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Magic Software uniPaaS
This application is billed as database agnostic, and has been architected to work with databases ranging from MySQL to SQL Server to DB2 to Oracle. It is based on the .NET framework and ships without database tools; the application and a runtime environment are installed on the back end, while user consoles are client-side. Once installed, the application provides a drop-down box for an administrator to choose from where to import data, such as a DB2 database residing on an AS/400 server.
Much of what uniPaaS offers isn't new to the industry, but for Web 2.0 purposes, uniPaaS provides nifty business capabilities that can add measurable value and efficiency. As a Rich Internet Application (RIA) development tool, uniPaaS provides VARs not sold on Adobe or IBM with a solid alternative for integrating Web 2.0 data with corporate data. For uniPaaS, pricing for development is on a per seat basis at $6,000 per seat; full client deployment for 100 seats is $275 per seat and full server for RIA deployment for 100 users and 10 threads is $286 per user. Price per unit will drop as the number of seats goes up. (Tech Stars: 4, Channel Stars: 4)
Yahoo Pipes is an Ajax-based, browser-based online mashup application that anyone with a Yahoo account can use for free. For non-commercial purposes, it's also the most fun—but commerce is about a lot more than fun. Yahoo Pipes, which the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company describes as a composition tool, is also one of the older mashup tools available, having been introduced more than 18 months ago. The Pipes site closely resembles the IBM Lotus offering—but Yahoo hosts the service for its subscribers. Yahoo does provide enough functionality so that mashups can be exported into badges or widgets. The online search pioneer continues to refine Pipes as well, recently adding the option to render mashups in PHP in addition to JSON, RSS or KML. For quick, easy deployment, Yahoo Pipes is worth a look. (Tech Stars: 5, Channel Stars: 2)
As Web integration for business begins to adapt to a Web 2.0 world, look for these offerings to become more robust and provide more opportunities for VARs. These three, proprietary commercial offerings all get a recommendation from the Test Center because they can all meet a variety of business needs for solution providers of different skill sets. The IBM Mashup Center provides a slightly more attractive alternative because of the platform's flexibility and easy-to-deploy approach. It's clear, though, that with much of this technology at the earliest of stages it may well be worth revisiting this segment within a couple of quarters.
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