WSO2 Injects Mashups Into The Enterprise

WSO2's Mashup Server relies on the popular Javascript language to define what resources are going to be tapped for a new application.
WSO2 is slated to launch Monday a Mashup Server that draws together a variety of enterprise information or services and allows them to be combined into a new application or "mashup."

Mashups are typically associated with end user applications that make use of information or services readily available on the Web, such as an apartment-hunting application that taps into Google Maps. WSO2 is extending the mashup idea to inside the enterprise. Any internal information or service that can be presented as a Web service may be found by Mashup Server and utilized as part of a new application, said Jonathan Marsh, WSO2 director of mashup technologies.

"If you don't want to access any external sources, you don't need to," although conducting address checks on the Web or calling on Google Maps remains an option, if the developer chooses, Marsh said. For Mashup Server to find internal resources, however, they must be available in a Web service format and listed in a file system or service registry that Mashup Server has been directed to regularly peruse.

WSO2 also has incorporated a console for the server that allows user to comment on mashups, rate them and tag them for future reference and use. In effect, the firm is trying to build social networking characteristics into its mashups. It's also seeking to create the ability to produce quick assembly applications that respond to businesss conditions. "Mashups, as situational applications, are empowering individual data owners to quickly expose services that enhance productivity," said Sanjiva Weerawarana, WSO2 CEO.

WSO2, is the Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Santa Clara, Calif., firm that is building out Web services oriented middleware. Its product suite uses open source Apache Software Foundation projects as a base and its products remain open source code. What JBoss middleware was to Java applications, WSO2 seeks to become to future applications based on Web services or Web service standards.

Mashup Server relies on the popular Javascript language to define what resources are going to be tapped for a new application. Mashup Server includes an administrative user interface where Javascript can be used to identify and sequence services. But its Javascript may also be written wherever the developer prefers to compose it, which could include a simple text editor or an established integrated development environment, then imported into the Mashup Server, said Marsh.

Marsh said WSO2's reliance on Javascript will decentralize the building of new applications in the enterprise. Web site builders and department power users know enough Javascript to cobble together new applications, if they capitalize on the infrastructure plumbing provided by Mashup Server.

"IT has been kind of like a laboratory with mysterious people in white coats, sort of authoritative. Now IT may spread to all parts of the enterprise," with new applications assembled in the departments with the strongest business initiative to launch them, he claimed. WSO2 Mashup Server works with two predecessor pieces of middleware, WSO2 Application Server and WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus. Its application server can handle both Java and C, along with the lighter weight PHP and Ruby languages, which tend to speed up development. The application server also implements Apache's Axis2, which has re-engineered the SOAP protocol for faster XML communications. Weerawarana says his firm includes several contributors to Axis2 and understands the protocol well enough to optimize it. "We are four to five times faster," he says.

The WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus is an integration broker meant to serve as a basis for building out services oriented architecture. Its built on top of Synapse, an Apache incubator project that translates between applications and provides automatic routing of XML messages. Mashup Server can discover new services and capture information about them, which it stores for use in future mash-ups. The data and services used for one mash-up can be extended and used as the basis for another, said Marsh. The firm is hosting a version of Mashup Server for online use and community development, called

WSO2 provides training and consulting services and technical support. It charges $2,000 a year per server for Silver level support; $4,000 per year per server for Gold and $8,000 per year for Platinum support.

Editor's Choice
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Terry White, Associate Chief Analyst, Omdia
John Abel, Technical Director, Google Cloud
Richard Pallardy, Freelance Writer
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Pam Baker, Contributing Writer