Posts Tagged ‘open-source’

A Trifecta of Cool Mashup News

For the past several months I’ve been blogging over at SearchSOA, in absence of any major advances in the world of mashups. In fact, it seemed that even as the tech industry as a whole continued to move towards the APIs that make mashups possible, it had abandoned the notion of mashups as a new development paradigm. Within the past couple of weeks there has been a veritable explosion of mashup-related announcements that demonstrate otherwise.

Item 1: Microsoft Re-Enters the World of Mashups

I totally did not see this one coming. After Microsoft shuttered Popfly, its own mashup environment, I had assumed their flirtation with mashups was over. Yet from out of nowhere comes ExcelMashup.com, a platform for mashing together excel workbooks and public APIs.  Clearly Microsoft has not abandonded mashups and now sees Excel as a means to drive their creation. I recall a 2008 Web 2.0 Expo talk given by John Musser, founder of ProgrammableWeb, where he predicted Enterprise Mashups would be the Excel of our era. In his prescient way, it looks like John might have been closer to the truth than he thought!

Item 2: An Enterprise-worthy Open Source Mashup Tool

The good news continued with the release of Convertigo’s Enterprise Mashup Server Community Edition (press release )

I have always felt that the mashup community needed to get traction with the open-source community in order to be successful in enterprise environments (I had high hopes for the Open Mashup Alliance). Obviously, people could always manually connect various APIs and code an interface around the results, but even a small amount of tooling can accelerate this process dramatically. And using a mashup product like Convertigo CE can expose this discipline to a much broader class of non-developer. Convertigo CE has 4 main functions:

  • Connectors — for any SQL, REST, SOAP, RSS, ATOM or Microsoft Excel file;
  • Sequencer — combines, orchestrates and exposes new REST, SOAP or JSON services;
  • Gadgetizer — feed portals with services and widgets for Microsoft SharePoint, Oracle Web Center, IBM WebSphere portal or any open source portal;
  • Mobilizer — build and deploy cross-platform mobile native or web applications for iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile.

I used an earlier version of Convertigo (along with tools from JackBe and Kapow) at a Web 2.0 presentation I gave on mashups and it was very powerful. I plan on testing the Community Edition and posting an in-depth review in the future.

Item 3: If This… Then That…

The last announcement comes in the spirit of web-based mashup creation tools like Dapper and Yahoo Pipes. “If This then That” (http://ifttt.com) is a new site that provides a way to mash services together to perform simple, specific tasks. For example, “IF it is going to rain, THEN send me an SMS”. The condition would use a weather API to check the forecast for your area, and then an SMS API to send you a notification if needed. These types of simple automated tasks are the equivalent of the parameciums of the mashup world, and yet the site is hugely popular and tens of thousands of these tasks have been created by the community. As I wrote in my post, “Dumbing-down Mashups: A Good Thing?” the spread of simpler mashup products like ifttt is ultimately what allows a more complex ecosystem to develop. Non-developers will be casually drawn to a site like ifttt at home, fall in love with it, and ultimately demand similar capabilities in their workplace.

  • ArcGIS: Spatial Analysis Service
    ArcGIS REST API: Spatial Analysis Service helps developers to access, create, and share maps, apps, and information when they become members of the cloud-based collaborative environment. With the Spatial Analysis service, users can summarize data, find locations, enrich data, analyze patterns, use proximity, and manage data. Each category contains license, r […]
  • dandelion dataTXT-SIM
    dataTXT-SIM is an experimental semantic sentence similarity API, optimized on short sentences written in several languages (Italian, English, German, Portuguese and French at the moment). With this API users are able to compare two sentences and get a score of a semantic similarity. It works even if the two sentences don't have any word in common, and i […]
  • Esri ArcGIS Mapping and Visualization
    With ArcGIS REST API Map Service, users can access content of a map hosted on a server. The site offers visual displays with updates, resource hierarchy, request parameters, and JSON response examples. This mapping service could be useful if developers intent to access functions such as dynamic drawing, query, and search through the server ArcGIS. If they de […]
  • AlchemyAPI Face Detection and Recognition
    The AlchemyVision Face Detection and Recognition API accepts an image file or a URL as an input. The API will scan a photo to detect facial locations and can recognize individuals present within a photograph, such as celebrities. The API documentation divides the API into the Image API, for detecting faces in uploaded images, and the Web API, for recognizing […]
  • Canadian Virtual Exchange
    The Canadian Virtual Exchange (CAVIRTEX) is a BitCoin and cryptocurrency exchange platform. Their public API allows developers to communicate with CAVIRTEX in order to receive real time cryptocurrency pricing and trading information. Their private API requires special API access, and allows users to implement trading, balance-checking, and more programmatica […]
  • Twilio Client
    Twilio Client allows browsers and devices to receive and send voice calls. This API could be valuable to integrate softphones, web conferencing, and click-to-talk services in applications. The site shows a quickstart guide in PHP where users can make calls from a browser, receive calls in a browser, and make calls between two browsers. Some of the prerequisi […]
  • Twilio Voice
    Twilio, a cloud communications company, offers Twilio voice, an API that can access phone accounts, numbers, calls, texts, and recordings. This could be helpful particularly for developers who want to gain new customers, because the service provides a wide variety of methods to understand clients' information. This API is about voice in telephonic envir […]
  • Esri ArcGIS Location-Allocation Service
    ArcGIS REST API Location-Allocation service assists users to choose locations from a list of facilities based on probable interactions. The site offers required parameters that include demand points, tokens, and facilities. The website also shows optional parameters that include analysis_region, target_market_share, and travel_mode. Users can access a data c […]
  • Office 365 Discovery Service
    This service allows developers using Microsoft Office 365 APIs to browse the API endpoint directory with a simple query tool. Developers can make HTTP requests to the Discovery Service APIs in order to return information on API endpoints for further use in development. In order to access the Office 365 APIs, developers must first register their apps with Mic […]
  • Office 365 Contacts
    The Office 365 Contact API gives full access to a user's contacts and contact groups they have logged in Exchange Online. The Contact API can retrieve personal contact information such as email, address, name, phone number, and more. The API also allows developers to add a new contact or edit existing contacts. In order to access the Office 365 APIs, de […]