Contents: Planning, installing, and configuring Mashup Center : Mashup Center 2.0
This topic provides an overview of the main components offered with Mashup Center. It also explains some high-level concepts of the types of tasks you can perform using Mashup Center.
Mashup Center provides an easy-to-use solution for business applications. Using Mashup Center, you can assemble dynamic situational applications - with the management, security, and governance capabilities that Information Technology requires.
With Mashup Center, you can do the following:
- Assemble new applications by reusing existing data and services
- Unlock enterprise, Web, personal, and departmental information
- Create widgets from enterprise systems
- Discover and share mashup applications, widgets, feeds, and services
- Transform and mix information into new feeds
- Explore different combinations to uncover new insights
- Unleash productivity and foster innovation by supporting self-service application development
Mashup Center is made up of the following components. See the following sections to understand how to navigate and perform tasks within each component.
The mashup builder is a widget-based browser interface that contains all the necessary components for creating, assembling, configuring, and designing objects such as widgets, mashup pages, and spaces. You can perform many tasks directly in the mashup builder, for example share objects with others, publish objects to the catalog, browse the catalog for objects, create widgets based on templates, manage spaces, wire and configure widgets, and more.
When working in the mashup builder, you can switch between a default theme and a tabbed theme. Figure 1 and Figure 2 show you how the mashup builder components display in each theme.
For more information about themes, see Working with themes and skins : Mashup Center 2.0
Figure 1: Mashup builder default theme
Figure 2: Mashup builder tabbed theme
When using the default theme, you can access categories of widgets and add them to pages directly from the palette. When you open a category, you can hover your cursor over the widgets and see a brief description of the widget. You can also see if the widget has been marked as non-trusted. The palette contains options to save the current page, view hidden widgets, and open the catalog.
The menus directly above the palette allow you to navigate through your pages and spaces as well as take actions with them. For pages, the page selector is the area in the mashup builder that allows you to navigate parent pages as well as all the subpages attached to the parent pages. You can create pages directly from the page selector. The page actions menu is a list of actions that you can perform for pages, for example sharing pages with others, publishing pages to the catalog, displaying pages in Web pages, deleting pages, moving pages, and editing setting for pages.
When using the tabbed theme, the page share menu is the list of actions that you can perform that are related to sharing pages. For example, you can share pages and set permissions for individual users and groups, add pages to your page selector that others have shared with you, publish pages to the catalog, and display pages in Web pages. The page customize menu allows you to search for and add widgets and feeds to pages and change page styles.
For spaces, the space selector is the area in the mashup builder that allows you to navigate, manage, and create spaces. You can open the space manager directly from the space selector. You can also use the space selector to view all the pages that are contained within spaces and create new pages for those spaces. The space actions menu is a list of actions that you can perform for spaces, for example share spaces with others, publish spaces templates to the catalog, make spaces your home space, add spaces to a favorites list, create copies of spaces, delete spaces, export spaces, and edit properties for spaces.
A page is the canvas area on which you configure, edit, wire, and design widgets.
After you add widgets to pages, you can configure the widgets with data sources and wire them together to create a mashup application. Then, you can set permissions on the page, share them with others, publish them to the catalog, and more. After you publish them to the catalog, you can import them into the page hierarchy in WebSphere®
Portal, edit them, and then publish them back into the catalog.
When you add pages to the mashup builder from the catalog, you can either add the entire page, including all the artifacts associated with the page, or you can simply reference the URL of the page on the Mashup Center server.
A space is a hierarchy of pages with a set of members. You can provide access to spaces to both individual users and groups of users. After you provide access, these users automatically inherit the access-control settings for the pages contained in the space.
You can also set default themes for spaces. By default, when you set a theme for a space, all the pages in the space inherit the theme. You can also import and export spaces, for example into some sort of source control application. When you import and export a space, you import and export the entire hierarchy of pages contained in the space. You can also publish spaces to the catalog as a template to share with others. Users can then go to the catalog and add the template to their version of Mashup Center and create a new space from your template. They can create as many instances of the space as they need to from your template.
After you publish a space to the catalog as a template, you can import it into Business Space or WebSphere Portal Server as a composite application. In this case, you are importing the entire hierarchy of pages, which is why you can import it at the composite application level, not just as a single page. You can then add your application back to Mashup Center and use it as a template to create new spaces.
The space manager is an integrated interface that allows you to manage your spaces as well as the pages contained within your spaces. In the space manager, you can easily see a list of all the spaces that you own as well as the ones that you have permission to edit and view. You can filter the list of spaces and also hide spaces from the list view of other users.
Figure 3: Space manager
A widget is a small, portable application or piece of dynamic content that can easily be placed into a Web page or an embedded browser within a rich client. Widgets can be written in any language (Java, .NET, PHP, and more) or can be a simple HTML fragment. Widgets that pass events can be wired together to create mashups. Widgets are called different names by different vendors, for example gadgets, blocks, and flakes. You can create widgets with a variety of tools, including Eclipse, IBM®
WebSphere sMash, or even Notepad. To ease the widget creation and deployment process, Mashup Center includes Lotus®
Widget Factory, an Eclipse-based rapid widget creation environment.
The widget builder is a browser-based, easy-to-use tool that you can use to create custom widgets and share them with the community. The widget builder is designed for both business users and Web developers. As a business user, the tool guides you through the process of creating a complete widget project, all without having to code. As a Web developer, you can use the widget builder to create widgets, or you can continue to leverage more robust development environments such as IBM Widget Factory. By providing you a choice of how to create custom widgets, you and your coworkers have a greater opportunity to build a richer ecosystem of widgets, resulting in a wider potential variety of mashup applications.
To open the widget builder, open the actions menu in the mashup builder, and select Create a New Widget
. See Figure 4 to see an image of the widget builder:
Figure 4: Widget builder
The catalog is a common repository for sharing, discovering, and reusing objects such as widgets, feeds, REST services, and mashup pages. As you create and contribute these objects to the catalog, the community can discover and reuse them in their own applications. This cycle of reuse results in faster development and shorter time to value. With built-in features such as ratings, tagging, and commenting, the catalog allows you to share and locate all the building blocks you need to build flexible applications that meet your business needs.
See Figure 5 to see an image of the catalog:
Figure 5: Catalog
Mashup Center provides a set of feed generators to help you create easily consumable feeds from a wide range of information sources within the enterprise, including databases, desktop and departmental information, and internal and external Web sources. To create these feeds, technically-savvy users simply point and click using a wizard-based interface.
See Figure 6 to see an image of the feed generators:
Figure 6: Feed generators
Data mashup builder
You can mix and transform feeds into new feeds using the data mashup builder. With this visual, browser-based tool, information and business analysts can re-mix, merge, group, sort, filter, and transform feeds in a variety of ways, creating a single view of disparate sets of information in minutes.
The data mashup builder includes a set of operators and functions that you use to restructure data and to combine data from multiple feeds. The data mashup is saved in the catalog so that you can share it with other users.
See Figure 7 to see an image of the data mashup builder:
Figure 7: Data mashup builder