Integration on the Cheap

Loraine Lawson

Gas is $4 a gallon, unemployment rates are jumping, and the housing market is in the tank. The news is grim, America, grim. And eventually, it's bound to affect your budget line.

It's a good time to think about saving money, and in the spirit of the times, I've found two articles that show you how to save on integration.

The first piece is by Apatar Evangelist Alena Semeshko, who recently blogged about what to do if you have an integration project -- but you don't have the money, time or assets to invest in it. Apatar offers data integration and ETL.

Semeshko suggests three possible alternatives:

  1. Build your own professional services team or integration solution. Of course, this will require you to have the on-staff skills to do this, so this option is primarily for large companies. If you're curious about this option, check out this post, where Semeshko covers what to consider before you decide to build your own ETL.
  2. Find a partner that specializes in the area of needed integration. Semeshko says this won't be hard to do, but is only for the risk-tolerant. Time and business compatibility may be concerns.
  3. Turn to a SaaS vendor who will do the integration for you. Actually, this option is better for those interested in saving time than money. A recent Forrester report suggests that companies may not be open to using SaaS this way, since concern about integration is the number-one reason companies give when asked why they're not using SaaS. But Semeshko dismisses this concern, writing, "Well, duuh, select a trusted vendor, who won't let you face these issues." Keep in mind, though, Apatar offers hosted services.

If you're a small, Microsoft shop, you'll probably find this CMS Wire article more helpful. It's about Bamboo MashPoint, a new, free data integration platform for Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0. The beauty of this tool is you can use it without Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) and the Business Data Catalog -- but if you add these tools later, your work won't be lost because it's built on the architecture that the SharePoint BDC is built on, according to the review.


You can preview the MashPoint platform at Bamboo Labs.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jun 11, 2008 10:43 AM Francis Carden Francis Carden  says:
If you come at the integration problem through the files (often called "data") then you have the same problems today as you did 20 years ago. Files and Data contain no business logic to help with integration. Sure there are some (I say very few) services to give you access to business processes but speak to most businesses and they will tell you it doesn't fit their application mix.OpenSpan provides integration right now. It is one of the few "products" on the market that enables IT to integrate applications on the fly, for serious business integration projects, without the huge costs and big projects. I have to plug OpenSpan because we have real LARGE customers that have done it (hence OpenSpans 440% growth - money talks!). Reply
Aug 13, 2008 11:39 AM Guru Guru  says:
Indeed, building your own ETL, despite all the advantages that it may entails, means that ETL has a great clout in your company, so much so that you can afford to spend a great amount of money to build your own ETL, and this is far from being the case in many firms. And this is where "open source" comes into play, allowing you to save money comparing to a proprietary software or the building of your own ETL. Talend, for instance, leverages the open source model in the data integration space. The only question that's left is "How much is it gonna cost me to educate my team so they can use this software?". And this expense will seem really tiny to you considering the expenses that would have been entailed if you had chosen a propietary solution... Reply

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