poniedziałek, 17 grudnia 2007

PopFly - mashups

Popfly is the mashups and web page creator service published by Microsoft at November 2007. It seems like the answer to the Yahoo!Pipes service and as that solution it does not require from you to install anything – you may do all the tricks straight from your web browser. Pipes seems to be the on-line version of Data Transformation Services concentrated more on processing text data, when Popfly, is focused on the visual data like maps, photos and videos.

1. Yahoo!Pipes editor

Microsoft truly surprise also with the freshness and richness of the GUI. It is very visible that a lot of effort was put to create moving effects (based on Silverlight), which does not shade the functionality, but causes that you truly enjoy to play with solution. I love to tickle the drill down menu (like the tutorial).

2. PopFly - link two blocks

3. PopFly - specify linkage details

4. PopFly - final effect

Popfly is not only about the fireworks, but it truly provides the big number of available blocks. When there is opened option to play with picture galleries you may not only put them on maps (why there is no Google Maps? J ), but there is a wide range of various gallery displays starting from the simple one like ImageFader or PhotShow and closing on more advanced one like Carousel or PhotoSphere.
5. PopFly - Picture sphere

As far as you play just with couple of blocks, you may easily link particular metadata and the range of capabilities is truly inspiring. The part of the demo showing GeoNames is a good example.

Furthermore Popfly is not just about mashups, but it also provides the web page designer tool, with number of templates. It seems like that is a way how the creators wanted to popularize the solution and that is way you may even put there the mashup editor!

Popfly has a big chance to become popular and even now it is surprising how many new non-MS objects are available. It happens so, because the solution allows you to create the rich content without writing the line of code and I am sure that in short time it will appear in number of web pages. Furthermore, it is a also the interesting playground for the developers as well. You may put your JavaScript snippets straightforward within the IE or you may see your projects within Visual Studio! Furthermore, you may also see your friends projects and if you are allowed you may play with them!

Popfly is a beta version, but surprisingly I could not blow it out (I admit I did not try it too hardly as I was busy playing with all the toys J ). There is just couple of small, annoying things like most of available services are strongly linked with US localization. Is it though the challenge for EU developers?!

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