A new report from Forrester Research predicts that mashups will be coming to the enterprise in a big way — to the tune of a $700 million market by 2013. Mashup platforms that make it easier for consumer to create mashup applications, such as Yahoo! Pipes, Dapper, or Microsoft Popfly, are beginning to have analogues in the enterprise space. “Mashup platforms are in the pole position and ready to grab the lion’s share of the market — and an entire ecosystem of mashup technology and data providers is emerging to complement those platforms,” says Forrester analyst G. Oliver Young.

Forrester defines mashups as “custom applications that combine multiple, disparate data sources into something new and unique.” Starting in 2005, says the report, with the proliferation of free APIs, mashups came to the web in a big way, combining data and visualization tools from multiple services in meaningful and useful ways. More recently, mashup platforms have emerged that have allowed consumers with little or no development experience to create their own mashups.

Now enterprise mashup platforms, such as Presto Wires from JackBe, are starting to gain traction. In January 2007, an Economist Intelligence Unit survey (PDFplease note that this is a separate report than the Forrester report mentioned elsewhere in this post) revealed that mashups were the most popular traditional web 2.0 technology in the enterprise, with 64% of companies saying they already use or planned to use mashups within the next 2 years.

Mashups come in three distinct flavors in the enterprise, says Forrester:

  • Presentation layer mashup. This is the most simple variety. Presentation layer mashups present content from disparate sources together in a unified view. A start page like Netvibes would be an example.
  • Data mashup. More complex than presentation layer mashups, data mashups “combine, manipulate, and tie together disparate data sources to present a unified view.” An example would be Twittervision.
  • Process mashup. Says Forrester: “The most complex of the three, process mashups allow users to mashup not just
    data sources but also business processes themselves, customizing process design and invoking business logic across multiple applications.”

Forrester believes that the enterprise mashup market will hit a tipping points in 2009-2010 and will fold into the IT landscape by 2013. “As a result,” writes Forrester, “we expect traditional collaboration and productivity vendors like IBM
and Microsoft to ultimately come to dominate the mashup platform market, rolling mashup platforms into major products like SharePoint and the Lotus application suite.”