Tag Archives: cloud applications
SOA was born out of purposeful intent, to solve a specific problem in a particularly novel way: standards-based and interoperable service-based integration driven by the WS-* standardization efforts. It foreshadowed the fragmentation of the monolithic on-premise software providers and pre-dated the rise of a new cloud-centric world – and it arguably arrived too fast for many organizations to take advantage of it on-premise. The constant churn of WS-* specifications didn’t help the cause either.
Some IT shops got bogged down in religious arguments over WS-* vs. REST while others pushed on, bolting on service interfaces to existing application stacks and protocols and building new service infrastructure as an investment for the future. The result, as we all know, was a lot of hype and dashed expectations for some.
Fast forward five years, and the future foreshadowed by SOA is almost a reality. And while SOA (the acronym) may be dead, the need for a service-oriented architecture is very much alive.
We now live in a hybrid world, populated by cloud, social and on-premise applications, and the move to the cloud for business is a fait accompli — or at the least, inevitable. Cloud initiatives are fueling a new type of service-oriented integration – one where, unlike in the past, the approach is no longer strictly defined by protocols but rather by application services and event-based integration.
In this new world, IT no longer controls the architecture of the apps its business users use (or where they execute), and so consumers and providers – cloud apps, on-premise apps and systems – need to interact in loosely-coupled service-oriented ways. This evolution forces new integration realities that had for many been hidden from sight and kept within the domain of application owners.
Eight or nine years ago, when SOA fever was at its height, everyone was running around trying to transform their internal systems and build new and complex infrastructure to meet an incomplete technological imperative.
Today, the landscape has completely changed. The need for ESBs and tightly coupled integrations that expose the innards of your infrastructure no longer apply. Eventually, as applications move to the Cloud, there will no longer be much infrastructure left to expose. Instead, the integrations are and will increasingly be occurring in the cloud, over an open framework, through high-level service-centric APIs.
At Informatica, we’ve taken the lessons and imperatives of SOA – simplicity, data consistency and accessibility and security – and incorporated it into a platform that makes the promise of service-oriented, hybrid, event-driven integration a reality.
We’ve innovated, and now deliver tooling that both enables technically savvy application owners to implement integrations themselves and IT to assist. And we’ve also made it possible for application owners to consume data and business services and processes in an intuitive user interface that abstracts the underlying details of our hybrid integration platform.
The result is an integration platform that empowers application owners. This is what makes what we’re currently doing at Informatica Cloud so particularly exciting, and potentially disruptive.
The Informatica Winter 2013 announcement included the following customer quote:
“The Winter 2013 release will accelerate the time it takes to access, integrate and deliver valuable data in order to meet our business imperatives.”
It was also noted that, “the new Informatica Cloud user interface will make the cloud integration solution even more user friendly.” There are a number of user experience enhancements with this upgrade, so I sat down with Joshua Vaughn, Principal User Experience Designer for Informatica Cloud, to learn more about the impetus behind the new design and features, what’s on the horizon for the future releases, and why user interface (UI) design is so important for cloud applications.
The rapid adoption of cloud-based applications, platforms, and infrastructure has resulted in more fragmented data and an increased need to integrate data “in the cloud” with data in on-premise applications and databases. Line of business managers and software as a service (SaaS) administrators need rapid time to value and self service. Meanwhile, the IT organization is tasked with avoiding costly data silos and eliminating untrustworthy point solutions.
Over the weekend note blogger David Linthicum did a blogpost on eBiz regarding master data management (MDM) and cloud computing. The crux of David’s argument is that while the profusion of cloud computing will exacerbate the need for MDM, the rush to embrace cloud applications could potentially drive MDM into the background at many companies. That, ironically enough, since organizations can save so much money by replacing big enterprise systems with lighter SaaS applications, in the headlong rush to embrace cloud applications “MDM will be an afterthought” and get pushed aside even as the need for it intensifies.
I agree with David that the migration to cloud computing is going to further spark demand for MDM, but I don’t agree that MDM is going to get pushed aside. The reason I make this argument is that we already have a few customers at Siperian who are using MDM with cloud-based applications, and it’s working out very well. These customers are combing MDM with the cloud in the following two ways:
1. Using MDM to create a single version of the truth before enabling the cloud-based applications (i.e., they’re cleaning up data from multiple in-house CRM systems, and feeding reliable, consistent customer data into Salesforce.com)
2. They’re combining customer and other forms of data from the cloud-based applications (e.g. Salesforce.com) along with internal CRM applications to create a single version of the truth to enable operational and analytical business processes.
As organizations grow the number of cloud based applications, they have to control the key data that they will use across those applications as well as internal applications and data warehouses. MDM enables organizations to do just that—either for enabling cloud-based applications or creating a single view of the master data across cloud-based applications and internal applications. Thus a strong foundation of MDM will be the key to successfully taking advantage of cloud computing.