A Patterns Primer
The benefits of enterprise mashups are communicated through a concept known as a pattern. If you've ever baked holiday cookies, then you already have some idea of what a pattern is and how it works. Suppose you want to make a tray of chocolate-chip heart-shaped cookies. After you mix the dough, you roll it out and grab your cookie cutter. You use the cutter to press out a series of identical shapes. Afterward, you decide some oatmeal raisin hearts would be nice, so you mix a fresh batch of ingredients and cut out another series of hearts. The cookie cutter is a form of pattern. The different types of dough are the specific situations, or "use cases," where the pattern is applied. A pattern doesn't solve a problem in itself. It's just a general form that helps you think about the structure of the solution (what shaped cookie, in this example).
The remaining chapters of this book present a number of patterns, along with some examples to illustrate how they work in an enterprise context. Don't throw out the pattern if you don't like the dough! Every business has a different flavor, and the key to success with patterns is figuring out which one is yours. You can use the samples that fill out this book to help identify the mashup ingredients your organization already has. Apply the appropriate mashup pattern and you have a recipe for success.27