While doing some blog reading about TechEd, I kept running across the term “mash-up”. While the term and the context have given me a decent idea of what a mashup is, I decided to look it up. Wikipedia defines a mashup as “a website or web application that uses content from more than one source to create a completely new service”. It originated in the music industry from the practice of taking the vocal track from one song and combining it with the instrumental track of another song resuling in an entirely new composition (also from Wikipedia).

Mashups are interesting for business applications as pulling information from several places is critical for the productivity of information workers. Sources of information include a core ERP system, multiple other enterprise and department systems, and client based productivity tools like Outlook, Excel spreadsheets, etc. As we move to a role based user experience, composite applications containing mashups will likely be an important part of the puzzle.

James Utzschneider and my team’s General Manager, Darren Laybourn, are doing a TechEd Strategy Briefing today. They will be demonstrating a some mashups and a forward looking role based experience featuring Vista, Office 2007, Dynamics, AND a Visual Studio customization experience leveraging technology from my immediate team. Pretty cool…. you can read about it here.