Sharing structured data

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One of the ‘special pleasures’ of CEOs everywhere is money. How to make sure your company makes enough of it, how to make sure you company doesn't spend too much of it, and so on. So it is with a very deep personal satisfaction that I can report that JackBe has received $9.5 million in funding for sales, marketing and, most important for all of you, continued development of our enterprise mashup software platform, Presto. It is this kind of milestone event that can make even the most grizzled software veteran reflect on the changes that a rapidly-growing industry like ours has already undergone and where it is heading.

It’s easy to forget that less than 2 years ago you couldn’t find a reference to ‘mashups’ unless you listened to late night radio. But enterprise mashups today get coverage in the general business press, make the to-do list of CIOs and enterprise architects, and even rank high on analysts lists of technologies to watch and embrace. Notable mashup software/service providers include a literal Who’s Who of heavy-weight companies like IBM, Yahoo, and Microsoft. And we’ve already seen some frighteningly-quick exits from the mashup space, a few notable sudden entries, and the obligatory wannabes who want to ride the mashup coattails while hoping you can’t tell the difference. All this in 2 short years.

Most importantly, the vernacular and the technology of mashups has grown by leaps and bounds. For example, here at JackBe we’ve introduced the first Mashup Markup Language, an XML/XQuery/XPath answer to creating complex mashups, and Mashlets, a mashup visualization that can be published and consumed in a variety of platforms including portals, RIAs, Wikis, blogs and just any old web site. We also introduced the first set of guidelines for mashup buyers and implementors in our 5 Cs of Enterprise Mashups. And like JackBe, we’re seeing other mashup vendors relating their products to broader enterprise IT efforts like ERP/SFA, portals, RIAs, and perhaps most notably, SOAs.

So, here we are. Smarter than we were 2 years ago. More relevant. More motivated. And I genuinely believe that the opportunity ahead of us is huge. We have a great chance of being a technology that forever leaves an enduring mark in the enterprise software ecosystem. But it’s not a done deal. The experts tell us we still face some hurdles. If the last 2 years are any indication of our future trajectory, you’ll need to hold on tight. It should be one heck of a ride.

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