Microsoft announce Popfly, the mashup pipeline application

So only 2 days after my presentation at Xtech 2007 about user generated pipelines and how Microsoft have got something in store in this area. Microsoft release details of Popfly,

Popfly is the fun, easy way to build and share mashups, gadgets, Web pages, and applications.

There is a screencast which shows pretty much everything you can do at a basic level with Popfly. There's also some more focused videos here.

The service is split into two, one a application the other a service.

  1. Popfly Creator is a set of online visual tools for building Web pages and mashups.
  2. Popfly Space is an online community of creators where you can host, share, rate, comment and even remix creations from other Popfly users.

It looks good and works well. Almost anyone power user will get the hang of it within minutes but there is almost enough to keep more advanced users going for a while. However it falls down in the same places as Yahoo Pipes. No access to the local file system again. Theres even bigger problems when you compare it to my core principles of user generated pipelines.

  • Definable
  • Graphical
  • Standard
  • Shareable
  • Open
  • Non-proprietary

Popfly only manages to get Graphical and Sharable right. This is worrying but its still in Alpha, so who knows what might happen in the next version. Till then, there is a blog for the team and a few screenshots even.

meta-technorati-tags=popfly, pipelines, pipeline, usergeneratedpipelines, flow, xtech, xtech2007, xtech07

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.