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Mad About Mashups, Kapow Takes Center Stage

Version 6.2 adds RSS and Atom feeds to the list of industry-standard APIs it supports.

Hot on the heels of new mashup services recently announced by Yahoo and IBM, Kapow Technologies on Tuesday plans to release version 6.2 of its Kapow Mashup Server. The enterprise software is designed to make it easier to combine and present data from different applications.

The software, explains chief marketing officer Joe Keller, is "for people who want to take and use the Internet as a programming platform."

Many of those people represent Kapows's 200-plus corporate customers. Among them count Audi, AT&T, Bank of America, DHL, CSFB, Intel, U.S. Army, Vodafone, and Wells Fargo, as well as Web 2.0 startups SimplyHired and Momondo.

Version 6.2 adds RSS and Atom feeds to the list of industry standard APIs it supports, which includes architectu ral styles Soap [Simple Object Access Protocol] and Rest [Representational State Transfer]. It also features better Web-clipping capabilities for Web pages with JavaScript and Flash components, full Firefox browser support, and better content location and collection from Excel spreadsheets.

"The mashup server is really targeted at building feeds for you out of the Web where you might have a Web site that doesn't have the ability to access programmatically," says Keller. "Where it's only browser-enabled kinds of interfaces, we allow you to describe the interface you'd like to have built, then go and operate that site for you and produce that feed."

Companies are using the technology to customize how they present business information internally. Keller cites a Swiss insurance company that wanted to display selected information from its Siebel software without having to rewrite the Siebel interface. "They use our technology to select the parts of Siebel they want to put on the portal and compose it," explains Keller.

More sophisticated uses include a rental property management mashup for landlords that takes data about potential renters, and then determines whether the renter's application should be accepted. "They bring together all sorts of information from credit agencies, from other rental agencies," says Keller, "to build a view of 'you as a renter,' then recommend either a go or no-go."

Kapow's server works with the newly announced Yahoo Pipes and IBM QEDWiki, as well as other such tools, the company said.

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