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Building Gadgets with a little processes in them!


In generic terms ‘widget’, ‘badge’ or ‘gadget’ refer to the same software items; therefore the terms can be considered the same. Currently there are a large number of gadget definitions in the context of the Web 2.0. Google Inc. defines gadgets as: “web-based software components based on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They allow developers to easily write useful web applications that work anywhere on the web without modification. They are defined using a declarative XML syntax that is processed by a gadget server into a format that allows them to be embedded into various contexts: standalone web pages, web applications, even other gadgets.”  [Google (2008)].

For me the gadget is seen as well as a portable web based software component. The important factor is however that the gadget interacts with electronic services (e.g. web services) and is published to a mashup platform during runtime. Hence there is a basic three layer model (See underneath) that can be defined. The “FAST project”  sees the gadget itself however not only as a single display component (e.g. showing weather forecast) however sees one gadget allowing to be made up from multiple “screens”. Screens are interface components that allow user interaction with services. Hence for example the input of search information. The FAST GVS (Gadget Visual Studio) allows the connecting of Screens based on pre and post conditions (see Video).

Mashup Stack

The clue of the FAST GVS is therefore that instead of just visualizing a single service (e.g. weather) in a gadget the FAST GVS allows the user to build gadgets involving little process steps. Business users can therefore build a process that runs in a gadget based on electronic Services.
Additionally a Gadget developed by the FAST GVS can define outputs to and from other gadgets. Hence the process information that is exchanged in between the screens can as well be transferred to other gadgets that then allow to enrich the process in one gadget with information displayed in another gadget.


The FAST GVS is an output of the FAST research project, which is sponsored by the EC. Have a look at for more details.

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