Who needs it? Seriously.
It’s something that occurred to me as well when I first heard about it, but I quickly realized that, while it might be useful for some Data Portability transformations and social networking site integrations, it’s a long way from being an ESB for the web, or even useful outside of the social networking domain.
For starters, their protocol bridge doesn’t even mention SOAP (I’m not a big fan of SOAP, but lets be realistic. Every transactional application on the web today has a SOAP interface). From there, there are about 100 other things that make this seriously deficient as an ESB for the Web.
Which is perfectly fine for what they’re doing. They are working toward ‘Making Data Portability Suck Less’, which is something I really do think they can achieve with this bridge. But Jim, lets not get carried away and ascribe to them capabilities (not to mention a strategy) that they don’t seem interested in.
One thing that Jim points out that is dead-on is that web people and enterprise people think differently. Which explains why there’s no SOAP on the Gnip bridge, and why enterprise people still think they even need an ESB for the web. I could go on and dig into all the details, but it’s presented more clearly here than I ever could.