San Francisco - Mashups are the killer apps for SOA, according to keynote speakers at Tuesday's Oracle OpenWorld conference.
And they weren't talking about fun things college students find to do with their wireless DSL connections in their dorm rooms. They were talking about mashups in corporate board rooms.
In fact, one of the keynoters, Andy Mulholand, CTO of Capgemni Corp., was touting a new book, "Mashup Corporations: The End of Business as Usual," which he co-authored with Chris Thomas, chief strategist at Intel Corp.
Their thesis is that business need to embrace the model they call the "service-oriented enterprise."
What applications may look like in mashup corporations was demonstrated by Thomas Kurian, Oracle Corp. senior vice president for Fusion Middleware, in his morning keynote.
During Kurian's keynote, the screen behind him showed off a corporate budgeting application that was a mashup of traditional desktop word processing and spreadsheet programs plus e-mail and instant messaging, mixed with Web 2.0 applications including wikis, blogs and Voice over IP (VoIP).
Kurian's message to developers and architects: "Use Web apps to build really sophisticated, dynamic, collaborative environments."
Ideally, the kind of "enterprise mashup" Oracle demonstrated would speed up business tasks such as budgeting. It would allow marketers, accountants, departmental managers and executives to view budget numbers and charts interactively via Web services applications. Then they could hash out changes via e-mail, IM and VoIP, and interactively work the kinks out of a budget and finalize it. All this could be done without the endless scheduling of meetings in conference rooms that in Mulholland's terms characterizes "business as usual" as it was in the pre-SOA world.
SOA and collaboration were still the buzz words in an afternoon keynote when John Chambers, president and CEO of Cisco Systems Inc., presented a vision pushing Web 2.0 concepts to the outer limits of the known IT universe.
"Collaboration is the next frontier," he told his audience.
To Oracle's vision incorporating wikis and blogs in the enterprise mashup, Cisco adds "tele-presence," Chambers' vision of next generation video conferencing.
Tele-presence, based on high definition, interactive video technology Cisco acquired in its purchase of Scientific-Atlanta, is designed to bring participants from around the globe into a virtual meeting that appears as if everyone were sitting around the same conference table. Rather than the stilted conversations that characterize most video conferences now, all members of the tele-presence meeting would be able to talk directly to each other as if they were sitting together, even if one is in India and another is in Indiana.
Planning to eat their own dogfood, Cisco will use tele-presence to reduce travel and save millions of dollars in auto and airfare expenses, Chambers said.
Adding an environmental pitch for the technology, he said it would also cut pollution by reducing driving and flying.
The tele-presence technology also has entertainment applications.
A dynamic speaker who walks around in the audience like a talk show host, Chambers spiced up his talk with a demonstration of how his mashup vision would work in a baseball park. A fan was shown buying virtual tickets and viewing video highlights on his cell phone.
Chambers said while much of the Web 2.0 technology got its start as consumer entertainment, the future will meld what people do for fun with computers with what they do for work.
In part of his demo, a tele-presence business conference was followed by a baseball fan's virtual family reunion.
Chambers told the audience made up largely of IT professionals that he knows they are skeptical of the Web 2.0 collaboration vision being offered at Oracle OpenWorld. But he insisted: "You'll all be doing this in five years."
Buckle your virtual seatbelts.