Sunday, December 14, 2008

Playing with Mashups - Part II : Integrating Dapper with Popfly

Update: The Popfly site was discontinued in August 2009, and this article is only been keep for archival purposes.

This blog post follows from a previous one where I experimented and mulled over the functions provided by the content mapping and mashup functionality provided by Dapper. In my first trial run, I created a mashup for an online discussion forum in which I participate on a regular basis. The mashup was pretty simple – yet, it was the result of composing several dapps together in an iterative manner using a variety of information output formats. In this post, I am summarizing how I was able to take the final dapp that was created in part 1, and use it as an input to Microsoft’s Popfly mashup creator.

The data flow schematic and the popfly screenshot below reveal the configuration between the dapp and the popfly mashup. What’s happening here is that the dapp is used to output an RSS feed which is then captured by the RSS block in popfly. The specific items from the RSS feed are then rendered as a table.

Dataflow Schematic - Dapper & Popfly Integration

Popfly Screenshot - Dapper & Popfly Integration

Popfly Screenshot

After reading the above, you’d probably wonder if this new configuration is really a “mashup” afterall in it’s strictest definition… and the simple answer to that is “probably not”… since the data in this case is being acquired from a single source, i.e. the dapp. However, the dapp itself was constructed in such a way that it fetches and formats data from multiple sources - so the original dapp itself was a mashup! That being said, the integration between dapper and popfly goes to show two important aspects of mashups: composability and reuse. The original dapp has now been composed with a different output stream, i.e. RSS and it has been configured with a new presentation format, i.e. table display in popfly. The end result is shown below:
  • Dapper gathers feeds from the online forum and combines those feeds with last posters avatars into a data object;
  • Popfly acquires the new data object and displays the data

Mashup - Dapper & Popfly Integration

*Embedded Content Removed - Popfly website is no longer available*


  1. Great post! This sounds like a nice little test I'd want to try out with my online discussion forum as well.

  2. Is there any alternative to popfly?

    Some people are suggesting Yahoo Tarpipes but I can't see any post and get capability in tarpipes.


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