WSO2 open-source mashup builder leverages JavaScript

WSO2 also relies on Web services with the launch of WSO2 Mashup Server and its hosted online version called Mooshup.com

WSO2 is offering its open-source WSO2 Mashup Server product, which leverages JavaScript and Web services in assembling mashups, on Monday. In positioning the product for use by JavaScript developers, the company is looking to enable delivery of more functional mashups than can be built with alternative GUI-based tools. A hosted online version of Mashup Server, called Mooshup.com, also will be launched Monday as a community site for developing and sharing mashups.

With WSO2 Mashup Server 1.0, WSO2 anticipates a confluence of Web 2.0 social capabilities and enterprise needs. "Basically, what we believe is that enterprise IT is going to go more toward a social enterprise structure where the IT offerings are not only by IT staff but by anybody in the enterprise," said WSO2 Chairman/CEO Sanjiva Weerawarana.

But WSO2 is targeting Web developers who can write JavaScript. "The main purpose of WSO2 Mashup Server is to allow developers to author new Web services in JavaScript," said Jonathan Marsh, WSO2 director of mashup technologies. These Web services can be consumed within other enterprise tools and exposed as an RSS or Atom feed, he said.

WSO's mashup platform is not intended to complete head-to-head with more GUI-based business level mashup products. "There's a feeling that we had that limiting yourself to a GUI right off the bat gets you started very quickly, but you quickly reach walls that block you from doing precisely what you'd like to do," Marsh said. Eventually, users of those tools have to resort to JavaScript, he said.

Mashups can be authored within the administrative UI, with a text editor, or with any popular IDE, WSO2 said.

"It's an interesting aspect to choose JavaScript as sort of the primary scripting language," said analyst Michael Cote of RedMonk. JavaScript has been primarily used in AJAX-style (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) development, Cote noted. But plenty of people are familiar with JavaScript, he added.

Built on the WSO2 Web services application Server, WSO2 Mashup Server can use information from Web services, HTML, and feeds and publishes the result as a Web service. Each service has metadata to simplify consumption by other mashups and Web services clients. Content and presentation are separated through XML and Web services to enable a service to be consumed by another mashup.

Web service and UI artifacts are generated, such as WSDL, REST URLS and JavaScript stubs. Services can be composed from such sources as Web services, RSS, and HTML.

Additionally, services can be accessed using a request-response pattern or be programmed to run over a long period of time. For example, a mashup initiating instant messaging alerts can warn transport companies about possible delays when there is snow.

By leveraging WSO2's application server and registry, the mashup server gains capabilities for enterprise security, reliability, and governance, WSO2 said.

Mooshup.com is being launched in a beta version. "The purpose is to help us drive downloads of Mashup Server," Marsh said.

WSO2 sells support services for Mashup Server, with prices ranging from US$2,000 per server per year to US$8,000 per server per year, depending on levels of support.

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