Microsoft started an open beta program for its consumer-oriented mashup builder Popfly on Thursday at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.
Popfly is a hosted application that enables people to assemble mashups by dragging and dropping components, rather than writing code. It's built with Microsoft's Silverlight Web browser plug-in.
When Microsoft released the alpha in May, it had prebuilt "blocks," or connections, to popular Web sites Flickr and MySpace.
Now it integrates with Facebook and people can create gadgets (also called widgets) that run on Windows Vista or Windows Live.
There are a growing number of these do-it-yourself Web authoring tools, including Google Mashup Editor and Yahoo Pipes. Here's aof three of those.
For business users, IBM has developedand Coghead, and other companies have created hosted application development services.