Introducing Presto 3.0: Freedom & Power for the User

[Cross-posted from my JackBe blog]

You might have heard that version 3.0 of Presto, our award-winning enterprise mashup platform, was announced just last week. The driving design premise of this release of Presto was simple but challenging: Organizations want to harvest and unleash the creativity of their ‘business developers’ and enhance the effectiveness and productivity of their end user communities. This is what you, our customers, partners and community members, told us.

With that in mind we focused on bringing enterprise data ‘out of hiding’, so to speak, by putting it in the hands of the users, while still adhering to enterprise IT architecture standards for security, governance, portability, and integration. I am happy and excited that most of the new features and enhancements that made their way into Presto 3.0 emphasize and support this goal.

Now that the product is launched, I thought some of you would appreciate a recap of some of the most important innovations in Presto 3.0. Here’s my list of the biggest and the best. I’ll leave it up to you to decide how we responded to your needs…

Tripling your power: You wanted more powerful capabilities in Wires, our visual drag-and-drop mashup maker. We enhanced our current blocks, and are introducing several new power packed blocks for easier mashing and leveraging the underlying features of the mashup platform. We went from 7 blocks in Presto 2.7 to around 25 blocks in our new version of Wires! New blocks include: Loop, Document, Select, Group, Document, CSV Generator, Data Decorator, Transformer, Mapper, Average, Counter, and more.

Making you richer: You wanted rich visual views on your Mashups. So we reengineered our product to provide lots of rich visualizations out of the box, and let you apply to them your mashups to create ‘Apps’ (we used to call these ‘Mashlets’). The result is a wizard-driven ‘App Maker’ with lots of rich viewing options that can be configured with no coding. And more of these visualizations will be added in the near future.

Helping you connect the dots: You wanted easier way to create collections of related Apps and even quickly wire Apps together to create a sophisticated integrated multi-App workspace. We are introducing Mashboard, a powerful drag and drop web based environment to assemble and wire several Apps, again with no coding necessary to make it all happen.

Letting you get under the hood: If you should need to customize these Apps, whether created using the wizard-driven App Maker or the powerful drag-and-drop Mashboard, you can simply open any App in a new web based App Editor, and edit your App specification, CSS, JavaScript, HTML. The App Editor also allows you to upload and download complete Apps as a package, so you can further customize and code in your own favorite tools (Sencha, Aptana, Dreamweaver, XCode, etc).

Helping you build bridges: You wanted to mashup Microsoft SharePoint lists and to share your Apps by way of SharePoint. We’ve introduced a new add-on called Mashup Sites for SharePoint which allows you to do just that: consume SharePoint lists into your mashups and to publish our Apps back to SharePoint as native WebParts. You can read more about this in Dan’s post from a few weeks back.

Making it simple to get around: You wanted an integrated experience with an easy-to-use user interface, instead of myriad of disconnected tools and utilities. We present you the Presto Hub, which integrates all the different tools and components of Presto into a centralized location.

Giving you more choices: You wanted more easier way to develop, test and publish mashups. Many of you found the jump from visually mashing up in Wires to coding EMML in our Eclipse-based Mashup Studio, a bit too high. So to make it easier and quicker to develop most of your EMML-driven mashups, we are introducing a new web based EMML Mashup Editor ‘lite’. Our Mashup Studio will of course be still offered since it comes with many power features for EMML developers.

Helping you give your stuff away: Finally, the best part. You have been building Apps over the years with no central place to host them. Sure you could distribute them by embedding them anywhere or publishing them to your portal server. However, we need a place where all these Apps are made available to the user community in your enterprise so that they can easily find, use and share these Apps. We call it the ‘Enterprise App Store’. (More on the App Store in my next post.)

And these are just the highlights! Presto 3.0 represents a massive improvement in capabilities, moving from a simple toolset that creates mashups to an integrated environment to handle the entire lifecycle on a Enterprise App, from ‘feeds’ to mashups to App to the App Store.

I hope you’ll agree that Presto 3.0 makes great strides towards our goal of empowering users to make, use and share the Apps that they need, while letting IT make it safe and secure to do so. We’re quite proud of Presto 3.0 and we’re eager to hear what you think!

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