Page 2 of 3
IBM Mashup Center
IBM's top developers and creative minds have been highlighting the Armonk, N.Y.-based company's approach to mashups and Web 2.0 for more than a year. IBM and its Lotus group hang their approach on two major hooks: OpenAjax and its WebSphere server technology. Earlier this summer, the company released the IBM Mashup Center and IBM Lotus Greenhouse as a sandbox for its technology. IBM Mashup Center provides an easy-to-use, GUI-based method to combining maps, RSS feeds, and corporate data like customer lists into browser-based widgets. Creating a mashup here is as simple as dragging and dropping RSS feeds, mapping information, CSV files or other data sets onto a work board; connecting those files to other data files or filters; and then collecting the results in list, map or other graphical format. In the sandbox, IBM is targeting non-technologists—this is both less code-intensive and more business-friendly than Google Mashup Editor. For solution providers with basic knowledge of WebSphere deployment, this provides an easy-to-rollout, server-based approach. A relatively small deployment—with a 20-user license—is priced at about $2,600; larger enterprises which seek a broader deployment can choose a per-CPU option and IBM provides its mashup offering through both software partners as well as selling it direct. (Tech Stars: 5, Channel Stars: 4)
Adobe, San Jose, Calif., is clearly banking on investments it has already made in Flex and Flash to build its technological presence as a platform for commercial Web 2.0. With its Adobe LiveCycle Enterprise Suite, which began shipping its most recent update on July 17, Adobe includes two, new components to the suite: LiveCycle Component Services ES and LiveCycle PDF Generator 3D ES. It has also enhanced it with Adobe Air, Reader 9 and Flex 3 integration. Reviewing this application in a sandbox environment, the Test Center could see particularly compelling advances by Adobe in PDF integration. What makes LiveCycle hum, though, is the LiveCycle Workbench; this application feature allows for icon-based widgets that allow data types such as credit information and geographic information to be "mashed" together to provide compelling output.
On the back end, Adobe LiveCycle ES can install in a turnkey deployment, which includes JBoss or Weblogic databases; it can also install with more customized deployment, which requires manual installation. While pricing varies depending on the implementation, Adobe ballparks out the license pricing at about $25,000 per CPU. (Tech Stars: 4, Channel Stars: 4)