Tuesday's Tip: SaaS - Integration Advice

Continued interest in software as a service (SaaS) stems from the pay as you go pricing, constant stream of innovation, rapid deployment options, and the ability to do an end run around IT.  As the number of options proliferate, enterprises will increasingly lean on SaaS as the mission critical system.  Thus, end users need an enterprise apps strategy for SaaS that addresses the "I" word - Integration.  The requirements and leadership for integration will lead to the pragmatic realization that SaaS can no longer be ignored by the IT department.  As organizations brace for the proliferation of SaaS procurements integration should focus on:

  • Data mapping - as data moves from one system to another, data must be transformed accurately.  More importantly, service and related meta data are cataloged into a repository for discovery by management tools and development tools.
  • Business process orchestration - granularity of web services must be harmonized so that the overall process flow is seamless among various systems.  Integration services actively manage service access, execution and quality of service.
  • Quality of service - Like SOA, QoS metrics ensure that the information flow was delivered to the right system at the right time for the right person.  Characteristics such as security, transactions, performance, style of service interaction, etc. are explicitly identified and specified for each service

A few key solutions providers to watch out for in the SaaS integration space include:

  • Blue Wolf Group - a system integrator with an Integration as a Service (IaaS) offering
  • Boomi - a SaaS integration layer services company
  • Cast Iron Systems - a software based integration appliance (i.e. hardware)
  • Informatica - a data integration provider with a multi-tenant, cross-enterprise data integration on-demand service
  • Magic Software - a business and process integration provider
  • Pervasive- a data integration provider with an Integration as a Service (IaaS) offering
  • Snap Logic - an open source data integration tool provider

The bottom line.
The successful adoption of SaaS solutions will transform usage from purpose built point solutions to integration into mission critical processes.  The result - SaaS integration will emerge as a key discipline in the overall enterprise app strategies of enterprises who seek to manage a portfolio of provisioned services.
Your POV.
Have you completed a successful SaaS to on-premise integration?  How'd it go?  Was it easier/harder than your on-premise integrations? Feel free to share with me your view points. You can post here or sending me a private email to [email protected].
Copyright © 2008 R Wang. All rights reserved.