Integration in the As-A Service Paradigm
Sreelatha Sankaranarayanan 120000KPG6 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  websphere integration soa ipaas connectivity cast_iron_live cloud
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The advent of cloud technologies has given birth to the as-a service paradigm. Today, we talk about "Anything" as-a service or simply refer to it as XaaS, where "Anything" can be Software, Platform, Infrastructure, Network, Mobile Backend, Database etc. This paradigm has also given rise to another important as-a service model called Integration Platform as-a Service, popularly known as IPaaS.
Gartner defines iPaaS as "Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) is a suite of cloud services enabling development, execution and governance of integration flows connecting any combination of on premises and cloud-based processes, services, applications and data within individual or across multiple organizations."
IPaaS is not new; there are quite a few players who offer the integration platform as a multi-tenant service offering on cloud. Some of the popular players in the iPaaS league are IBM, Informatica, Boomi, Jitterbit, Mulesoft & SnapLogic to name a few.
Early in the evolution of iPaaS, solutions addressed data synchronization requirements between applications on public clouds (primarily SaaS) and on-premise systems like SAP, Oracle E-Business Suite etc). Today, iPaaS attempts to address most of the integration use cases that are relevant in today's economy. iPaaS is considered to be an enterprise integration capability offered within an alternative delivery model, that provides ease of use and breadth of connectivity options, all at a lower cost when compared to connectivity or integration offered on on-premise (such as middleware ESBs and the like).
IPaas players compete on providing "ease of use" when developing integration solutions using their platform , better performance , scalability and breadth of end point connectivity capabilities, in addition to the much needed cost advantage. IPaaS is primarily intended for simpler integration needs, as opposed to the complex integration flows that can be developed with their counterpart middleware ESBs.However,influenced by the disruptive nexus of forces of social, cloud, mobile and analytics, and propelled by the API economy, iPaaS can only be expected to grow in popularity as the use-cases expand. Businesses will look to leverage this shift in the technology landscape to remodel their business in a way that can open up new opportunities.
The trajectory of the IPaaS market was nicely summed up in a recent article from Charles Babcock on Information Week:
"IPaaS is 'poised to grow dramatically' over the next five years due to the continued integration needs of small business, which continues to refuse to embrace integration middleware because of 'its high cost and complexity'; the increasing adoption of agile development, which often taps into software as a service; the increasing use of public facing APIs by companies; and the need to integrate with various devices now part of the Internet of Things, the Garter report said."
IPaaS is 'inevitably on a collision course with traditional, on-premises integration middleware.' Each will have their champions over the next 3 to 5 years, and tensions within user organizations will gradually be resolved, Gartner predicted, by the emergence of hybrid platforms that make use of both on-premises integration and cloud services.
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