Last week, my favorite mind mapping tool, Mindmeister, announced the release of its
API with all the functions of the app exposed through it. If you are wondering
how this is significant and why I am writing about last week’s news today, I
request patience. I want to use this announcement to continue on the theme
I discussed in my yesterday’s
post on Zoho Creator – Google App Engine integration.
The new API makes it easy to integrate third party services with Mindmeister
without going through the hassles of REST related programming. The release of
API led to Box.net integrating Mindmeister
into its storage service. Now one can store their mindmaps, in Mindmeister’s
.mind format or in the formats of Mindmanager or Freemind, on Box.net cloud.
Then, it is possible to easily edit the files from within the browser and save
any modifications on the Box.net service itself. This is similar to what we do
with our files on the local hard disks. We open the files with the apps
installed on our computer, edit them and store them back to our hard disks.
The Mindmeister-Box.net integration is seamless and offers the same flexibility
of desktop through the browser. For Box.net, this is not something new. They
have already integrated Picnik (another
favorite tool of mine and I will talk about it in my Living in the Clouds
series in the future), Zoho (Disclaimer:
Zoho sponsors this blog) and Scribd.
In my post
yesterday, I talked about the importance of data portability and
interoperability. This news, again, goes on to emphasize my point about
interoperability. The future of SaaS is going to be a collection of
interoperable services. As I told in my post yesterday, it is one of the
necessary conditions for the very success of SaaS. The reason is simple. Web is
nothing but an open interconnected network. When we take
desktop applications and port it to SaaS, the users will expect the applications
to mimic the nature of the platform on which they reside. They will expect the
same inter-connectivity in the form of interoperability between applications from
different vendors. Any failure to do so will minimize the users’ need to
migrate to the SaaS world. I am glad to see more and more vendors understanding
the importance of interoperability and opening up their services.