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Hopefully "Enterprise Mashups" Doesn't Mean "Wait for it"

As James mentioned, IBM will soon make available an implementation of the Enterprise Mashup server idea. If I’m not mistaken, Mr. Koranteng Ofosu-Amaah is involved somehow in this. If not, he should be: he’s a walking, breathing mashup server himself, personifying the umbrella of technologies in the Web 2.0.

Where’s the Beef?

The idea, is solid, so where it starts to count is the execution. On that topics, my advice is to start releasing working code as a hosted service right away. Large companies can talk about mashup servers, and other Web 2.0 ideas, all day long, but until they not only show the “public” those servers in action, and study the way people start using and wanting to use the system, they won’t find the quick traction a movie target like Web 2.0 technologies need to be more than a passing fad behind-the-firewall.

Indeed, releasing working code as soon as possible — the permanent beta — is one of the keystones of all the Web 2.0 technologies out there. The success of the Web 2.0 All-stars — Google, flickr, and — is created in large part by simply getting their code out there and used by 1,000’s of people.

Don’t Let the Firewall Hit You On the Way Out

As Koranteng and I discussed over post-BBQ tea and coffee when we last met, the notion that there’s a difference between the way people want to, can, and will use intranet software and internet software is crap. The idea that the software used behind-the-firewall has to be different than that used beyond-the-firewall is a pleasant fiction the industry makes up.

That line of thinking is strongest when it comes to crop-dusting enterprise software with Web 2.0 technologies and thinking. And a major part of that realization is that IBM and all the other “enterprise mashup server” projects need to get their stuff up and running on the public internet double post-haste. Crowd-sourcing is the way to make Goose 2.0 lay endless golden eggs, and you’ll never get a valuable enough crowd by taking the traditional behind-the-firewall, silo-bound approach.

And you better get this guy:

Anyone who requires access to his laptop during the world-cup is your man when it comes to advancing (I almost want to write “saving,” but I’ll cut the drama) enterprise software with Web 2.0 ;>

Update: Technorati’s microformat search is worth pointing out in this context. Really, it’s a mashup server in development:

  • It’s user-data driven and actually useful data: events, people, reviews, real content.
  • Users can easily generate their own content and aren’t locked into any particular method of creating that content.
  • It’s search over semi-structured data that’s mashup ready.
  • At the moment, they’re in a releasing early and often to take advantage of learning how people are using and want to use the system.
  • Check out the hybrid workflow (web page + desktop app + network) that it revolves around.

As I’ve mentioned before, search and microformats are a natural fit behind-the-firewall, so it’s good to keep up with how they’re being used beyond-the-firewall.

Disclaimer: IBM is a client.

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Categories: Agile, Blogs, Collaborative, Enterprise Software, RSS, Social Software.