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A mashup is a web application that combines data from multiple sources into a single web application. A mashup ranges from a simple integration of addresses with mapping services to a sophisticated business productivity mashup that combines e-mail, calendaring, and messaging from multiple data sources.

A mashup can be loosely categorized into three categories: consumer mashup, data mashup, and Enterprise or business mashup.

A consumer mashup is generally a simple mashup that combines publically available data sources. Some well-known types of a consumer mashup combine Google Maps with data elements from multiple sources shown within the Google Maps graphical interface.

A data mashup is typically an application that combines similar data types from different sources into a single source. An example of a data mashup is the combining of multiple RSS feeds into a single feed with a graphical front end.

An enterprise or business mashup tends to be more sophisticated applications that integrate at least one internal data source with other internal or external data sources. An example of an enterprise or business mashup is an application that combines CRM sales forecasting data with internal manufacturing and operational data into an executive dashboard. Another example may be a business productivity mashup that combine e-mail, calendaring, and sales data messaging from multiple data sources into a single view to allow for seamless interaction with multiple business systems.

The complex nature of mashups that combine multiple data sources have resulted in the development of mashup editors and platforms to simplify the development process.

The most powerful category of tools for developing a mashup is a platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Bungee Connect PaaS enables connectivity to multiple data sources for mashups while abstracting the tedious task of writing the "glue" code to bring the sources together. Applications need to leverage existing software investments in databases, and internal or external web services, requiring that the platform offer a wide variety of connectivity options. Many mashups require external services with "live" data from multiple sources, (i.e., updated at sub-second intervals) so automatically updated connections between applications and services must be the default (i.e., rich, multiplexed state management capabilities) without requiring additional engineering work.

Bungee Connect is a complete PaaS for developing a mashup and other web applications whether simple or sophisticated. The Bungee Connect PaaS delivers the entire application lifecycle, including all the environments, tools and systems required to develop, deploy and host mashups. Click here to find out more about Bungee Connect.
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