When I first heard this term, I wondered what was meant by hybrid integration. Seems to me that you either integrate or you don’t.
Perhaps it is an attempt to merge data and application integration with social media, business-to-business, mobile, API and Cloud integration technologies. Just sounds like integration to me. In a previous post I discussed how Cloud is Erasing the Line Between App and Data Integration. Perhaps Hybrid is what they are calling this new world of integration, which is still just integration.
Hybrid integration does make some sense if you compare it to hybrid vehicles. A hybrid vehicle runs primarily on electricity, but it has a small gas powered generator to keep the batteries charged and provide additional power when needed. So two different power sources were put into one car. Perhaps hybrid integration represents putting many integration “engines” together to make the best use of multiple integration “power” types depending on the requirements.
Indeed, we have seen some integration software vendors combining their data and application integration capabilities on the same platform, or providing the ability to move their integration “engine” across platforms. Informatica has done this with their Vibe data integration engine. Write once, run anywhere integration. Other vendors such as Actian, allowing integration logic that has been created on-premise to be easily ported to their DataCloud platform. MuleSoft is offering a similar capability between their on-premise and Cloud offerings.
In other words Hybrid integration is saying you don’t need on-premise OR Cloud integration; data OR application integration: you can have both, wherever you want or need to deploy them. Or maybe it’s a foreshadowing of what many of us have been saying: In the future there won’t be on-premise or Cloud computing, it will just be computing. Cloud is simply another layer that organizations will have in the architecture.
Integration software vendors have also been notorious for having too many products, each with its own purpose and price tag. It’s not unlike going to the dealership only to discover the base model doesn’t have all the options you want, and optional equipment is added to the vehicle to meet your needs. Either way, the price goes up, and the purchasing process becomes complicated.
Fortunately, some integration software vendors are starting to change this scenario. Last week Informatica released version 9.6 of their data integration and data quality platforms. In addition to new capabilities, they have also simplified their licensing. Many of the stand-alone products that used to inflate the price, and make implementation more complicated have been rolled into core offerings. Yes there are still multiple editions but they are now being packaged according to customer maturity and requirements. Yes there are still “add-ons” for additional capabilities but now there are only a few where there used to be many. Hopefully other vendors will follow suit and simplify their licensing.
So next time you go shopping for “hybrids”, take a closer look at the window sticker to see if options have inflated the price tag. And then take a closer look at the fuel economy ratings to make sure it is worth the haggling that may be required to get the deal you want!
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