As I plunged back into the world of Web 2.0, mash ups, and gadgets, I noticed that there's now a huge buzz around "enterprise mash ups" and a convergence between the worlds of Service-Oriented Architectures and Ajax/Executable Web/Mash Up promulgators. This epiphany has been too long in coming. The handwriting has been on the wall for a while. And pioneering lead users have been combining Web Services with end-user-friendly gadgets, using RSS and event-based syndication (publish and subscribe) for several years.
As usual, the hype around Enterprise Mash Ups will no doubt be extreme. It's already being pushed as the next nirvana for the IT-run around crowd. Use Web-based tools to snap together services. Leverage all the great utility services that are already out there (Google Maps, Amazon S3, Eventful, Flickr, YouTube... pick your favorite platforms and tools). You don't have to wait for your IT department to wrap your back-end application functionality into real Web Services, you can "cheat" by extracting data in the form of reports and turning them into RSS feeds, which you can mash up with graphical user interfaces and tools. This is the general spin. And there are now dozens of "roll your own" enterprise mash up platforms and toolkits springing up to absorb Venture Capital dollars and vie for our attention.
This convergence is a good thing. It's way overdue. It will be overhyped. But there are ways to take advantage of this trend without going off the deep end. I look forward to helping you chart your path!