Recently, StrikeIron announced that some of their services are available as widgets to run on IBM's QEDwiki mashup maker.
These widgets are stored on IBM's Mashup Content repository called Mashup Hub
. You can try out these new StrikeIron widgets by accessing QEDwiki on the alphaWorks Services Site.
Here's a step-by-step process to create your own QEDwiki application using a StrikeIron Service. Before you begin, you will need to register on the IBM.com site to have an ID to use QEDwiki.
To register, simply go to https://www.ibm.com/account/profile/us?page=reg
By having an ID on the IBM.com web site you can also access other premium content such as developerWorks tutorials and alphaWorks downloads.To use StrikeIron services within QEDwiki, you will also need to register an account on the StrikeIron Web Site at http://www.strikeiron.com/Register.aspx
. (Remember to check your email to fully activate your StrikeIron account.)
Now that you've registered on both the IBM and StrikeIron web sites, you can now create a simple situational application on the QEDwiki mashup maker utilizing StrikeIron Services by doing the following steps:
- Visit the QEDwiki site on alphaWorks Services
- Then click on the Try It Now link.
- Once you enter your IBM ID and agree to the license, you will see the QEDwiki welcome page.
Select "Create a Page" (and remember to name the page a WikiWord!) So type in a page name like JohnsTestPage1234 ... There is a restriction to always use unique page names (not used by others) because these pages can be shared with your friends. Also choose the "Two_Row" Page type.Once you have created a new QEDwiki page, get into the "Assemble" mode by selecting the "Assemble" tab on the upper right corner.
- Optional step: You can click on the links on the left menu to learn more about using QEDwiki. Good places to start are to select "Introduction" and view the "How To" subtopics, such as How to Create a Page, How to Create Data, etc. Also you should view the Tutorials located in the "AssemblersGuide" section.
Then from the Widget palette on the left side, type "SearchForm" and press "Go". You will see a "Search Form Widget" appear on the palette.Drag and drop the "SearchForm" widget into the first row within the QEDwiki page. You will get a pop-up and you can put "Enter Phone Number" on the entry and click OK.At this point, it would help if you do a Page Refresh on your browser to update the contents of the page. (to avoid a small bug that will be fixed soon.) Then make sure you go back into "Assemble" mode.
OK, now it's time to find a StrikeIron service to use within this QEDwiki application. On the Widget palette, choose "AlphaWorks MashupHub" as the source and type "strikeiron" on your Search bar. Press "Go". You will then see the following palette which displays multiple StrikeIron functions that you can use:
- Drag and drop the "ReversePhoneBusinessIntel" icon (the one with a question mark) onto the second row within the QEDwiki page. You will see a pop-up panel for this widget requesting you to enter a valid StrikeIron ID and Password in order to use the StrikeIron Service. Then select the "Next" button on the upper right corner of the pop-up panel. (Do not press the "OK" button just yet.)
- On the next panel, it asks for you to enter a phone number. Instead of having a static number, we want to use the SearchForm to allow users to enter phone numbers in the entry field. We want the ReversePhoneBusinessIntel widget to consume the contents of the SearchForm entry field. So select the "paper and pencil" icon on the far right of the entry field.
- On the next panel, select the "SearchForm" widget and the "search" topic, and press "OK".
- The resulting "editing properties" panel should look like this:
- Then press "OK", and select the "View" tab because you have now finished the assembly of your QEDwiki situational app.
- For this application, you can enter business phone numbers and perform a "reverse phone number lookup". For new accounts, StrikeIron will provide you with 25 free hits. So if you enter a business phone number such as 914-499-1900, this is what the final application looks like:
So with similar steps, you can create new QEDwiki applications which use other StrikeIron services or which use data services from other providers. You can add map widgets or weather forecast widgets if you want. The page you just created is a wiki page after all, so you can add text to the page by simply selecting the "Page" tab and choosing either the WYSIWYG Editor or Text Editor. Your situational application web page can then be shared with anyone you choose. John FellerManager, IBM Emerging Technologies Development
Back when I joined on with IBM early in 2001, the company was gearing up its efforts in the emerging space of Web services. Part of this effort was a relatively small package that contained an early SOAP implementation and a handful of demos that was collectively known as the Web Services Toolkit or WSTK.
Over time the WSTK evolved, bundling implementations of key Web services standards, demoing key Web services concepts, etc. Eventually we reached a point where it made sense to expand the scope of technologies that the WSTK covered and so the "Emerging Technologies Toolkit" or ETTK was born.
At that time, the ETTK maintained its focus on Web service technologies but branched out to also explore the areas of Grid and Autonomic Computing. With the launch of the ETTK Portal on alphaWorks last Friday, the scope of the ETTK has broadened yet again to cover an even broader collection of technologies including the Integrated Development Environment for Laszlo.
And even though "the toolkit" is expanding its horizons, it is remaining true to its roots by continuing to serve as the primary vehicle by which IBM ships early preview and demo implementations of key Web services standards such as Web Services Distributed Management, Web Services Resource Framework, Web Services Notification, and so on.
So while the alphaWorks site may change it's appearance and the URL's for where you go and download things may change, the same committment we've had to demonstrating key specifications with code that actually runs remains the same.
More later...James Snell
Developers of rich-client interfaces tend to focus on the latest whiz-bang features, but we shouldn't forget the importance of accessibility in reaching the widest possible audience. IBM Rule-based Accessibility Validation Environment (RAVEN)
is an application that inspects Java-based interfaces and evaluates how accessible they are.
RAVEN uses an innovative Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP) technique to inspect the application as it is executed; no source code is required. RAVEN was previously packaged with the Reflexive User Interface Builder (RIB)
, which generates user interfaces from XML-based RIB documents.Jim Hsu
A government IT group told me how it took six months for them and another organization to figure out how their XML schemas matched up so they could decide how to integrate some of their interactions. They were going to send XML documents back and forth using Web services. The project almost collapsed. This is one example of why many groups in industry and academia are looking into how to add semantic information to Web services descriptions. They want to be able to describe the meaning or intent of the inputs and outputs and define the effect of calling the service. There are a number of motivators for adding semantic information to Web services that I can talk about in later posts, but right now I would like to talk briefly about how adding semantics could impact the Web services standards.
There are two general approaches. The first, being pursued by groups like OWL-S http://www.daml.org/services
, The Semantic Web Services Initiative and the Web Services Modelling Ontology group http://www.wsmo.org
, involves creating a semantic model (or Ontology) of what a Web service interface is. Then, this ontology references another ontology that defines the domain in which the inputs and outputs are defined. This approach largely replaces WSDL, although binding definitions can be reused. It also generally uses the ontology language to define data, rather than XML Schema. The second approach, being investigated by IBM and the University of Georgia maintains WSDL and XML Schema as the center of Web services descriptions. Our spec (WSDL-S) is published on IBM alphaWorks http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/g/g.nsf/img/semanticsdocs/$file/wssemantic_annotation.pdf
and is implemented by the IBM ETTK for Web Services and Autonomic Computing and by the University of Georgia METEOR-S project http://lsdis.cs.uga.edu/Projects/METEOR-S/
. We are also working on other tools based on this approach that may be posted to alphaWorks in the near future.
There is much really good work being done on Web services semantics, but we need to consider how the Web services community can get from where we are today to a point where all Web services are semantically described. As a co-author of the WSDL-S spec referenced above, I believe that this process must be an evolution and that the other approach does not account for the current industry momentum around Web services. Software vendors have made major investments in WSDL and have achieved a high level of interoperability. Application developers are creating an ever expanding set of WSDL-based services. Web Services-based integration projects are primarily based on the exchange of existing business documents in their XML representation. I think we have to evolve this existing base, not introduce an approach to semantics that changes the fundamental Web services description technique just to be able incorporate this new metadata. An approach that does not evolve the WSDL/XML Schema-centric Web services world risks being seen as unusable or even irrelevant by the implementation community. Nobody wants that.
This issue will be discussed June 9th and 10th at the W3C Workshop on Frameworks for Semantics in Web Services. There are middle ground positions that I think will come out. Some have proposed using WSDL-S as a bridge to approaches like WSMO. They key is for everyone to try to answer the question, "How do we get there from here?"Joel Farrell
To engage the audience for my Web 2.0 overview, I usually pose a quiz to win an iTunes card. Among the 4 or 5 questions are: If Skyp were measured as a Telcom Carrier, what would be its size worldwide (answer #3 with China Mobile as #1) and What does the phrase 'third screen refer to? (#1 is TV and #2 is PC and #3 is the cell phone, altough every one of us carries one of these around). North Americans are not quite yet tuned-in to the adoption and usage of mobile devices in other parts of the world, especially Asia, for any number of tasks such as vending machine payments, product ordering, and large scale web browsing.
Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft are eager to own the search function on our mobile devices as this capability (7% of all web site requests are for Search) will elevate this 3rd Screen into first place.
As we've observed the decimation of the music distribution industry by the iPod & iTunes (100,000,000th iPod sold earlier in this month) and observe the stuggle of print media to balance its traditonal revenue stream of classified advertising with its foray into online print and ad-related revenues, I believe that the iPhone, due in June, will show North Americans the disruptive power of this Third Screen with location awareness via Googlemaps; web surfing and Search; music, email without a mini-keyboard; and, of course, a communications device or phone. Mobile commerce in many forms will follow.Christopher Perrien
is reporting that Microsoft is considering joining
the Open AJAX Initative underway on Eclipse
Brian Goldfarb, lead product manager for Web Platform and Tools atMicrosoft, said the software giant is open to having a dialogue withthe group of companies pursuing an open-standards approach to AJAX.
Rod Smith, vice president of Internet technologies at IBM, whichstarted the OpenAJAX effort, told eWEEK at the AJAX Experienceconference here that the group extended an invitation to Microsoftbased on the work the company has done with Atlas. Smith said the groupextended an invitation to Microsoft not only to join the OpenAJAXgroup, as 13 companies did earlier this week, but also to attend atwo-day meeting of the group to be held next week here.
"OpenAJAX is definitely an interesting development, and anycooperation in the community is always goodness for developers,"Goldfarb said.
Havingseen what can happen when IBM teamed with Microsoft on standardizingWeb services, this would be a terrific thing if it happened (IMHO).
Thanks for reading,John Gerken
Earlier in month, I spent the better part of 2 days with 10 to 12 CIOs and VPs of Communication discussing Web 2.0 as it might apply to their enterprises. I was surprised by their collective sense of this topic which I summarize as:
- most attendees began the Roundtable feeling that they would find other enterprises to be way ahead of their own adoption of blogs, wikis, syndication, community building. Mild disappointed that the others were no further ahead than they as though they sought reasons to get on the Web 2.0 bandwagon.- somewhat surprising to me, IBM acknowledged to be ahead of the web 2.0 corporate pack with keen interest in how IBM deploys wiki technology and Jams. Jams are massive on-line discussons or focused brain-storming sessions across employee and partner communities.- repeated statements of concern about security and privacy. Most legitimate and some masking a fear of losing control.- no consensus on who should spearhead Web 2.0 adoption. Suggestions ranged from CEO to HR. - Curious to me was the comment that the value of Web 2.0 in the Business to Consumer (B2C) space is obvious because marketing matters there; Web 2.0 justification in the Business to Business (B2B) space is not so obvious because B2B "is all about commerce." So, I thought, what is commerce without customers? Simply, constant cost-reduction? The more that I think about it, Web 2.0 is all about communities of markets. Everyone in the value chain should being thinking about customer satisfaction, even if it costs a little more.- met author of confusedofcalcutta.com. Recommend that you visit this site. cperrien
There are a collection of folks here from MIT who are involved in a project called "Future Boston
",which is tasked with building tools to facilitate the upcomingchallanges facing the city. In particular the MIT Department of UrbanStudies and Planning and Boston.com are sponsoring contests
to see who can build the best mashups in the following areas:
- Innovation Landscape: Plots geospatialboundaries of a fast innovating hub
- Visualize the ""Innovation Landscape"
- Show change over time
- Identify key trends and exceptions
- Model Maker: Detects the development capacity ofa region
- Interpret "live on the ground" of ScienceCity using rich, parcel level data and multiple data sources
- Talent Scout: Maps newly-admitted degreecandidates to companies
- Investor:Matches dollars to opportunityTap administrative data ad publicdatasets about landuse, ownership, infrastructure, buildings, etc.
Sothe challange is to build mashups using open interoperable OGCprotocols (WMS and WFS) and visualization tools to prototype ways of:
- Engaging public in deeper understanding of urban fabric and urban futures
- Envisioninglife along MassAveCity (now and in the future) from the point of viewof students, employers, universities, investors, etc.
The goals of the challange are:
- Technical: Push the boundaries of web mappingand information visualization
- Educational: Use technology to tell a storyabout life in Boston, MA,and the country and visualize how it could be different.
If you're interested, you've got between now and Thursday Night. Check out MIT site and download
the data. The award is $500 for each winner. Time to get started!
Thanks for reading,John Gerken
Today at the IMPACT
conference, IBM announced IBM Mashup Center
which allows business users to drag and drop components from various Websources to easily create, deploy and share customized Web applications inminutes. In the past, our emerging technologies team has demonstrated the usefulness of situational applications for business users particually using QEDwiki
mashup maker. From our various customer interactions and lessons learned with QEDwiki, we have evolved the technology with more functions and enhancements into the IBM Mashup Center technology. IBM Mashup Center consists of Lotus Mashups
(which is the mashup maker) and the MashupHub
technology (a catalog and feed server). John FellerIBM Emerging Technologies Development
A useful link from our colleague, John Gerken, regarding the state of mash-ups. This is the space or Web 2.0 technology that will make a difference to the enterprise or those who will truly benefit from the interconnection and wide distribution of corporate information.
"In case you've not seen this yet, below is an interesting new review from Dion on 17 various mashup platforms. He uses a pretty broad definition of "mashup" to include unstructured and structured data mashup makers such as Dapper, Pipes and Kapow, but also makes some very good points I think with regards to enterprise readiness -- things like data availability, security and governance -- as largely unaddresses topics. Also, remember when it was just us (IBM) and JotSpot in this space? My how things have changed."
A bumper crop of new mashup platforms (ZDnet headline)
While application developers tend to roll their eyes, end-user mashups remain one of the year's more promising new trends in software development -- and there appears to be considerable demand for mashups at the enterprise level. Dion Hinchcliffe finds no fewer than 17 platforms currently available that offer credible mashup assembly capabilities today.