What is mashup?

The using of mashup in the proposed architecture become important issue when noticed that there are some problems that face webmasters, Web developers, and Web designers in their everyday work. This problem comes from the nature of Web technology. Big part from this problem could be solved using mashup, since it is fairly easy to implement the Web content systems from different online services. Mashup is a Web page or application that combines resources or functionalities from two or more sources creating a new application or service. Mashup is an emerging software engineering paradigm aligned with the trend towards the programmable Web. Mashup is based on the longest tail theory which is from business perspective to allow the use of different services and to break down business processes into smaller pieces.

The history of mashup comes from music industry before it become an Internet popular concept in which musicians combine mixture of two or more tracks to create a new song that is called mashup. Today Web mashups are becoming one of the salient tools for providing composite services to meet users request and open a new area for researchers with many endeavors to enhance this technology for Web developers and designers. Many approaches used now for mashup of Web contents and Web technologies to provide a mobile Web contents, to offer Web application, or even for Web application programming interface (API). One of these contributions is a method to utilize the social and functional relationships among Web APIs to produce and recommend the chains of candidate mashup.

Mashup advantages and disadvantages

While mashups are a very useful tools, there are some advantages and disadvantage, as follows.

Mashup advantages

  • Allow for the reuse of existing applications: is the most powerful benefit in which the user can use preexisting one to implement the new feature to embed in the new Web application, this enable reusability of existing services or data,
  • Time saving and rapid development: this comes from the first advantage in which the user will be able to rapidly develop new applications with new features,
  • No extensive IT skills required: most of the work is abstracted behind the scenes and the user only needs to learn how to implement it without extensive IT or programming skills, and
  • Cheap cost efficient: the preexisting applications that were previously developed will serve in which, there will be no money re-investment on long development schedules or training for developers to implement the features from scratch.

Mashup disadvantages

  • Service reliability and QoS: the user is dependent on the other developers to make sure that the application does what it intends to do without bugs and there is no control over the quality or the features for the implemented component,
  • Integrity of content no warranted: the user will have no choice but to replace the service if it stop working or API gets discontinued and there is no guarantee this component will be continuously supported,
  • Scalability issues: if Web application has a bigger grows, there is no guarantee that the service to be implemented will continue working,
  • Security: if there is sensitive data working with the mashup API, it may be subject to a security concern, the contents used in the mashup are not guaranteed to be secure,
  • There are no standards: another difficulty in designing and implementing mashup to ensure the integrity of the data being used is that there are no standards for the development or application of a mashup, and
  • Most data sources are not made as a service: all traditional application design and development were done before the mashup technology, thus if the developer decide to access data using mashup, it must be implemented first as a service before starting

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