Add functions to your mashups with Utility Mill

Utility Mill – Makes Utilities

Utility Mill looks like a kick ass hosted service for mashup development. It lets you create hosted web services that run your custom Python code, handling input and output in an easy way. This service fills a hole in the “mashup stack” by adding custom scripting functionality without the need for a server side scripting language. So, if you need to perform any kind of filtering or munging of your mashed up data, and you aren’t exactly a Javascript guru, you can still keep everything client side by passing your data through Utility Mill first.

Other really nice features include commentary, revision control,  and mandatory GPL licensing. It’s also not a bad way to pick up some Python knowledge–especially when you see contributors named “guido.” Here are a couple fun/interesting/useful ones I found:

and of course:

  • MetaUtility Enter some Python. Run it. See the output.

I was able to register on the site and write a silly little UUID Generator in about three minutes 🙂

I’d really like to see this done for PHP or Ruby too.


About John Herren

John Herren is a developer and technical consultant with focus on web applications. He currently serves as Director of Development for Primetime US, the company behind the hit movie and book The Secet. John was formerly staff writer and developer community evangelist for Zend Technologies. Along with founding neat experiments like, John is an active member in the mashup community, working with API providers and speaking at conferences. He is a published author of Linux certification study material. John enjoys using open source software like PHP and Ruby on Rails to bend the web into exciting new chimeras of hyperlinked goodness. View all posts by John Herren

4 responses to “Add functions to your mashups with Utility Mill

  • Greg

    Thanks for the great writeup. That’s a great idea to support PHP or Ruby somday. The UUID Generator is pretty cool BTW.

    Have you used any utilities in making mashups yet?

  • John Herren

    @Greg, I haven’t used Utility Mill in any live mashups yet, but that’s only because I’ve had a scripting language at my disposal. The main point is, because Utility Mill exists, I don’t have to. What’s the proper way to create that UUID generator when I don’t need the input field? I can think of plenty of examples that wouldn’t need input, only output.

  • Greg

    That’s a good point about some utilities not needing input. I’ll have to think about a way to handle that. You did the right thing for now.

  • Answer My Searches » Blog Archive » Mini Searches with Answers

    […] done. They’re not difficult enough to warrant to their own posts but still super useful. Add functions to your mashups with Utility Mill ‽ John Herren’s BlogAnother nice Utility Mill review. (sorry not technically a mini […]

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