Effective tools for cloud application integration

Get a broader view on some cloud application integration tools.

Cloud application integration is dependent on data migration, synchronization, replication and quality. The tools that integrate cloud technologies are essentially iPaaS or SaaS providers. In a previous article, I discussed iPaaS vendors, both "youngsters" and "graybeards." The reviewed tool list was certainly not exhaustive, and there are new tools coming online every quarter because the market is still growing. Based on feedback,...

suggestions and additional searching, I've added some additional youngsters to consider based on your needs. The majority of them are iPaaS and one is a popular SaaS vendor providing connectors for HR/CRM application integration.

Messaging systems are the pathways that connectors and iPaaS internal systems use to pass information and data. It's the messaging, queueing and data integration that become a cloud application integration tool. Again, youngsters are companies built within and around the cloud, rather than existing mature organizations, which are adapting to include the cloud. Both are viable, effective alternatives depending on the organization's needs, finances and preferences.

SnapLogic

SnapLogic asserts that their iPaaS platform is the fastest on the market with regard to the time it takes to provide value, make development productive and handle a more complex set of use cases. SnapLogic's iPaaS includes both application and data integration using multi-point connection tools. The iPaaS tools provided handle a larger variety of endpoints and patterns to enable integration between cloud, on-premises applications and data regardless of its location, size or type. SnapLogic is elastic, so it can scale in or out to meet a user's needs and provide cost flexibility. Developers' user reviews praised SnapLogic's speed of development and deployment. Ability to reuse patterns and use advanced or highly complex patterns provide successful integrations with less pain for development. Negative comments mention needing a self-service interface for setting up and configuring Snaplex within the tool and that data coming onto SnapLogic becomes a JSON document.

WorkDay's Cloud Connect

WorkDay is a SaaS system providing prebuilt connectors. Users select from an expanding set of integration connectors. WorkDay integrates cloud with pre-existing on-premises or legacy applications for HR/CRM systems. They provide a reporting structure and an intuitive user interface. Developers' user reviews include praise for the ease of locating basic information on employees and the intuitive user interface. Negative comments mention a rigid infrastructure that adheres to strict approval guidelines, so some users find it harder to use than a paper system. Users suggest making sure an organization's business processes are mature in order to work more fluidly.

Adeptia

Adeptia provides data and application integration services that include data mapping, connections, extractions and conversion. Adeptia maintains that their system can turn business users into self-sufficient data consumers and integrators. IT staff still manage control, but any user can create data connections between applications. The application integration tools provide enterprise, SaaS and cloud integration options as well as Web services and process-centered SOA. Adeptia says it's different than other iPaaS vendors because it works similarly to a social network messaging system (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter). Business information is exchanged between customers, partners and vendors. It connects an organization to its associated business parts. Adeptia Connect is a multi-tenant application that provides connectivity between cloud services, SaaS, internal applications, on-premises systems and B2B scenarios. Unfortunately, independent developers' user reviews could not be found.

Scribe Software

Scribe Software is currently in the final stages of developing an iPaaS software to release this fall. Scribe believes their iPaaS system offers a different approach by allowing independent software venders and resellers to embed the Scribe platform into their software and more easily integrate applications to improve an application's life span, especially with mobile applications. In other words, businesses work together to integrate and tighten the applications connections between them. Scribe iPaaS is geared toward middle market vendors who need a wholesale pricing structure to enable increased cloud adoption in that segment. Scribe's fall 2014 iPaaS release will include a full suite of integration APIs that allow users to create organizations, create connections and import maps, and a new global marketplace feature for promotion and distribution. Again, unfortunately independent developers' user reviews are not yet available.

Moving to the cloud is a must for any business that creates applications large, medium or small. It's the new business arena that is moving quickly, and cloud application integration is an effective method of expanding business while reducing the cost of infrastructure maintenance and support. Cloud integration tools are available in a variety of sizes and techniques. Organizations need to determine whether large, medium, or small vendor tool offerings meet their business needs. Cloud integration tools works best when integrating applications between public and private clouds on the same cloud software or code base. Many tools allow additional integration paths because most organizations have more complex integration needs. In that case, organizations should choose a tool whose code is compatible in order to reduce integration complexity and avoid implementation delays.

This was first published in August 2014

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