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IBM Executive Declares Web 2.0 Technology to Drive New Business Applications

New "IBM Enterprise Mashup" Technology Allows for Creation of Five Minute Custom Applications

NEW YORK, NY - 15 Jun 2006: NY PHP Conference -- In a keynote speech to leading technology executives, Rod Smith, IBM's vice president of emerging Internet technologies, declared that the technologies underpinning blogs, wikis and innovative sites like Google Maps and Wikipedia on the Web will transform the way productivity applications are developed -- in some cases in as little as five minutes -- using the ever-expanding palette of Web 2.0 components available for free on the Internet.

According to Smith, the rapid adoption of Web 2.0 technologies is encouraging clients to experiment by marrying the growing combinations of online Web services with existing data and information from inside their business, enabling the creation of new applications that bring the experience and utility of popular next-generation Internet applications to business users.

This approach has the potential, Smith argues, to put in-house corporate developers in more control by inventing on-the-spot composite applications that solve immediate business challenges.

"The embrace of open standards and Web 2.0 technologies is forcing businesses to rethink the paradigm of the proprietary, one-size-fits-all productivity application," declared Smith. "In today's business climate, with business collaborations quickly forming and disbanding, customers are rethinking how they can enable innovation to occur.

"Customers I talk to are abuzz about Web 2.0 and the creation of popular Internet services that seem to quickly appear out of nowhere, becoming instant global phenomena that are enjoyed by the masses -- including their employees. They want to apply that new paradigm to make their businesses act faster and grab new opportunities. There's no going back."

As part of his keynote, Smith unveiled a new Mashup prototype based on Web 2.0 technologies that applies to industry and business situations. IBM's so-called "Enterprise Mashup" breaks down the barriers of traditional application development and provides a framework that uses Web services and wiki technology to allow people to create a customized application in less than five minutes.

"The Web 2.0 powered IBM Enterprise Mashup puts more capability into an individuals hands and gives them more freedom to innovate -- and because Web 2.0 technologies are based on open standards, integrating them into an open business model is easy for end users and developers alike," said Smith.

IBM's Enterprise Mashup blends external information and web services (e.g., news feeds, weather reports, maps, traffic conditions and more) with enterprise content and services, instantly "mashing" them together to create a fast, flexible and affordable application for specific business needs. Mashup, derived from the hip-hop practice of mixing song samples, are a website or applications that combine content from more than one source into an integrated user application using open technologies like Ajax, PHP and syndicated feeds (RSS or ATOM).

"We are seeing growing interest by businesses for Enterprise Mashups, which are driving a whole new breed of 'instant applications' by people needing specific and tailored information," Smith said. "This is about how you empower more people to link applications and information together, helping solve problems in real time. Web 2.0 pioneers are demonstrating the potential of Mashups through their innovative thinking. During the next two years, all middleware vendors will have mash up makers in their product portfolio -- why let all the Web 2.0 folks have all the fun. Enterprise Mashup takes the guesswork out of creating tailored, short-term applications that help solve immediate business challenges in a cost-effective way."

Smith showed a movie production dashboard based on the IBM Enterprise Mashup technology. In the live demo, a movie producer can link the entire post-production film crew: sound, digital film, special effects and editors into one application where they can track work progress and resources used, allocate assignments to staff, manage budgets and update content. Smith's Mashup demonstration was derived from IBM's recent collaboration with members of the National Association of Broadcasters (www.nab.org) where production teams collaborate around project specific content in real-time using technologies like Ajax, Atom and instant messaging. Typically, such information collaboration solutions have not been previously possible for digital media professionals due to the cost and time to combine this specific information.

Web 2.0 Driving More Situational Applications

In addition to the media and entertainment Enterprise Mashup example, Smith also discussed other Mashups IBM has been developing, including one for a home improvement store. This Mashup helps a logistics manager to plan the most efficient way to send rock salt, shovels and snow blowers to the Northeast to stock the store in time for a forecasted record snow storm. By using the Enterprise Mashup, the manager can "drag and drop" weather reports from the National Weather advisory, maps from Google Maps and the company's national hardware inventory data into a mashed up application that will show which stores will be hit with the storm, which stores need inventory, enabling the manager prioritize deliveries.

In financial services, the Enterprise Mashup can provide a unique Web "radar" that enable users to create a dashboard based on the interests of friends, relatives or coworkers from their computer's address book. For example, a stockbroker can drop a list of client names into the wiki-based Mashup maker and get dashboard view of their interest areas with links to topical blogs, wikis and relevant news feeds from all over the Web. The dashboard shows which client interests overlap with other contacts in your address book. With this view, you can easily get up to speed on areas most relevant to your client's portfolios, read current news stories and find new resources on investment tips you can share. The view also shows how your contacts relate to one another in areas of interests (or investing), so you, or your clients, can make new business connections and expand your corporate network.

Smith credited early pioneers for their innovations in social networking technologies for driving this new capability, and suggested "there is pent up demand for a new category of applications that until now have been unaffordable for businesses to build. We feel the Enterprise Mashup project begins to address this demand and will help evolve the way business collaboration is conducted in the future."

Currently IBM is making Enterprise Mashups available for selected customers who want to evaluate the technology in real business situations. Interested participants should contact their IBM representative. IBM plans to make the technology available on their AlphaWorks Services website to allow users to test drive the technology for broader evaluation.

For more information about IBM, go to: www.ibm.com.

To learn more about IBM Enterprise Mashup enabling technologies please refer to:

-- http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/ajaxtk for Ajax

-- http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/opensource/top-projects/php.html for PHP

Contact(s) information

Joe Becker
IBM Communications
646-598-5102
bjoseph@us.ibm.com

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