A few days ago I was granted access to Microsoft's new and dandy Mashup Editor called Popfly. Why did they call it "Popfly"? I have no idea. Popfly offers functionality like integration to their Visual Studio, the new Microsoft technology called the Silverlight plugin. I had high hopes for the Popfly technology since it is from Microsoft.
Unfortunately tonight I faced with the "Blue screen of death" in the Mashup editor world. I was working with the Popfly's Facebook block , which is like a Yahoo! Pipes widget, and I tried to get pictures of my friends from my network. Unfortunately it didn't work. Instead, I saw the default set of friends who looked like Microsoft employees. The only functionality that worked was that I could only see my information. The Popfly product has promise however it is still alpha. Unlike Google Mashup Editor and Yahoo! Pipes, Popfly offers UI aggregation interface as well as a .NET API interface. The competition has just begun between the major vendors in providing Mashup Interfaces. I am waiting for Oracle to join the party.
As I had suspected, Microsoft is slowing but surely integrating Facebook into its platform. Popfly is a great example of it. It looks like Microsoft and Google see immediate short term gains going the Web 2.0 route and not the Semantic Web route which seems to a better approach in the long term.