I have covered Jackbe before including a preview of this release (see JackBe Provides Enterprise Mashup Platform on the Cloud and Previews Presto 3.0). I spoke with John Crupi, CTO and Chris Warner, VP of Marketing about their new 3.0 release. Two of the main additions are a platform for creating internal Enterprise App Stores, as well as a robust visual toolset for creating secure Enterprise Apps.
We first discussed the Enterprise App Store. This is modeled after the very successful and well-known iTunes store but it takes the functionality inside the enterprise as a means of governance more that a commercial distribution channel. I like the use of the App Store concept, as people are very familiar with it. The platform allows enterprise consumers of apps a single source that is well organized and searchable. It also offers the creators of apps a central place to share their efforts within the enterprise. Here is a sample App Store screen.
There is an App Store Manager responsible for ensuring the Apps have function, documentation and work as advertised. The review and approval process provides central governance that can be very useful given the ease in which apps can be powered by mashups. This is a way to avoid the potential chaos of too many apps and redundant apps. You can better get the right apps to the right users with some degree of vetting along the way. The apps can be out-of-the-box creations, as well as templates requiring further customization. Here is a App Store Manager screen.
The App Store has an area called ‘My Apps’ where users can place and organize the Apps they want and use. They can provide comments; tag and share the Apps. This information accelerates the ability for other users to find and use the Apps they want. Here is a sample My Apps screen
JackBe has also upgraded their development tools with this release. Their new visual tools make it easier for non-developers to create enterprise apps and deploy them to enterprise destination like portals, SharePoint, iGoogle, and mobile devices. Presto 3.0 includes enhancement to Wires, their visual mashup-making tool, Mashboard, a new App assembly and wiring tool, and Mashup Sites for SharePoint, an advanced SharePoint add-on that mashes SharePoint Lists and publishes Apps as SharePoint WebParts.
They showed me some apps created with these new tools. One set were developed by a non-technical marketing person and covered the World Cup. There was an amusing comparison of goals per capita and goals vs. GDP for the competing countries. These applications took minutes to create without programming using publically available data.
I especially liked the new Mashhboard that allows users to group or link apps along a workflow. The creations can run on any browser, on the iPad, or even within Excel. The approach is to make everything simple: creation, distribution selection, and implementation. Mashups are one of the key building blocks of enterprise 2.0 and it is nice to see these new features to streamline the process. Here is a Mashboard screen.
JackBe will also be making a cloud-based Developer Edition of Presto 3.0 available to all members of its Mashup Developer Community. Registration in the Community is free and includes tutorials, samples, and support forums.