Serena Launches Business Mashup Platform

Mashups shouldn't be just for software developers, especially not business mashups. That's the message from Serena Software, who yesterday unveiled Serena Mashup Composer for "point-and-click creation of Business Mashups". It's an application, a Platform and a marketplace aimed at an audience of Office power users. You can sign-up now for a beta of the tool and the other pieces will be rolled-out over the next few months.

Serena Mashup Composer

Serena is a billion dollar software company known for their application lifecycle management (ALM) products for things like change management and Source Code control (96 of the Fortune 100 use their software). With Mashup Composer they want to leverage their strengths in both creating enterprise-grade development tools and by building-in mashup-ready connections to things like mainframe sources as well as open APIs like those listed on PW. Here we start to see the adoption and success of Web 2.0 APIs from Facebook to Google begin influencing the enterprise marketplace. In a recent eWeek story CEO Jeremy Burton discusses this idea:

Burton forsees a change in enterprise IT that's akin to what's happening with open APIs on the internet.. "I absolutely believe in this concept of enterprise technology being 'consumerized,' if that's a word," he said. "If you look at what's going on in the consumer world right now, you've got the likes of Facebook and MySpace and a bunch of companies that have got precious data—photos and personal information. In order to drive innovation, what these guys are doing is exposing interfaces and allowing folks in their college dorm room to innovate without asking permission of the IT department inside Facebook. Burton said that has to happen in the business world as well. "I think IT departments have got to stop being this bottleneck."

This is similar to IBM's argument for QEDWiki and ideas put forward by Dion Hinchcliffe on the long tail of software development, all those little software projects that understaffed IT departments will never get to. A type of DIY app development where the focus is on delivery in hours and not necessarily routed through IT.

Mashup Composer applications can be deployed using two different models. In the first applications are installed and run on internal infrastructure behind the corporate firewall. The second is an on-demand, fully hosted model "in the cloud". Note we're starting to see an increasing variety of in-the-cloud deployment options ranging from Bungee Labs (who target developers at SMBs) to openkapow.

Some quick notes on the product and platform:

  • It offers enterprise-style governance capabilities such as Versioning, staging, rollback, audit tracking, and fine-grained security
  • They will be offering Mashup Exchange, an online marketplace where packaged mashups, template workflows and professional services. Potentially akin to Salesforce AppExchange and Etelos Marketplace.
  • The tool is free and pricing for production deployment in the SaaS or on-premise models will be announced later this year.

As noted here recently the mashup tools space has lots of challenges from finding the right audience (is it developers or power users?) to the right pricing (software licensing, monthly fees, or usage fees?). Lots of increasingly powerful options for users wanting some DIY application development.

For a good analysis of this market see ZDNet's Dana Gardner's piece on Serena fills cracks between SOA, ALM and SaaS with process-centric mashup-as-a-service platform.

Serena Software and Kapow Technologies are ProgrammableWeb sponsors

Be sure to read the next Tools article:'s Platform as a Service