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In technology, a mashup enabler is a tool for transforming incompatible IT resources into a form that allows them to be easily combined, in order to create a mashup. Mashup enablers allow powerful techniques and tools (such as mashup platforms) for combining data and services to be applied to new kinds of resources. An example of a mashup enabler is a tool for creating an RSS feed from a spreadsheet (which cannot easily be used to create a mashup). Many mashup editors include mashup enablers, for example, Presto Mashup Connectors or Convertigo Web Integrator and Legacy Integrator.
Mashup enablers have also been described as "the service and tool providers, that make mashups possible".
Early mashups were developed manually by enthusiastic programmers. However, as mashups became more popular, companies began creating platforms for building mashups, which allow designers to visually construct mashups by connecting together mashup components. Some examples include Yahoo! Pipes, IBM’s QEDWiki, and Microsoft’s Popfly.
Mashup editors have greatly simplified the creation of mashups, significantly increasing the productivity of mashup developers and even opening mashup development to end-users and non-IT experts. Standard components and connectors enable designers to combine mashup resources in all sorts of complex ways with ease. Mashup platforms, however, have done little to broaden the scope of resources accessible by mashups and have not freed mashups from their reliance on well-structured data and open libraries (RSS feeds and public APIs).
Mashup enablers evolved to address this problem, providing the ability to convert other kinds of data and services into mashable resources.
Of course, not all valuable data is located within organizations. In fact, the most valuable information for business intelligence and decision support is often external to the organisation. With the emergence of rich internet applications and online Web portals, a wide range of business-critical processes (such as ordering) are becoming available online. Unfortunately, very few of these data sources syndicate content in RSS format and very few of these services provide publicly accessible APIs. Mashup editors therefore solve this problem by providing enablers or connectors.