Creating mashups: 5 classic mistakes to avoid

This is part of a regular series that highlights new books and their authors. Also in this series: Brian Berenbach on requirements engineering, J. Peter Bruzzese on Exchange Server 2007, Joel Scambray on exposing the hacker's advantage, and Scott Hogg on IPv6 security. (You can find all the installments in this series here.)

Mashup Strategies

The term "mashup" is used in the music industry to define the technique of producing a new song by mixing together two or more existing songs. The term has been adopted by the software development industry to define applications created by mixing user-interface artifacts, processes, and/or content from multiple sources, typically using high-level web scripting programming languages such as HTML, JavaScript, and others.

More than just reassemblies of UI artifacts, mashups are new services, processes, and user interfaces created by integrating existing data, services, processes, and UI artifacts using semantically-rich data formats, dynamic scripting techniques, and well-known patterns.


Name: Jeffrey Hanson

What I'm working on now: I am currently directing efforts at Max International for building REST-based, service-oriented, and mashup-enabled systems for the retail/wholesale industry.

Favorite learning sites:,,,,,,,, and

5 keys for success

  • Gain an understanding of semantic technologies and data formats
  • Know what it means to be loosely coupled
  • Learn more than just the basics of JavaScript
  • Study examples of mashups created by others
  • Stay up-to-date concerning the semantic web and semantically rich data formats

5 don'ts

  • Do not force mashups into situations better served by traditional software engineering practices.
  • Do not assume that your mashups will not be reused. Remember that your data and/or artifacts can be used by other mashup creators, so design accordingly.
  • Do not naively trust sites from which you integrate services, data, and/or UI artifacts.
  • Do not mashup sensitive data on the client. Apply mashup techniques to sensitive data at the server level.
  • Do not rely on services that may change without notice. Provide a level of abstraction.

About the book Mashups: Strategies for the Modern Enterprise discusses implementation strategies, frameworks, and actual source code for enterprise mashups and enterprise mashup infrastructures. The book discusses how new user interfaces can be created using existing UI artifacts and high-level markup and scripting languages such as HTML and JavaScript. Also discussed is how a mashup infrastructure facilitates mechanisms for integrating disparate data using semantically-rich data formats and technologies such as XML, Java, JavaScript, JSON, RDF, HTML, RSS, and others.


"Mashups: Strategies for the Modern Enterprise", authored by J. Jeffrey Hanson, published by Addison-Wesley Professional, May 2009, ISBN 032159181X, Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc.; for a sample chapter, please visit:

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