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JackBe Provides Enterprise Mashup Platform on the Cloud and Previews Presto 3.0

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JackBe provides a comprehensive enterprise mashup solution and I have covered them before on this blog (see JackBe is Refining its Enterprise Mashup Offering and more recently, JackBe Leads Formation of Open Mashup Alliance to Advance Adoption of Enterprise Mashup Solutions).  Mashups continue to be one of the major building blocks of enterprise 2.0 and JackBe reported a 355 percent growth in revenue for 2009.  I recently spoke with John Crupi, CTO, and Chris Warner, VP of Marketing, on their latest moves.

We started with their new cloud offering. In the past companies could install Presto, JackBe’s mashup product, on their own private cloud. Now JackBe has expanded this option by offering a cloud services for its customers through Amazon. Each client gets their own instance and this helps with administration and security.  The on-premise option is still available and in the future, they may move to a hybrid option.

The Presto cloud offering is also available at no cost to all members of the JackBe Mashup Developer Community (www.jackbe.com/dev). This allows mashup developers to connect Internet-based data sources in their own secure workspace and easily share their mashups with fellow community members. It promotes greater collaboration. With Presto Cloud (Community Edition), users can also take advantage of a public mashup catalog consisting of hundreds of mashable data sources from JackBe Preferred Partners as well as shared mashup applications created by other community members.

Two changes were made as part of this move to the cloud. There are some new collaboration features and enhanced APIs that further encourage the sharing of mashups. John said that the cloud option has increased their appreciation of collaboration possibilities with mashups. This appreciation has influenced their next general release, Presto 3.0, which is planned in a few months.

We next moved to a discussion of Presto 3.0 which JackBe plans to release in June 2010. One of the lead concepts is proving an App Store for the enterprise.  This builds off the Apple concept to provide a place to share mashups and find the components for new ones.  This is yet another of the recent examples of the consumer market driving innovation in the enterprise market.  The Presto mashups can have  widget interfaces that can be embedded in other apps increasing their flexibility and the range of applications.  The Enterprise App Store is targeted to help both users and developers.

JackBe has built social capabilities into Presto 3.0 through what they term the Hub. This allows for users and developers to find, share, rate, and comment on mashups and Apps. It acts like a combination of a Facebook Wall and Apple’s App Store with added security and governance to meet enterprise needs. Below is a sample screen shot of a Hub.

Wires (see below) is where mashups are assembled through a visual modeling interface.

The Mashboard (see below) is where users can organize, run and share mashup Apps.  Users can also “connect” Apps together in Mashboard.

Chris and John mentioned that all of these screens will likely get more tweaks and improvements as they move closer to Presto 3.0″s June 2010 production date.

Chris gave me an example of one of their popular mashups and how it can be customized. Book publishers have become avid users of mashups. In one case they can take the latest tagged content from sources such as Yahoo News and Google News or even CNN and cross reference this to the tagged content in their catalogs to promote books which relate to what is hot in the news. Users can vary the sources. This allows book publishers to dynamically reshuffle their offerings to meet the latest demands within their target populations.  I think this is a great example of the type of flexibility that mashups offer.

JackBe is also increasing their integration with SharePoint.  This  move is being done by a number of suppliers as SharePoint continues to dominate the enterprise market but, at the same time, continues to have gaps in its functionality. With Presto 3.0 you will be able to push content out of SharePoint through mashups into other applications. You will also be able to do the reverse and bring content from other sources into SharePoint. You will also be able to cross-connect content from one SharePoint instance to another. John said that some of their clients have as many as  hundreds of thousands of instances of SharePoint. Presto 3.0 will be able to harness data from SharePoint and bring disparate data into SharePoint. You see a sample screen below.

I like all these new moves and the terms JackBe has picked to label them. Mashups and Apps are the glue that enable you to do what portals promised and never really delivered.  I look forward to seeing the release of Presto 3.0 and I would not be surprised to see similar growth for them in 2010.

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