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Cloud Expo: Article

Easing Up on Application Integration

Latest Jitterbit release further eases application and data integration from among modern sources

Data and apps integration provider Jitterbit this week released a new version of its solution, Jitterbit 5, designed to be the glue between on-premise, cloud, social, and mobile data,

Jitterbit focuses on simple yet powerful integration technologies that can be quickly and easily deployed to create integrated processes and data views. We've seen a lot of interest in light-weight, low-coding integration capabilities as more SaaS and cloud services need to be coordinated. This is now becoming even more pertinent to bringing data together from a variety of sources.

Jitterbit 5 aims to raise the level of simplicity even higher with new features that streamline process integration, said the Oakland, CA company. The wizards-based approach allows non-technical users to design integration projects through a graphical, point-and-click interface. I think making more people able to tailor and specify integrations can significantly boost innovation and productivity.

Vendors have been trying to solve the issue of integration of technology for over twenty years.

In enterprise computing today, there are three main sources of data that must come together to help drive the business forward, according to Jitterbit's thinking. First there's corporate data -- which for years has been the cornerstone of technology strategies -- that sits in databases, data warehouses, enterprise applications, etc. and is typically kept safe and sound on-premise, behind the firewall.

Over the past few years, two other sources of data have emerged as critical for businesses that want to optimize their operations and better serve their customers; data stored in cloud services, and data from a pair of new platforms -- social and mobile. And we'll no doubt be seeing ever larger and more specific data emerge from business and consumer activities from these domains.

These newer sources of data can be located anywhere, and the information they provide comes in a wide variety of formats, making it harder than ever to integrate with structured corporate information using traditional integration technologies.

Three pillars

Jitterbit's focus therefore is to help enterprises better achieve integration of data from all these three pillars of modern computing. And the means to do it must appeal to the business analysts who understand best the need to have many types of different data readily available and associated with business processes in near real time.

"Vendors have been trying to solve the issue of integration of technology for over 20 years.

The majority of companies come at it with a technical perspective -- they try to solve the problem for the professional developer," says Andrew Leigh, vice president of products with Jitterbit.

"But the problem of integration isn't just a technical issue; it's a business issue. The people who are best at building, managing, and changing integration are the ones that understand it's really a process. We're putting integration back in the hands of the business analysts who really understand the data and processes to make that integration effective."

The people who are best at building, managing, and changing integration are the ones that understand it's really a process.

While Jitterbit features wizards and other simple tools to let non-technical users quickly build the data connections that the business requires, it's important that they work in partnership with IT to ensure the process is governed correctly, says Leigh, who recently joined Jitterbit from Salesforce.com.

"We've built all the knowledge and best practices that the industry has been building up over the last two decades into our solution; now we're focused on the user experience and hiding complexity," says Leigh.

This latest release also features enhanced connectivity to Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and SAP, as well as Twitter and Chatter. The new Instant View and Process Monitor tools provide visibility to the status and results of more complex business process integrations. And Version 5.0 supports large-volume cloud APIs to allow organizations to rapidly synchronize large volumes of data at higher levels of performance.

Jitterbit's approach also fits into the vision of "integration as a service," which seems a natural development of cloud models. I'd like to see more cloud services providers embed such integration services into their offerings. This is especially important for PaaS to go mainstream.

A video describing the new features in Jitterbit 5.0, available now can be found here. A free 30-day trial of the product is available here.

(BriefingsDirect contributor Cara Garretson provided editorial assistance and research on this post. She can be reached on LinkedIn.)

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