Analyst: SaaS Integration Tool a Good Option for Small Businesses


If only there were an easy, inexpensive way for small and mid-size businesses to handle integration with SaaS offerings, like salesforce.com.


But soft-what solution through yonder window breaks? Laurie McCabe says it is Boomi's Widget, and she's pretty darn impressed with it.


McCabe is a partner with the research firm lead by Judith Hurwitz. She checked out Boomi's recent integration offering for SaaS solutions and concluded it's "super-simple" and could relieve integration hassles for SMBs.


What makes Boomi Widgets so friendly for small and mid-sized firms is the fact it's wizard-driven, explains McCabe:

"They walk users through a set of questions to configure the integration to their needs in about 15 minutes, start to finish. Users don't need to know anything about modeling, coding, data mapping or other technicalities. You can use Widgets for SaaS-to-SaaS and SaaS-to-on-premise integrations between business applications. The Widgets run continually in the background to automatically update and synchronize applications every few minutes."

But it isn't just that Widgets is easy for companies to use when connecting to SaaS. Boomi also added a self-service model for developers and systems integrators, who can use these tools to build their own Widgets. I must say, it sounds like a perfect complement to Boomi's pre-integrated cloud business strategy.


As part of her research, she talked with an Australian systems integrator who used Boomi Widget to integrate Salesforce.come with Saasu-an Australian on-demand accounting solution. The effort took three weeks.


McCabe believes as the Widget library grows, more developers and systems integrators will be able to embed integration into their products:

"The Widgets relieved integration hassles for SMBs, and remove integration development and maintenance barriers for developers. They can write the integration once, embed it in their application, and all of their customers can use it -- essentially eliminating the integration barrier to adopting a new solution."

Tackling Multi-Site Integration

If you're dealing with multi-site integration, you might want to sign up for a free webinar next week. IT architect and former Forrester analyst Larry Fulton will explain the six guiding principles for dealing with multi-site integration during a free one-hour webinar, next Wednesday (Aug. 12), at 12 p.m. EDT.


Specifically, Fulton-who is now an independent consultant-will discuss whether batch data transfers are sufficient, high availability and how you should handle migrations. The event is sponsored by Progress Software, which owns solutions such as Sonic ESB, FUSE and DataDirect.

Review of New ETL Vendor Comparison Tool

If you're shopping around for an ETL tool and you're still in the early stages of your research, Vincent McBurney, a manager with Deloitte Consulting, recommends that you invest in the ETL product survey for 2009 from Dutch firm Passionned International. It costs 425 Euros, but McBurney says it contains more information than he could've compiled himself or than the Gartner Magic Quadrant for data integration tools, particularly if you're interested in open source solutions. You can read his full review of the product-for free, of course-but essentially he recommends it for those still trying to decide between open source or proprietary ETL solutions. Otherwise, he writes:

"If you have narrowed down your ETL search to two or three products you might not get much out of this report-but if you have an open mind this can help give you a run down of the main players. It is handy to have all the information gathered together in one place and to have open source compared against premium ETL-especially the list of supported platforms and ETL functions."