The emergence of the Cloud, including SaaS, IaaS, and growing PaaS adoption, has brought with it standardized interfaces at the application layer, otherwise known as APIs. Traditional integration vendors that have identified their products with Data or Application integration are no longer making that distinction in the Cloud; they are simply talking about integration. The line is disappearing as the Platform-as-a-Service war heats up.
Informatica, a vendor associated with Data Integration in the on-premise world just released its next version of Informatica Cloud, Winter 2014, which is delivering new process, service, and data integration in one package into the Cloud. Process integration, including human-centric workflows are part of the Winter 2014 release, as is industry standard service integration of RESTful and Web Services APIs. Informatica has also announced new ERP adapters, which will unlock back office ERP data for Cloud consumption.
The Informatica Cloud leverages its unique Vibe “map once, run anywhere” virtual data machine, allowing integration mappings to move between the Cloud and on-premise without the need for code changes. Informatica didn’t leave their jewels on the ground: they brought their data quality and profiling capabilities into the Cloud as well. Sounds like a comprehensive data and integration platform-as-a-service.
Pervasive, now owned by Actian, dropped the data integration moniker a while ago, and now likes to simply think of themselves as integration solution providers. Actian’s new “Invisible Integration” capabilities allows for easy integration construction in the Cloud between standard APIs.
This week at Dreamforce, Salesforce1 was announced. Salesforce has brought their multiple PaaS offerings under “1” platform, to create a unified platform that will allow for the creation of next generation apps using new APIs and advanced capabilities of integration with apps, data, processes, devices, and social networks. Salesforce, a successful product and company that was born in the Cloud, continues to build out their offerings and is making the move to expand their PaaS offerings.
IBM’s acquisition of SoftLayer and recent understanding of the importance of the public Cloud (guess they finally saw the light?), coupled with IBM’s software business’ focus on platform will put pressure on the PaaS market for new, unique, and innovative integration solutions in the Cloud.
Any discussion about the Cloud wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Amazon Web Services. Once primarily an IaaS vendor, AWS, which has always supported open standard APIs, now offers data warehousing, data integration, service integration, simple workflow, and messaging services. AWS is increasingly becoming more of a PaaS provider than ever before.
Why are we seeing these trends? Cloud is big, Cloud is hot, Cloud has been a growth area for many vendors; higher growth than what they are experiencing with on-premise offerings. Growth areas get investment money. Investment money seeds new projects, products, and innovations. Vendors stay competitive.
So I wonder when the line between Application and Data Integration is going to disappear on-premise. Maybe when the apps do.