Widget Frameworks


A widget framework is a software platform that provides tools and libraries for building and maintaining user interface (UI) widgets or small, reusable software components that can be used to build graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for desktop or web-based applications. Widgets are usually designed to be modular and reusable, and can be used to display and interact with data or to provide a specific function or feature. Widget frameworks often include a set of pre-built widgets that can be used as is or customized to fit the needs of a particular application. They may also provide tools for creating and managing widgets, such as visual design tools, widget libraries, and APIs for integrating widgets into an application. Widget frameworks are often used to simplify the process of building and maintaining complex UI layouts and to allow developers to focus on the functionality of their applications rather than the low-level details of building UI elements.

The Ozone Widget Framework (OWF) is a web application framework that was developed by the US National Security Agency (NSA) Central Security Service and released as government open source software (GOSS). OWF is designed to be a lightweight framework for developing web applications, and is intended to enable rapid capability delivery by providing lightweight components for complex event processing. One of the key features of OWF is its ability to create a webtop environment, which integrates web applications, web services, client-server applications, application servers, and local client applications into a desktop-like environment using the desktop metaphor. This can provide users with an environment that is similar to that of a traditional desktop operating system, such as Windows or macOS, but accessed through a web browser.

Systems integration refers to the process of linking together different computing systems and software applications in order to enable them to work together and exchange data. Middleware is a type of software that sits between different systems and acts as a “glue” to enable them to communicate and exchange data. An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a software application that provides a set of tools for developers to write, test, and debug code. IDEs typically include features such as a text editor, a compiler or interpreter, and a debugger, and may also include tools for version control, project management, and other tasks. Visual programming is a programming paradigm in which users create programs by manipulating graphical elements rather than writing code in a text-based programming language. Visual programming can be especially useful for people who are new to programming or who prefer a more visual, intuitive approach to creating programs.

A mashup is a web application that combines data, presentation, or functionality from two or more sources to create a new service. Mashups are often created using open application programming interfaces (APIs) and data sources, and are characterized by their ability to combine, visualize, and aggregate data from multiple sources in a single application. Mashups can be either client applications that run on a user’s device, or hosted online as a web-based application. Mashup composition tools are software applications that enable users to create mashups without programming skills, typically by providing a visual interface for wiring together GUI widgets, services, and components. These tools are often simple enough to be used by non-technical users and can be an effective way to quickly integrate data and functionality from multiple sources.

Yahoo! Pipes was a web application that provided a graphical user interface for building data mashups and web-based applications by aggregating web feeds, web pages, and other services. It allowed users to “pipe” information from different sources and set up rules for modifying that content. Yahoo! Pipes was designed to be easy to use and required no programming skills, making it accessible to a wide range of users. However, the performance of Yahoo! Pipes was not necessarily enterprise-grade, and it may not have been suitable for more demanding or high-volume workloads.

The distinction between cloud-based middleware and a visual Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is that middleware is software that sits between different systems and acts as a “glue” to enable them to communicate and exchange data, while an IDE is a software application that provides a set of tools for developers to write, test, and debug code. Yahoo! Pipes included both web service and YQL (Yahoo! Query Language) modules, which provided a high level of customization, as well as regex (regular expression) modules for more advanced processing. It was capable of outputting data in a variety of formats, including JSON, CSV, and HTML, and could be used for a wide range of purposes beyond just processing feeds.

There are several options available for cloud-based middleware or visual Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) that may be more robust and enterprise-grade than Yahoo! Pipes. Some examples include Cordys Process Factory, IBM Web Experience Factory, and JackBe Presto.

Cordys Process Factory is a cloud-based platform for building and deploying business process applications. It provides a visual, drag-and-drop interface for designing and building processes, as well as tools for managing and monitoring those processes. IBM Web Experience Factory is a Java-based rapid application development environment that allows developers to create web-based applications with rich, interactive interfaces that can be accessed from desktop browsers, smartphones, and tablets. IBM claims that Web Experience Factory is designed to be enterprise-ready and standards-based, and provides tools for building Web 2.0 applications quickly and efficiently. JackBe Presto is another enterprise mashup platform that provides self-service, on-demand data integration and business dashboards for real-time intelligence. It includes a cloud computing-based version that is hosted on Amazon EC2.

It’s important to carefully evaluate the features and capabilities of any platform you are considering, to ensure that it meets the needs of your organization and is suitable for your specific use case. Some factors to consider may include performance, scalability, security, ease of use, and integration with other systems.


  • appfog.com .. build and deploy fast, scalable, and reliable applications to the cloud in seconds
  • cloud-ide.com .. an online collaborative development environment that enables you to code, build, debug in the cloud
  • cloudfoundry.com .. an open platform as a service, providing a choice of clouds, developer frameworks and application services
  • dotcloud.com .. simple multi-language application platform for assembling your stack from dozens of pre-configured components
  • heroku.com .. a cloud platform as a service (paas) supporting several programming languages, owned by salesforce
  • mulesoft.com .. integration platform as a service (ipaas) allows you to build and offer repeatable integration applications
  • pipes.deri.org .. an engine and graphical environment for general web data transformations
  • pipes.yahoo.com .. a web application from yahoo! that provides a graphical user interface for building data mashups
  • github.com/superfeedr/superpipes .. a yahoo! pipes equivalent built with superfeedr, hosted on heroku



See also:

Integration Meta Guide