tool. Are there community that can help you solve your problem? Do they sell a non-customized product, or it is constantly evolving and can be adjusted to your current needs? What plans do hey have for the next few years? Sometimes it is important to look beyond tomorrow.

Dion also referres to another article, which predicts “Ten strategic technologies to watch in 2008″. To name few, metadata, virtualization, RSS feeds, etc. And mashups are on the list, as well!

Furthermore, I’m proud to say that Apatar deals with most of these technologies already.

Top Business Mashup Challenges

Bynet 2.0 Afterparty..

Alex Khizhnyak: Apatar Mashups

Yesterday I’ve presented mashup technologies at the “Bynet 2.0″ conference. Said too much about the business, though I didn’t mean it. =)) Actually, I was too confused to think clearly.. Anyway, some say that it was quite interesting. Thank you a lot, guys! I’ll upload the video tomorrow. Just need some time to calm down..


Silverlight vs. Flash: The Only Winner War

Microsoft’s Silverlight breaks the news of the week. Launched on April 15, it is already called “an Adobe (Macromedia) Flash killer”. Well, it sounds a little bit overconfident. Actually, Microsoft just tries to collide with Adobe by grabbing a niche from Flash. The question is will it really succeed in becoming the only winner. You want the answer? “Doubtful!”

Silverlight aims at RIAs development market and will be mashed up with Microsoft’s Virtual Earth here and then, but it won’t replace Adobe’s Flash. In this “war”, Microsoft is not the leader; it is the follower. It’s too late to set new standards. Maybe, a piece of a market will be a reward, but not the whole game. However, I agree with Ryan Stewart about the situation in general:

Of course, those two companies are starting to get into each other’s areas, but in the grand scheme of things, that isn’t really important. We’re seeing a definite blending of the software world where being “on the desktop” or “on the web” doesn’t really matter. People are just excited about building engaging user experiences, and they want technologies that make that easy to do and in a way that is good for users. […] As both companies develop tools and ecosystems around Rich Internet Applications, developers, users, and designers win.

Well, Microsoft’s Virtual Earth didn’t kill Google Maps yet, so it won’t kill Adobe Flash. Moreover, it won’t be the only winner, either. “The Only Winners” are we.

“Webware”, “Mashware”… Or Maybe “Buzzware”?

It seems like the term “webware” is getting hot these days. Phil Wainewright and Paul McNamara claimed in their blogs that they prefer the word “webware” to the SaaS acronym. This is how Paul put it in a funny manner:

I imagine that to the horse and buggy manufacturers, the automobile was nothing more than the ‘Horse and Buggy as a Self Propelled Vehicle’ (HaBaaSPV). And to the manuscript producers of the middle ages, the printing press (which in the early days was operated by Scribes) was simply the ‘Scribe as an Operator of a Repeatable and Automated System for Increased Productivity and Broad-based Distribution’ (SaaOoaRaAMfIPaB-bD, pronounced Sa-ō-ŏ-ra-A- … oh never mind, you get the point).

Later, he wisely notices:

Whereas the term ‘SaaS’ wrongly places its emphasis on the very technology component (software) that users of web-based applications no longer need to think about. Webware is a revolutionary new approach to satisfying information needs.

The term is also promoted by Rafe Needleman, CNet editor. Rafe suggests labelling as “webware” for all Productivity Applications, Data-Driven Applications, and Community Services, which are being delivered over the Web.
So, we already have software, freeware, adware, middleware, and even mashware (credits to Dave Linthicum). The term “webware” is becoming the edge of this “ware” hype.

But wait, folks! Someone should protect the copyrights, as well. Because there’s a suite of Python packages and tools for developing object-oriented, web-based applications, which is called “Webware for Python”.

p.s. For simplicity, there’s also a word “buzzware”.


Mashup Creation Tools :: Security

Dion Hinchcliffe is tracking ‘DYI phenomenon’ of widgets and mashups. He considers five key issues for successful mashup creation tools:

1.    Ease of use
2.    Embody best practices in software development
3.    Support open standards
4.    Use a broad array of visual parts and non-visual Web services
5.    Will encourage social use and uptake. 

It’s completely true, Dion. However, I’d add one more critical key issue, ‘Providing Security Option’. Given the early state of mashups, they still lack robust security features. At least, they need better policing and control. Mashups may create a hole in your system because of low password security, easy access to private information, and so on. That’s why mashup creation tools should consider such issues. Data integration has never been easy, folks. So, we need to take security steps, before it’s too late.