As reported a couple of days ago, the enterprise mashup market promises to be a huge one, growing to almost $2 billion in a few years. So it's high time people involved in this space start organizing and working around some standards everyone can agree on.
Can enterprise mashup proponents avoid the mistakes made with ESBs?
A new consortium, called the Open Mashup Alliance, is the first effort to coalesce around this growing phenomenon. The group's stated mission is to promote "the successful use of Enterprise Mashup technologies and adoption of an open language that promotes Enterprise Mashup interoperability and portability."
One of the founding members is ZDNet's resident Enterprise Web 2.0 guru, Dion Hinchcliffe. Additional charter members include Adobe, Bank of America, Capgemini, HP, Intel, JackBe, Kapow Technologies, ProgrammableWeb, Synteractive, and Xignite.
One of the OMA's first endeavors is to shepherd the budding Enterprise Mashup Markup Language (EMML) specification for submission to a standards body. EMML is an XML-based, domain-specific language that was designed to address the characteristics that make mashups easier to create and reuse.
There were a bunch of supporting quotes included with the OMA's announcement, but I think Michael Ogrinz, principal architect at Bank of America and author of the book Mashup Patterns, said it best: “For enterprise mashups to take hold, we need to remove the ‘vendor lock-in’ concerns raised by today’s proprietary toolsets. We also need to inspire the innovative minds of the open-source community to start working in this space. By establishing an open standard for mashups, the OMA and EMML addresses both of these issues.”
Perhaps the industry learned some lessons from another development that proliferated without guiding standards -- the enterprise service bus. One of the fiercest criticisms of ESBs has been the way vendors took off in all different directions with their implementations before standards could be established. Perhaps we can avoid this with enterprise mashups. But the looming market size must be a huge temptation.