After watching Ajay Gandhi in the panel just before lunch, I meet up with him for an update on what’s been happening with their Enterprise 2.0 products since BEA Participate last month. It looks like they’ll move out of beta to general release some time in July, and they’re starting to line up customers for the GA products from around the world, and across telecom, public sector and a variety of other vertical industries.
We talked about what beta customers are doing with Pages, their mashup platform, and there’s a number of things that I didn’t expect. First of all, customers are using it as a wiki platform for team collaboration: although not as wiki-functional as a true wiki platform, it can easily integrate in other content and data sources, which a wiki platform typically can’t do. Other customers are using it as a lightweight portal builder (in my opinion, it looks like it could replace WebLogic Portal for some simpler applications, although that’s not BEA’s positioning), and also using it as a tool to create portlets that can be consumed by the WebLogic Portal environment. Since Pages allows you to create a portlet directly from sources as diverse as REST or an RSS feed, that adds a lot of value.
We also discussed a bit of the roadmap for future versions, the most exciting of which (for me) is the integration with AquaLogic BPM to both invoke and monitor processes. They’re also going to strengthen their blog and wiki capabilities, and improve the tooling, and he mentioned that they’re considering a hosted version as well.
More and more, I’m seeing mashups — especially via enterprise-focussed platforms like Pages — to be the future of what is now called end-user computing: the small but necessary applications that are built by semi-technical people that exist within business units, created in the absence of a sufficiently agile IT development group. I’ll definitely be looking more at this theme in the coming months, especially at Mashup Camp next month.