I have been spending a lot of time over the past month thinking about the potential impact of mashups, gadgets, widgets, add-ons, or whatever you want to call them, on the enterprise. Just this past week, Yahoo announced Yahoo Pipes, Microsoft launched Connected Services Sandbox, and just yesterday I saw the first preview of Teqlo’s approach (Mark Crofton has a good write-up here). The pace of mashups and the varying approaches to creating mashups continues to accelerate.
So what is a mashup or widget and what is the difference between the two? The best description was recently provided by Phil Wainewright (who, by the way, rights one of the best SaaS blogs out there). Essentially, mashups combine public domain web information with SOA-based components utilizing open APIs in most cases. ProgrammableWeb suggests there are currently over 1,500 mashups today (although nearly half of those are map-based mashups).
Needless to say, I think mashups have a huge potential for enterprises and application vendors alike. I plan on writing more about mashups over the next few months. For HCM, that mashup future could combine relevant, public data sources such as Jobster, LinkedIn (although they do not currently publish their APIs), Payscale, Skype, and even Google Maps with SaaS applications such as SuccessFactors, Taleo, CornerStone OnDemand, and Salesforce.com and delivering the mashups and micro-applications tailored to the users "webtop" or homepage of choice such as Google. Look for some upcoming research in the next month that will start to shape this impending revolution in enterprise applications.