Tuesday, January 8, 2008

AJAX, Enterprise Mashups, and SOA

According to JSON inventor andYahoo! Architect Douglas Crockford, one of the things that AJAX has enabled is mashups, which he boldly calls "the most interesting innovation in software development in at least 20 years."To him,"mashups are the fulfillment of the promise of competent architecture and highly reusable modules”, offering “a whole new class of interactivity and value”.

Mashups originate with Web 2.0, which epitomizes development on the fly. With the rediscovery of AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) technology and the mushrooming popularity of rich Internet applications, we now have the ability to create mashups that quickly solve business problems by using the standard dynamic interfaces that front services. Mashups provide a quick and easy way to solve many of today’s simple business problems — and should scale nicely to solve more complex and far-reaching problems in the future. Now-a-days, more and more enterprises are looking into how they can benefit from mashups to improve their business.

With the increasing use of mushups, “the line is blurring between the enterprise and the Web. However, mashups live on that porous perimeter, offering the reusability of an SOA plus very rapid development using prebuilt services outside the firewall. Soon, we may live in a world where it’s difficult to tell where the enterprise stops and the Web begins. It’s scary — and exciting at the same time,” says Dave Linthicum, a blogger in InfoWorld.

More complex mashups move toward composite applications - made up of many services, which is an advanced SOA concept. And, enterprises should be prepared properly to leverage mushups for their business growth. In this context, it is better advisable that the enterprises need “to design and deploy an SOA with mushups in mind”. He further adds, “mashup preparation can be divided into six familiar stages: requirements, design, governance, security, deployment, and testing. These are core architectural bases you must touch if you are to arrive safely in the promised land of mashups on top of an SOA.” They make the value of an SOA much more visible over a much shorter term.

Now, we are in 2008, and we need to first know a few critical questions to ask next about AJAX, Web 2.0,RIA (Rich Internet Applications),Mushups, and then look for their answers. Eric Miraglia of Yahoo! Douglas Crockford, creator of JSON; Coach Wei, founder and CTO of Nexaweb; Chris Schalk, developer evangelist for Google; John Crupi, CTO of JackBe; Joshua Gertzen, lead developer of the ThinWire AJAX Framework; Kevin Hakman, co-founder of TIBCO General Interface; etc have raised a few pertinent questions:

  • How significant is Enterprise Mashups to you (your customers)?

  • How can I make AJAX applications that easily go offline? (i.e. can work easily and in a similar manner when not connected to the Internet.)

  • Will JavaScript 2.0 be a success, or a dud?

  • Is AJAX about more than just web development? Should we be campaigning to replace all desktop apps with an AJAX equivalent?

  • How do you apply user interface patterns and user experience design to your AJAX project?

  • What are people mostly using AJAX for? Enhancing existing website, building a new website, building an application, replacing an old client/server application, etc?

Read complete AJAX questions

Posted by Praveen Panjiar, Blog Evangelist, OutworX Corporation

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