Survey after survey shows that integration remains a serious issue for cloud adoption. Although fewer organization see it as an obstacle, one survey by InformationWeek found that integration of cloud services frustrates organizations—with one-third of respondents refusing to even try integration. Those who do try often resort to custom-code, with all the headaches that entails.
As you can imagine, integration vendors are targeting that need.
The accounts I’m reading say Informatica’s Cloud Winter 2014—unveiled last week before the Amazon Web Services re:Invent—takes major steps toward easing some of those integration pain points, at least for large organizations.
Informatica Cloud is built upon the company’s virtual data machine engine, Vibe. As I wrote in summer, Vibe isn’t actually new, but it has been slimmed down so it can be easily embedded. That makes it friendly for applications, devices and, of course, the cloud. So what’s the big deal about this new release?
- Support for RESTful APIs and SOAP, which gives enterprises a way to access their SOAP-based services as well as Web-based services, which tend to be RESTful, Mike Vizard writes on Programmable Web.
- Unifying cloud data, services and process integration. Several write-ups mentioned this function. This is one of several steps related to simplifying integration for the line of business users but, in the big picture, this will allow companies to create “standards-based, advanced real-time integrations” across the cloud, says Holger Mueller, principal analyst and VP at Constellation Research, in his assessment of Informatica Cloud Winter.
- Integration help for the line of business (LOB) users, such as pre-configured options to control integration flows.
“With a lot of cloud purchasing power residing in the LOB it is a good move by Informatica to support a closer to the LOB enabled integration,” Mueller said. “Giving users more pre-configured options to control integration flows makes Informatica Cloud more attractive as the LOB tool of choice when it comes to integration.”
- Reusability for integration, thanks to a sharing repository.
- Help for automating Salesforce CRM processes—and ensuring that best practices are followed.
Cloud integration solutions have matured in the past five years, according to Mike West, a vice president and distinguished analyst at Saugatuck Technology.
“Solution providers have generally focused on segments based on size: small-to-midsize, e.g., Scribe, midmarket and up, e.g., Dell Boomi and Mulesoft, and large and very large enterprises, e.g., IBM/CastIron and Informatica,” West writes. “Informatica’s recent announcements position it very well in the large enterprise markets because of a coherent platform and a clear roadmap for enhancing its support of hybrid Cloud solutions.”
For some reason, it seems we’re re-enacting the old days with on-premise integration, moving from custom-code to platform solutions. Perhaps we’ll see fewer complaints about integration as organizations find these solutions.