In the final dog days of summer, Gartner published a series of new reports, updating its perspectives on mashups, composite applications, SOAs, among other topics.
We applaud the research firm for defining “mashup” as a subset of “composite applications,” as it is one of the most common areas of confusion we notice when talking with customers and prospects. Here is what Gartner says:
The term “composite applications” refers to the development of new applications that leverage functionality and data available in existing resources, where each of the leveraged resources uses a different data model. Examples of the resources leveraged by composite applications include packaged and legacy applications, as well as Web-accessible business and information services.
The term “mashups” refers to a subset of composite applications that use lightweight integration techniques to access existing resources through Web-oriented interfaces. Examples of the resources leveraged by mashups include Web pages, Really Simple Syndication (RSS) or Atom feeds, as well as Web-oriented architecture (WOA) services.
Source: Gartner ID Number: G00206149 “Q&A: What Should IT Leaders Know About Composite Applications?” (August 17, 2010)
At Convertigo, we are seeing composite applications being deployed in an enterprise service bus (ESB) or integrated composition environment (ICE), where as mashups are developed using Web 2.0 tools. This environmental difference makes the development of mashups end-user-capable, a bit faster, and more flexible, enabling developers and business users the ability to develop tactical or opportunistic applications.
Both composite applications and mashups provide businesses with vital tools for business integration and the ability to run business processes more effectively, and efficiently. Key benefits include:
- Access to customers, suppliers and employees through a variety of integrated channels, thus improving the effectiveness of sales, purchases and support operations
- Increased operational and decision-making efficiency
- Streamlined and integrated business processes improve customer satisfaction
As said in an earlier post regarding the current state of the enterprise mashup market, we think it’s critical that vendors take the lead in clearly defining the terms we use – enterprise mashups, composite applications, etc. – so that global buyers can easily differentiate the types available to them and the benefits of each.