Portal Perspective: mashups

There are new trends coming up as Web 2.0 is becoming more popular. The newer among them is of providing the customized web solutions(composite applications) through combining two or more Lightweight Services. These are seen in implementations of “Mashups”.

The definition of “Mashups” as on Wikipedia is “A mashup is a website or Web 2.0 application that uses content from more than one source to create a completely new service. This is akin to transclusion.”
Content used in mashups is typically sourced from a third party via a public interface or API. Other methods of sourcing content for mashups include Web feeds (e.g. RSS or Atom) and JavaScript.

One can see many examples of using Mashups on Google Map Apis. There are also many websites which maintain a list of mashups and also API’s. Thus these are faster to develop and information can be extracted and displayed in an innovative way.
Sometime back a few friends came to me and ask me if Mashups can provide Page level integration, why do we need Portal? They were exited seeing on some website serveral Windows on the same page using Ajax and other API’s.

The mashup provides lighweight composite applications. Portal also does gives a Presentation Level Integration of applications, but it does much more then just that. There are other features like SSO, Personalization, Authentication, and so on that are part of portal. For implementing Web Serivices Portal uses WSRP its based on SOAP.But on the other hand Portal require some infrastructure to begin with. But Mashups can be built easily.

The Portal Vendor’s have realized some of the important features of Web 2.0 that should be incorporated in Portal too. The Ajax functionality will be part of JSR 268 specification. The ajax can be beneficial in various ways for Portal. I did made Blog entry on that quite some time back Ajax in Portlets. Wikipedia, Blogs are already implemented by some portal vendors.

Now the Portal vendors are working on providing the Mashups functionality. Liferay is a leading OS Portal vendor and its already working on implementation of Mashups. BEA is working on Project “Runner” for mashups. More portal vendors would also doing a similar implementations.

1 comment:

Rashmi Tambe said...

Any idea if liferay has provided support for mashup? I could not find this info on their site. Secondly, how do they plan to do it? Are they planning to provide a mashup editor like popfly, Pipes?