Submitting InstitutionUniversity of Bolton
Unit of AssessmentCommunication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management
Summary Impact TypeSocietal
Research Subject Area(s)
Information and Computing Sciences: Data Format, Information Systems
Summary of the impact
OMELETTE was a project funded under the EC Framework 7 programme under
the Future Services theme. The project developed the state of the art for
combining web mashups with telecommunications services, building on and
contributing towards existing open-source technologies. By combining
voice, data, and specialised telecommunications capabilities with web
standards, new applications were made possible for both enterprise and
consumer users, particularly as these mashups could be created by
The impact of the project from both an industry and scientific point of
view was recognised by the reviewers from the EC, who rated the project as
The framework of the project was developed in a paper titled "From
Mashups to Telco Mashups: A Survey", which was chosen as the Spotlight
paper for IEEE Internet Computing (Gebhart et al., 2012). This set out the
framework for combining telecommunications services with web mashups.
This was further developed with research on key supporting technologies
including interprocess communications in the context of web & telecoms
mashups, described in Wilson, Daniel, Jugel and Soi (2012) and Chudnovsky
et al. (2012). This work defined the technical underpinnings of
communications across web boundaries for technologies impacting
telecommunications. For example, connecting selection of a contact with
one application using a mobile device address book, with another
application capable of sending alerts via SMS or email. The research
described two different models for inter-process communications;
orchestration and choreography.
These models required different representations for their configuration
and interoperability, and different approaches to the design of platforms.
This was elaborated on in the technical design work of the project.
As part of the research work a new language was developed for describing
mashups at multiple levels of abstraction, OMDL — the Open Mashup
Description Language. This was developed using the community-oriented
specification development approach described in Wilson (2010).
The applications of the approach developed in the project were also used
in other domains, for example within e-learning as described in Wilson,
Sharples and Griffiths et al. (2011) and Griffiths et al. (2012).
Overall the project, which lasted 30 months, resulted in 27 peer-reviewed
conference papers, 7 journal articles, 9 workshop papers, 1 book chapter,
5 PhD theses, and 9 Masters theses.
References to the research
Gebhardt, H., Gaedke, M., Daniel, F., Soi, S., Casati, F., Iglesias, C.
A., & Wilson, S. (2012). Spotlight-From Mashups to Telco Mashups: A
Survey. IEEE Internet Computing Magazine, 16(3), 70.
Wilson, S., Daniel, F., Jugel, U., & Soi, S. (2012). Orchestrated
user interface mashups using w3c widgets. Current Trends in Web
Chudnovskyy, O., Nestler, T., Gaedke, M., Daniel, F., Fernández-Villamor,
J. I., Chepegin, V., Fornas, J. A., et al. (2012). End-user-oriented telco
mashups: the OMELETTE approach. Proceedings of the 21st international
conference companion on World Wide Web (pp. 235- 238).
Wilson, S. (2010). Community-Driven Specifications: XCRI, SWORD, and
International Journal of IT Standards and Standardization Research
(IJITSR), 8(2), 74-86 Wilson, S., Sharples, P., Griffiths, D., &
Popat, K. (2011). Augmenting the VLE using widget technologies.
International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 3(1), 4.
Griffiths, D., Johnson, M., Popat, K., Sharples, P., & Wilson, S.
(2012). The Wookie Widget Server: a Case Study of Piecemeal Integration of
Tools and Services. Journal of Universal Computer Science, 18(11),
Details of the impact
The project used an Open Innovation approach, which involved working with
existing open source software projects hosted by the Apache Software
Foundation. Project innovations were trialled within the consortium but
then contributed back to Apache, widening their uptake and impact. Project
members contributed sigificant feature enhancements to both Apache Wookie
and Apache Rave, making the capabilities developed in the project
available to their respective user communities. The platforms were used
not only by the consortium members — which included Logica, SAP, Deutsche
Telekom, TIE-Kinetix and Huawei — but by the respective external users of
the platforms which include US organisations such as MITRE, the Open
Gateways Computing Environments, and also by SURFNet (the equivalent of
JANET in the Netherlands.)
Through its scientific work the project also identified usability
challenges where users are faced with systems that support inter-process
communications; these were described in the unpublished paper "Design
challenges for user-interface mashups: user control and usability in
inter-widget communications" (Wilson, 2012) and explored in several
usability studies conducted by T-Systems (a division of Deutsche Telekom)
and Huawei in both Germany and China. The results of these studies were
released publicly, and discussed with developers of the Apache platforms
from multiple organisations.
The technologies developed by the project that have been successfully
translated into innovations in use by this range of companies and
organisations include enhanced interprocess communications capabilities
(including critical usability enhancements), the ability to interoperate
with other platforms using an open mashup description language, the
ability to interoperate with telecommunications services both via web APIs
and through device interfaces (e.g. Android), methods of automatic
composition and pattern recommendations, and connecting platforms with
shared app stores.
The ability to share mashups as reusable workspaces using OMDL is a
notable productivity enhancement, and has also been adopted for use within
other platforms including Moodle and LifeRay, as well as within private
corporate workflows at TIE-Kinetix and SAP. Since the project concluded,
several other companies and consortia outside the original consortium have
begun contributing to the future development of OMDL, including Ascora
GMBH, EPFL, and ITEC.
The open approach used by the project resulted in increased impact for
technological innovations, and this was recognised by the project
reviewers as a major contributor to impact and project success. It has
also been the subject of subsequent discussion as a model of best practice
for engagement by research projects with the Open Source community, for
example in an article by OSS Watch at the University of Oxford (2012).
The impact of the project for its consortia members is nicely summarised
by Stuart Campbell of TIE Kinetix: "whilst we have probably been in around
10 projects to date, this is only the second one I can really say I'm sure
we will tangibly benefit from"
Sources to corroborate the impact
Apache Rave http://rave.apache.org/
Omelette Final Dissemination Report http://www.ictomelette.
Open Mashup Description Language (OMDL) http://omdl.org
Wilson, S. (2012). Design challenges for user-interface mashups: user
control and usability in inter-widget communications. Retrieved 29
Septebmer, 2013 from
OSS Watch, University of Oxford (2012). "Reaching out: How funded project
consortia can work with open source communities" Retrieved 29 September