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  1. How Mashups Can Help Your Business
  2. Are Mashups the Perfect Solution?
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Are Mashups the Perfect Solution?

Is this the ideal situation for integrating applications? Not always. It can lead to all sorts of brittle, hidden dependencies that cause unexpected outages when one system's failure mysteriously cascades across the enterprise. Several of the anti-patterns in Mashup Patterns discuss these situations. However, this approach can be an invaluable tool for temporarily delivering a solution while navigating more formal channels. At a conference, I was asked, "Should we use mashups this way even though they can break?" My response was, "Everything can break. It's all about how you manage the risks and how much value you can extract."

As you examine the role of mashups within your organization, don't confine yourself to thinking only of amalgamation at the user-interface level. That was the first generation of mashup. Instead, consider how you can obtain the data behind the interface and behind the public API. The problem with taking what you're given is that everyone else has the same raw material. Reach beyond these façades and you'll find orders of magnitude more data that you can harvest.

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