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Mobile Mashups — Meeting the Digital Integration Challenge


January 19, 2018 | 2 min read |

Matthew Sherlock, Product Director – Campus Solutions, Ex Libris

Universities are complex places. With numerous departments servicing different user groups across multiple campuses and even countries, data flows across systems constantly so that end users can receive the services that they need.

Users don’t want to feel like they are moving between different interfaces. They don’t care about what the back end systems is – they simply want to access services in an intuitive way, with a coherent workflow that is focused on their needs, rather than the technologies or systems involved.

Institutions are increasingly looking towards a consistent native mobile technology to be able to bridge these various systems in a format that students engage with – providing what I call a mashup of services.

The term mashup is commonly used, for example, in the music industry, to describe two or more pieces of music that are combined to make a new tune. One of my favorites is a mashup of Pink Floyd and The Bee Gees. (I’m probably showing my age here.)

More recently the term “mashup” has been appropriated to describe web applications that work together to give users a better, more integrated experience, making a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

EDUCAUSE has identified digital integration as one of the top 10 issues facing higher education in 2018, or in its words, the challenge of “ensuring system interoperability, scalability, extensibility as well as data integrity… across multiple applications and platforms.”