Is it BPM? Is it SOA? No, its a Mash-Up!

What is a Mash-Up really? They were invented basically around making web application work together. Find a Mash-Up definition on Wikipedia here. Most vendors claim to compose task based applications that are easy to define and deploy and link together multiple SOA services. Development is collaborative between IT and business users and thus reducing overall project management time. It all sounds absolutely great!

It sounds in fact so much like what we at ISIS Papyrus Software have been doing for the last ten years. Oh God, we are not what we thought we are anymore. Identity crisis is setting in. We have been once again thrown into another bin. Sigh. So what are we going to sell now? A Mashup integration tool that empowers end-users to consolidate ECM, BPM, CRM and all the rest without doing anything? It happens all by itself?

Let’s face it. Mashups are nice and cute. Some more, some less. But they are no more than component assembly software with a cutsy user interface for very simple processes. They are limited in user interface options, limited in process options, have no content functions, usually run on Windows only, most probably quite limited in scalability because of it. Integration is limited to SOA and web syndication.

Mashups are good in principle, but they are not something new. Forrester suggests that there is a trend to move from a model-view-control perspective of applications to a process-view-service perspective like in those Mashup products. We have had this perspective for years, but it is nowhere near enough because the views are mostly forms and the process requires substantial analysis. Mashups a process design tools that are not so process analysis focused. So are we.

So maybe ISIS Papyrus is Mashup? OK. The main difference is that we see the content as the carrier of the business process and use the user-trainable complex event processing capability of Papyrus UTA to do away with process analysis. Because even if Mashups are easy to maintain applications, making changes still requires analysis, implementation and roll-out. And this analysis can simply be wrong because of the process complexity or the requirements change. They do that all the time.

We and Mashups face the same challenge however: Getting the NOT-SO-AGILE people (in IT and business) of large corporations to be agile. Because agility is not in the software .. it is in the mind!

I am the founder and Chief Technology Officer of ISIS Papyrus Software, a medium size software company specializing in communications and process management. I wrote several books and hold a number of patents. My quest is to bring common sense to IT, mostly by focusing in human quality issues rather than cost saving, outsourcing and automation. I am also Chief Architect at VIPorbit software which provides mobile relationship management.

Posted in Application Lifecycle, Business Architecture, Web 2.0

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Max J. Pucher
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by Max J. Pucher. All rights reserved.
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