JackBe was a privately-held corporation based out of Chevy Chase, Maryland. They also had offices in Mexico City and Fremont, California. JackBe was a vendor of enterprise mashup software for real-time intelligence applications. Their flagship product was Presto, which was used for mashups, business management dashboards, and real-time analytics. In 2013, the company became a subsidiary of Software AG, and the brand is no longer active.
What Is A Mashup?
A "Mashup" is a web application that takes information from one or more sources and displays it with a useful layout. Generally, mashups involve multiple data streams that are updated in real-time, allowing businesses to access the most current information possible at any given moment. Essentially, a mashup allows you to view information from the web in a new way. If you've ever seen a map that displays popular search terms for each state, that's likely done with a mashup.
For example, many mashups use Google Maps to present their data visually. Websites like Google Maps open up their API's, or programming interfaces, for use in mashups. If you're in the market to purchase a house, you may be overwhelmed by all the different websites that display housing listings. A mashup can take listings from many different websites and display them all on one map, so you can see the available homes in your area based on location and price.
JackBe's Presto software was useful for companies looking to combine data from multiple sources, whether that was data within the company or from external websites. Users could create apps on Presto that took in this information and presented it visually, whether on a website, an external app, or on the company's internal software. Presto also provided workspaces where multiple apps could display information at the same time. Instead of having to look in several places, all the information a salesperson needed could be viewed at once, and updated in real time.
Finding A Carpool Via Mashup
So, imagine you work for a commercial real estate company, and you manage multiple sites. You have a database containing the contact information for each site, and a spreadsheet logging the accounting information for each. Presto could take in all this information and combine it with Google Maps to present you with a visual display that presents all locations on the map along with the contact information and up-to-date financials.
SharePoint and the Enterprise App Depot
JackBe launched a cloud-based version of Presto in March 2010, which allowed users to set up dashboards and mashups quickly, and integrated streaming data for real-time analysis. As it was cloud-based, it required no storage, and made it easy to share mashups. In July 2010, they created mashup sites for SharePoint, a web-based platform that integrates with Microsoft Office. SharePoint's search capability matched well with Presto's visual tools, allowing users to quickly search through data combined from multiple sources. It allowed users not only to read from data sources, but to write back to them on the same interface.
Also in 2010, JackBe created the Enterprise App Depot, which featured internal application directories aimed at non-developers. Customers could create new applications and share them with other users. This allowed those without the technical experience with mashups to take advantage of their features.
Software AG Acquisition
In August 2013, JackBe was acquired by Software AG. Founded in 1969, Software AG is the second-largest software vendor in Germany, and has over 10,000 customers in more than 70 countries. The company continued to offer new versions of Presto as part of their real-time analytics offerings, and former JackBe CTO John Crupi was Software AG's VP Analytics until October 2015, when he moved on to Predixion Software, which was eventually acquired by Greenwave Systems. Presto's analytics visualizations were eventually incorporated into Software AG's other offerings, but provided an important layer for businesses looking to simplify the way they process and view information updated in real-time.