Feeds

Microsoft launches no-code mashup tool

Visual mashups for the MySpace generation

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Popfly, Microsoft's first Silverlight application, is a visual development tool for creating mashups without writing any code.

Dan Fernandez, lead product manager in Microsoft's developer division, wants Popfly to reach what he calls "the MySpace generation" who want cutting edge web gadgets without cutting edge coding.

"We have Visual Studio Express and we actually have had 14 million downloads since November 2005. To give you an idea, World Of Warcraft, a very popular game, has eight million users worldwide. So we have huge download numbers, especially for tools.

"But one of the things we found is a lot of people that tried it weren't programmers, they had never written a line of code and they thought it was hard. This is the MySpace generation. They're writing markup, they understand tags, they're not necessarily writing their own JavaScript but they're taking JavaScript and tweaking it - it's the copy/paste world. This is our tool for the people that want to create stuff; they don't necessarily know how to write the first line of code but they want to create something and have it running within a couple of minutes, with no code."

Fernandez sees a wide market for Popfly. "The number of worldwide developers using non-professional tools from MySpace to VBA to simple scripts - that's over a 100 million people. They vary in sophistication and we want to have tools for all types of sophistication. The biggest number [of them] will be the users for Popfly; they want to create, they don't want to code. Our goal is democratise development."

He demonstrated using Popfly to create a gadget showing tagged and geo-tagged photos from Flickr in a 3D sphere, with the image you hover over zooming to show a larger view and metadata.

"This is our gratuitous 3D," he joked. Then changed it to mapping the images on Virtual Earth. The Popfly interface shows a list of controls that it calls "blocks".

According to Fernandez, "you can think of blocks as wrappers for things like data services, data transformation services, logic and presentation services. Under the covers it's just JavaScript, HTML, XML, and Silverlight. They're totally extensible, you can look at the source code of our blocks and remix it. With Silverlight 1.1 the people who are .NET developers and don't want to use JavaScript can use this. You could write a Perl block."

You can also add your own HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

To mash two services together, you drag the appropriate blocks onto the design service, drag lines between the nodes on each block to connect them, choose the operation you want to use and get a live preview on the design surface. The blocks have what Fernandez calls "smart defaults" so a block for photos will look for an image URL automatically. You can see a real time preview even without having an API key for the service you're working with if the service allows demos. While working on the blocks the preview displays in a transparent layer in the background.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.