Mashup is a new genre technology that has recently emerged on the web for creating interactive web applications. The purpose of a mashup is to create a new feature or service for a website or application by combining data or functionality from different sources. It allows the reuse of existing applications for integration of data to create a much more interactive interface. Mashups can be considered as a part of Web 2.0 because they enable high degree of communication and collaboration between applications. Today, many websites are offering programming interfaces (APIs) that allow developers to get at their core information. Mashups use APIs and technologies like XML, AJAX and HTML 5 to build websites that are entirely different from regular sites. That means the new technology is not a rigid traditional webserver model which use typical client and server side methodologies to integrate data for displaying on the browser. Instead, it allows connecting through several API tools to integrate the information or functionality of other services.|
How Mashups are Useful?
Similar to APIs, mashups can be developed for mapping, video & photo functionality, search and shopping and many others. They can be designed for both client and server side based on how the developer wants to manipulate and combine the data. Mashups can be used for designing a visually effective user interface or can connect to other services to import functionality. By using appropriate protocols and design principles, today businesses are able to deliver necessary features to their users quickly and efficiently. Additionally, the development of various web APIs allowed web sources to not only integrate the data from different services but also share it more easily with others. Since mashups are developed using a pre-existing functionality or service, it allows developers to create several such prototypes in a less amount of time than if they were to develop all the components by themselves. Though using mashups for websites is convenient, it also has several downsides because of their dependency on other web sources.
Downsides of Using Mashups
• Since mashups are developed using several sources or services, using them in a website or app can affect your site reliability. Using several external web services increase the risk of website working and affect its uptime percentage. For instance, if the website is depending on five external services, the downtime of each service will affect the functionality of your website. That means the downtime of each service will add up and ultimately your site will be down for longer duration than usual.
• Since mashups include sources from other services, there will be little control on the quality of features specific to that component. There is also less assurance of support to the service used in mashup. If the service or API gets disconnected and stops working, then the website should opt for another choice to replace it.
• Using external services may pose several security concerns for a website. Especially, when using it for confidential applications, the developers have to be more cautious because many of these web sources that offer services may not follow security standards while developing their apps.
• Scalability is another major issue with mashup integration. The service may work fine for the current website volume but there is no guarantee that it will provide the same support when the traffic gets bigger. You don’t want your website to face downtime issues because the component is not accommodating the spikes in traffic. To avoid such issues, it is better to analyze the functionality of the component for traffic ups and downs before using it in your website. A service like website monitoring will help you analyze its performance in case if you need to check capability of handling the web traffic.
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