Informatica Cloud Add Hybrid Integration Features; Launches Developer Edition
Informatica Cloud Spring 2012 integration PaaS (iPaaS) is shipping with updated enterprise-caliber features. The company also launched a Developer Edition, with connector tools and templates to help devs build customize cloud integrations and deliver them as simple-to-use wizards for enterprise and SaaS users and providers. IDN talks with Ron Lunasin, Director of Informatica Cloud Product Management.
Informatica Cloud Spring 2012 integration PaaS (iPaaS) is shipping with updated enterprise-caliber features. The company also launched a Developer Edition, with connector tools and templates to help devs build customize cloud integrations and deliver them as simple-to-use wizards for enterprise and SaaS users and providers.
“Cloud connectivity must be rapid and robust,” Ron Lunasin, Director of Informatica Cloud Product Management told IDN. “This release is really the next big chapter for us. It underscores our approach to an integration platform as a service (iPaaS), for both traditional enterprise IT integration [professionals] and developers, as well as for SaaS and cloud providers.”
Informatica Cloud Spring 2012 adds key security, management and admin enhancements to support what Informatica calls “Hybrid IT,” which Lunasin defines as integration across cloud and on-premise environments. Further, improvements in Informatica Cloud’s iPaaS’ reliability, scalability and ease of use are also making an impact at enterprises with well-established competency centers for integration and SOA, Lunasin added.
Notable Informatica Cloud Spring 2012 upgrades include:
- Easy migration of cloud integration objects between development and production instances;
- Easy migration between instances of Informatica Cloud to support object reuse, sandbox development and rapid implementation time;
- SuSE Linux support for the Informatica Cloud Secure Agent;
- Support for version 24 of the Salesforce web services API
One early adopter noted that its enterprise hybrid IT project will benefit from the Informatica Cloud Spring 2012 upgrades.
“As we continue to expand our portfolio of cloud and on-premise applications, the integration imperative only gets stronger, as does the need for enterprise capabilities such as integration performance, manageability and security. Informatica Cloud Spring 2012 will help strengthen our hybrid IT environment,” said PSA Insurance and Financial Services CTO Andrew Bartels in a statement.
Putting Customizable Cloud Integration
In the Hands of Enterprise, SaaS Devs
Informatica Cloud’s Developer Edition, new in the Spring 2012 release, offers tools and templates to let enterprise IT, system integrators and ISVs design, build, customize and deliver native connectivity to any cloud or on-premise business and social applications with published web services APIs, Lunasin said.
Director of Product Management
The Developer Edition’s tools, API, and templates bring the idea of “lean” to integration, Lunasin told IDN. “We see you should be able to publish components that other people in the business can use, and with the benefit of templates with Informatica Cloud, IT can now add a lot of capability that can be quickly designed, published and shared without the need for everyone to be a deep integration expert,” he said.
One impetus for adding a Developer Edition of Informatica Cloud arose in part from the value that toolkits bring to traditional integration developers using Informatica’s PowerCenter unified integration platform, Lunasin said. “Toolkits in Power Center have proven very important. So, we’ve created a Java-based toolkit for Informatica Cloud,” he added.
Lunasin specified that Informatica Cloud’s Developer Edition lets devs create their own pre-packaged wizards for doing workflows, data mapping and other internal integration tasks without programming.
Informatica Cloud’s Developer Edition toolkit works with the API and an abstraction layer to let devs easily specify many common aspects of a cloud application, including log-in calls, security tokens, cookies or even how many rows of data to give back at one time, according to Lunasin.
“Many of these concepts are common with [integration] APIs. So, when developers know those concepts and the cloud API, our toolkit will let them prototype an application integration in just a day or two, and build the entire project in just two to four weeks,” Lunasin said.
The toolkit provides devs access to a Java-based API for quickly creating cloud-critical connectors to popular SaaS and web-based applications. These include Eloqua, LinkedIn, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Salesforce Chatter, Twitter, Yammer and Zuora. For maximum flexibility, the connectors can be used to input (sources) or output (target) data. They run natively within the Informatica Cloud.
Templates ‘Take Connectors One Step Further’
To Speed Integrations for Users, SaaS Providers
Informatica Cloud Developer Edition’s integration templates provide devs and ISVs quick-start templates for delivering cloud integration or workflows between data and applications running in any combination of on-premise or cloud-based environments. Devs can design and run their own custom data workflows leveraging these templates or embedding more advanced Informatica Cloud data integration functionality into their cloud solutions.
“Templates simply take the connectors one step further,” Lunasin explained. “With them, not only can you connect to your systems, but IT can create pre-built integrations for a specific application or a specific vertical [market] to support required integrations or workflows.”
Templates let users mock up integrations that can be embedded into applications very quickly. Then, users can review, pick and choose or customize them for their own special use cases, such as account synchronization, he added.
Under the covers, Informatica Cloud Integration Templates offer:
- Pre-defined and easily customizable integration templates optimized for specific industries and processes;
- RESTful API to allow users to dynamically configure more detailed process-centric templates;
- Tools and patterns to let devs design and deploy their own templates from scratch.
Templates are also proving valuable to ISVs and SaaS providers who often must deal with a wide variety of configuration issues for keeping customers happy who use their off-premise cloud software, Lunasin told IDN.
“With templates, ISVs can create special set-up screens that ask the customer when do they want to run a process, and which filters do they need and so on. Because the ISV is creating an API layer around the Informatica Cloud, when the customer answers these screen questions and hits submit, those configurations are deployed,” he added.
One fast-growing SaaS already reports benefits. “Xactly is already working with the new [Informatica] Cloud Integration Templates to help power pre-built connectivity for Xactly Express to any online solution,” said Scott Broomfield, General Manager Xactly Express, in a statement. “Having robust data integration capabilities embedded in our platform is essential for our customers to easily connect to the cloud.”
“The new Cloud Connector Toolkit and Cloud Integration Templates expand Informatica Cloud. . . to provide a comprehensive integration platform as a service [iPaaS] our customers and partners can use to quickly and seamlessly embed integration into their applications, platforms and processes,” said Juan Carlos Soto, senior vice president and general manager, Informatica Cloud, in a statement.
Cloud Integration + PaaS Adds Up
To a New Cloud Platform Category
The release of Informatica Cloud Spring 2012 comes after Gartner Inc. released a research note on the growing value of a purpose-built PaaS for integration (integration PaaS). One Gartner executive commented on how Informatica Cloud’s Developer Edition pushes the value proposition for the cloud integration sector.
“Gartner expects iPaaS adoption to grow significantly during the next five years,” said Yefim Natis, Vice President and Gartner Distinguished Analyst, Gartner, in a statement. “Integration platform as a service (iPaaS) can provide a foundation for hybrid cloud computing, engaging
old and new applications and data, on-premises and in the cloud. iPaaS is a key component of any comprehensive cloud application infrastructure offering and an essential requirement for future leadership in PaaS markets by any vendor.”
Informatica Cloud Spring 2012 is now available. Obtain Informatica Cloud Spring 2012 Developer Edition via the early access program.