As Web services and service-oriented architecture evolved, IT departments were charged with creating “composite” applications that drew processes and logic from various back-end systems into a single front-end application. For example, at some carriers, customer service reps (CSR) had to access several different mainframes just to make a customer address change, since data was spread across different systems. A single composite application, running on an easy-to-manage Windows or Linux platform cut this laborious process to one CSR transaction.

Now, the rise of enterprise mashups is adding a new dimension to the productivity promise of composite applications. Enterprise mashups are lightweight, highly visual applications that pull in data from any source, internally or from the Web. The classic example is employing Google Maps to plot out data points, such as office locations, or sales opportunities.

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