Yesterday IBM officially announced the public availability of QEDWiki, their innovative tool for building enterprise mashups, or “mashup maker” as they call it. It’s not a tool you download and install, at least not yet: IBM is now offering QEDWiki as a multi-tenant service hosted on their alphaWorks site. Once you register for an account you can immediately begin using it.
But what is QEDWiki? Here’s IBM’s overview from the site:
QEDWiki is a browser-based assembly canvas used to create simple mash-ups. A mash-up maker is an assembly environment in which the creator of a mash-up uses software components, or services,made available by content providers. QEDWiki is a unique Wiki framework in that it provides both Web users and developers with a single Web application framework for hosting and developing a broad range of Web 2.0 applications.
QEDWiki also provides Web application developers with a flexible and extensible framework to enable do-it-yourself, DIY, rapid prototyping. Business users can quickly prototype and build ad hoc applications without depending on software engineers. QEDWiki provides mash-up enablers, programmers, with a framework for building reusable, tag-based commands. These commands, or widgets, can then be used by business users who wish to create their own Web applications.
FYI, the QED comes from “Quick and Easily Done” and it is indeed a full-fledged wiki. Rather than explain it in detail here, check-out this good YouTube video from IBM’s David Barnes where he explains and demos the product. And be sure to checkout a cameo appearance of ProgrammableWeb at about 4:45 in when David does a slick drag-and-drop of an EditGrid spreadsheet control straight from the page in our site directly over into the QEDWiki canvas.
Back in November at the Web 2.0 Summit I had the opportunity to meet some of the IBM team behind QEDWiki, including David Barnes and Rod Smith. They had just finished delivering a presentation on their vision of the web-as-platform and QEDWiki. It was a pretty compelling demo and clearly something they believe is central to their strategy going forward. You can read more about that session as covered in detail by Dion Hinchcliffe.
One of the key reasons maps mashups are so popular — including the 910 here at ProgrammableWeb — is that they’re very easy to create, even without tools. But not all APIs are so simple. Once you add the next generation of tools like QEDWiki into the mix, you may start opening the doors to a wider audience and to more easily assembled, lightweight solutions.