There’s no question that Cloud Computing, enabled by the maturity of the web, has become the latest computing platform and is here to stay. One of the key reasons behind its universal appeal is that the cloud offers real benefits to both business and IT constituents.
Business users were first attracted to cloud applications (Software-as-a-Service) from vendors like salesforce.com, Concur and SuccessFactors because they were easy to provision, easy to manage, easy to use and offered a “pay as you go” subscription licensing model. More recently, Amazon.com burst onto the scenes with its Amazon Web Services (AWS) (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) offerings, providing similar benefits to IT managers and allowing them to do more with less. (more…)
If you’re in the market for a SaaS integration tool, then you’ve probably come across one or more of the following marketing messages: “Integrate in days”, “Designed for non-programmers”, “Configuration, not coding approach”… which, of course, are all messages associated with one of the main value propositions of Software-as-a-Service: Ease of use and rapid deployment.
The notion of an integration tool that has a graphical user interface, is configuration based (metadata driven), easy to maintain, and requires no programming skills is not new. Those of you who were involved with DataMart projects in the mid to late 90’s may still remember Informatica’s PowerMart 3.0 product which was the predecessor to our current PowerCenter product.
It had all those characteristics, and was quite revolutionary at the time. Its target audience was data analysts or a data warehousing administrator who had a good understanding of their organization’s data structures and business processes, but didn’t have the deep programming skills of an IT specialist. (more…)
People have begun to realize that integration is a key requirement for a successful SaaS application deployment. Since a SaaS application like Salesforce CRM resides in the cloud (it is hosted in a data center outside your company’s firewalls), customers need to move their critical corporate data like customer, product or pricing information into Salesforce before they can use the application and provide maximum value to their end users.
They also need to keep the data in Salesforce synchronized with the rest of their on premise applications in order to maintain operational efficiency and provide timely and accurate information flow throughout their enterprise.
So how difficult is it to integrate Salesforce with on premise applications, and how should it be done? Well, for starters, salesforce.com provides a complete set of well documented APIs that make it straight forward for a good software programmer to accomplish that task.
Those same APIs are also used by integration vendors to provide more flexible, powerful and manageable solutions that accomplish the same task without requiring the same level of programming skill. (more…)