Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Web data gains some due respect as Kapow eases it into mission critical enterprise uses

In this Web 2.0 world, enterprises increasingly need data from public websites, including news sources such as CNN and even social networking sites such as Facebook, for integration into business intelligence (BI) and service-oriented and web-oriented architecture (SOA/WOA) applications.

Kapow Technologies
, which provides tools designed to speed finding, downloading, cleaning, and integrating data and content from the web, is releasing a new version of Kapow Web Data Server (formerly the Kapow Mashup Server) today. The new version includes a handy new “URL Blocking” feature that screens out web junk, such as banner ads, insuring that only data needed for the application in being downloaded. [Disclosure: Kapow Technologies is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

Recently Stefan Andreasen, founder and CTO of Palo Alto, Calif.-based Kapow, demonstrated his company's value around managing data services quickly, without hand coding. At the Web 2.0 Expo in April, he demonstrated a, iPhone mashup application created using Kapow tools and IBM Rational EGL as an example of the conference's "Power of Less" theme.

“Traditionally, it would have taken at least three months and significant IT resources to create and integrate a web data source and serve it to a mobile device," Andreasen explained prior to the demo, "but today, through rapid application development technology from Kapow Technologies and IBM, two developers spent a total of three hours creating a dynamic personalized web application for the iPhone."

Kapow boasts that the Web Data Server 7.0 is “the industry’s only platform that can access, enrich and serve web data with complete assurance ― 100 percent of data, 100 percent of the time.”

The value is more than for convenience. More than ever, web-based content plays an essential role in many business processes and analytical presentations. Doing operational and business ecology business intelligence (BI) requires fast and easy integration of web-based content and data assets.

With Kapow's patented visual development and Web data automation platform customers can gain data access to any intranet or extranet business application, as well as any website or application on the web, the company says. This cuts out manual approaches, now quite common.

Rapid data access is vital for today's agile application development, like mobile, WOA and other types of agile business applications, Andreasen says. Regardless of whether

. . . today, through rapid application development technology from Kapow Technologies and IBM, two developers spent a total of three hours creating a dynamic personalized Web application for the iPhone.

or not developers have programmatic access via an application programming interface (API), Kapow provides easy access to enterprise and public web data, then extracts and transforms it into a standard web service or data feed, he explains.

A key element in the data server are the Kapow robots that the company says “use standard web protocols and security mechanisms to automate the navigation and interaction with any web application or website, providing secure and reliable access to the underlying data and business logic.”

Offering an example of an application built with its technologies, the company points to a hypothetical sales app providing “a full 360-degree view of prospects and customers by automatically extracting data from internal customer relationship management (CRM) systems, subscription data feeds such as Edgar Online, corporate sites, blogs and social media sites including LinkedIn, Technorati and Facebook.”

New features in the Kapow Web Data Server 7.0 version include:
  • "100 Percent Browser Engine Compliance," which handles complex web data sources, including JavaScript and AJAX intensive Websites.

  • Intuitive point-and-click integrated development environment (IDE) for “surgical data extraction accuracy with no coding.”

  • Scalability improvements offering real-time performance optimization and the ability to download large file downloads directly to disk for enterprise scale projects

  • Browser-Based Scheduler, which provides automation of data refresh and synchronization schedules.

  • Authentication for RoboServer, which provides “seamless integration with existing enterprise security and authentication systems.”
Availability and Pricing

Further information and pricing is availabile at http://kapowtech.com/index.php/products/overview.

BriefingsDirect contributor Rich Seeley provided research and editorial assistance on this post. He can be reached at RichSeeley@aol.com.

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