Enterprise Mashup Challenges

In another one of his thorough and insightful looks at the mashup space, Dion Hinchcliffe outlines The 10 top challenges facing enterprise mashups. Here are some of the key points:

  • No commonly accepted assembly model: Lots of tools appearing but lots of differences in the approach they take to building mashups.
  • An immature services landscape. Mashups need services and data to work from, but at this point there are a limited number of sources available.
  • The splintering of widgets: many differences among vendor offerings and no official standards yet.
  • Management and support of end-user mashup apps: who will manage mashups in the enterprise and how?
  • Deep support for security and identity: can typical IT mechanisms like single sign-on work here and how can external and internal sources be combined in a reliably secure way?
  • Data quality and accuracy: the 'truthiness' problem and ensuring the accuracy and provenance of data used in mashups.
  • Version management: ability to track multiple versions, change management and consistency.
  • Awareness and realization of the potential of mashups by the businesses community: "Businesses should be aware of the potential that smart, appropriate application of mashups in many business problems can bring by unleashing productivity, increasing institutional knowledge, and creating new business opportunities and outcomes that simply weren’t possible before. Prior to mashups, there was generally few ways to buy or create a custom software application in a timely, inexpensive manner."
  • Low levels of support by major software firms: traditional commercial software companies have been slow to enable enterprise mashups.
  • Few killer demo mashups: "Until compelling stories emerge from businesses that have reached the tipping point, enterprise mashups will, like the SOAs that power them, remain a fascinating idea for most but not a significant business motivation."

And rather than adopt a pessimistic view of the prospects, Dion notes that "You might think I paint a bleak picture of the enterprise mashups world and nothing could be further from the truth. The last couple of years have taught us an enormous amount about what is possible and what needs to be changed. Most of these items above will likely be addressed in some form or another in the next year or two."

Be sure to read the next Tools article: Serena's Business Mashups