Automated Integration for SaaS: A Holiday Miracle?

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Since it's the season for miracles, what with Hannukah, Christmas and the Winter Solstice coming round the bend, come dream with me. Imagine an IT world where your coders wouldn't need to hack away to integrate the latest SaaS or software upgrade.

Instead, the SaaS, a consultant, or your developers -- if you still need them -- could just embed an integration adapter and be done with it. In minutes, everything is interoperating and life is good. "Miracle on 34th Street" good.

Unless of course, you're a programmer who only does this type of integration, in which case this just turned into Dicken's A Christmas Carol, starring you as Tiny Tim. Which, depending on how you feel about your job, might be better than your current casting as the ever-working Bob Cratchit.

Nineteenth century social commentary aside, don't cut that development team just yet. An integration platform like that will cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, according to this article from IT Week.

I said imagine a miracle, didn't I?

Don't give up yet: Pervasive Software is hoping to change that hefty price tag with its Data Integrator 9.0, according to this interview with CTO Mike Hoskins. Data Integrator 9.0 is an open source solution with more than "150 connectors pre-built for top databases and applications, from Oracle and SQL Server all the way down to Sage," says Hoskins.

It's also designed to work with SOA. You can read how it works in this whitepaper by Hoskins, but suffice to say it involves an integration middleware platform and the loose coupling of integration coding, which can then be created and called what Pervasive terms "integration processes," but what Gartner calls "composite applications."

Oddly, his toughest sale may be IT itself. Hoskins notes that right now, 99 percent of application integration is done in-house and he adds it's a bit tough trying to sell someone on a product that could do a substantial portion of their job.

He believes, however, that SaaS and independent software vendors will actually drive adoption of products like Data Integrator 9.0. I think he's right, based on two recent discoveries:

  1. More business executives are buying technology solutions and managing contracts with tech vendors, all without IT's input.
  2. SaaS is causing major integration challenges for IT, and IT needs to automate some of this integration work.

For more on the technical specifications for Data Integrator 9.0 and how it works with SAP, Microsoft and Salesforce.com products, check out the press release on ebizQ.