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Raymond Yee wants to know how well RSSBus works as a mashup tool.

While its true that RSSBus offers a lot of connectors that make it easy to mashup data coming from sources like Flickr, Amazon, and pre-existing RSS feeds - its also important to know that RSSBus is not only valuable as a mashup creation tool. One of its biggest uses is on the flip side of the coin - helping sources expose data in the first place. Without companies like Flickr and Amazon exposing their data in structured formats like XML and RSS, the term "mashup" might not even exist today.

How is RSSBus useful in helping companies expose their data? As an example, look at TicketMaster. TicketMaster could increase their sales in a big way by taking advantage of a tool like RSSBus (though I don't believe for a second that TicketMaster will ever add feeds or expose any data, they are way too much of an old web 1.0 dinosaur to do that). I love live music - watching a great musician in person is so much better than listening to them on the radio or cd. But a sometimes I miss out on appearances by artists that I would have really enjoyed the opportunity to see simply because I didn't know they were coming to the area! This is a problem that Ticketmaster could help me with and at the same time dramatically increase their sales. How? If they offered an RSS feed of upcoming events in my area.

I know that Ticketmaster already has the data on the backend to drive such a custom feed, because they have a site called "My Ticketmaster" that shows me performers coming to my area as well as area venues and their schedules. But no feeds. I have to remember to go to their site every so often and check up on things. Unfortunately I have enough things to remember, so I think I make it to their site about twice a year. No doubt they have some database query that drives their website, which could just as easily drive their RSS feeds. RSSBus has connectors for a variety of different databases (and not just connectors for databases, but for all kinds of sources of data), but if we assume for a minute that they are using MS SQL Server, they could literally have an RSS feed generated after about 20 seconds of work:

  1. Click on SqlOps in the RSSBus Admin Console
  2. Click on the sqlQuery operation.
  3. Type in the correct connectionstring and a query.
  4. Click "create feed".

All done! Now deploy the feed to the public and watch ticket sales increase. Of course RSSBus scripting could be used to customize and dress-up this feed at any time.

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Posted on Friday, May 25, 2007 10:00 AM | Back to top

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