Saturday, June 14, 2008

Kapow takes a jab at challenge of creating mashups from JavaScript and AJAX sites

Kapow Technologies, whose solutions helps companies assemble mashups by harvesting and managing data from across the Web, has enhanced its approach to overcome the obstacle many businesses encounter when targeting sources with dynamic JavaScript and AJAX.

The Palo Alto, Calif. company's Kapow Mashup Server 6.4, which it unveiled this week, features extended JavaScript handling, a response to the burgeoning number of AJAX-based Web sites. [Disclosure: Kapow Technologies is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

The Web 2.0 Edition, one of four editions of the new Mashup Server, now includes support for Web Application Description Language (WADL), making it easier for applications and mashup-building tools to discover and consume REST services. The WADL support also helps developers leverage the Kapow Excel Connector, an Excel plug-in provided by StrikeIron.

The Portal Content Edition, which enables companies to refurbish existing portal assets, has several enhancements to the web clipping technology for development and deployment of JSR-168 standards based portlets. It now provides the ability to make on-the-fly changes to clipping portlets that enhance portal functionality, while adding a portlet deployment mechanism on major portal platforms such as IBM WebSphere, Oracle Portal and BEA WebLogic.

Last January, I did a podcast with Stefan Andreasen, founder and CTO of Kapow. Andreasen described the mashup landscape. You can listen to the podcast here or read the full transcript here. I also blogged last April about Kapow's Web-to-spreadsheet service. At that time, I said:

Despite a huge and growing amount of “webby” online data and content, capturing and defining that data and then making it available to users and processes has proven difficult, due to differing formats and data structures. The usual recourse is manual intervention, and oftentimes cut-and-paste chores. IT departments are not too keen on such chores.

But Kapow’s OnDemand approach provides access to the underlying data sources and services to be mashed up and uses a Robot Designer to construct custom Web harvesting feeds and services in a flexible role-based execution runtime. Additionally, associated tools allow for monitoring and managing a portfolio of services and feeds, all as a service.

In addition to the Web 2.0 Edition and the Portal Content Edition, the Kapow Mashup Server is also available in the Data Collection Edition and the OnDemand Edition.

All editions are available now. More information can be found on the Kapow Web site. Product pricing is based on a flexible subscription offering.