Monday, December 16, 2019

How to Choose or evaluate Ipaas Service


Why iPaas


With the rapid adoption of cloud computing and mobility the need for application integration is growing exponentially. Earlier we had only one option i.e. to buy server based integration products to cater the integration needs but now we have another option as well - Integration platform as service(iPaas).


iPaaS creates a cloud deployment model and addresses the needs of both technical and organization (Reduced downtime and Reduced maintenance costs). There are loads of company’s offering iPaas services like 
Azure Itegration services,Dell Boomi, Oracle Integration Cloud,TIBCO cloud, Informatica, SnapLogic, Jitterbit, Mulesoft etc to name few of them and everyone claims to be leader 😉. 

So if you are asked to choose among-st them, which one will you go for? What will be your considerations while doing so? It should not be biased – shouldn’t be influenced by any reports.


Below are few considerations, which I think should be looked at first, if I missed some important point then do let me know 😊

1. Usability: 


The first thing over here is the learning curve – how easy it is to understand the tool/service and how easy it is to get started with implementing the solutions. A good documentation around the tool/service from company would be the key.

Second thing is  the degree of complexity involved in the installation or procuring the instance of the tool/service, the additional  tools that you need, the ease of usability and features of the development environment. This majorly impacts development efforts and time to market.

2. Manageability: 


Most of the time is spent here, managing the tool/service. What all options are available – User friendly Graphical User Interface(this is must), command line, Rest api’s etc.

The monitoring capabilities – the level (granularity of the details) upto which tracking is available and features on top of it like Resubmit, Download etc.

 

3. Community:



Having a strong community around the tool/service is of great help as not everything is shared by the company in the documentation(it’s not possible). Loads of content, tips and tricks are shared in community which is result of hands on experience  and public forums where you can ask questions and get answers - it does save lot of times and many times helps reducing loss.


4. Company support:



Technical Support from the company is an always necessary thing to have, it’s actually face of company (service provider). Here you need to know whether the support service is provided during business hours, if it has a direct line, e-mail, on-site support, etc. 

Here we should be looking at the degree of proactive support available and a way to report a bug or any custom requirements. 


5. Functionality: 


Here the basic expectation would be that you should be able to develop, deploy, execute and govern cloud and hybrid integration flows without installing or managing any hardware or middleware and cloud features such as multitenancy, elasticity, and self-provisioning.

And following capabilities 
  • Support for secure communication protocol connectors, such as FTP/SFTP, HTTP/S, AS2/AS3/AS4, OFTP/OFTP2 etc
  • Support for various data formats, such as XML, JSON, ASN.1 etc
  • Support for various data standards, such as EDI X12, EDIFACT, HL7 etc
  • Support for IoT protocols, such as AMQP, MQTT, Kafka etc
  • UI based mapping tool
  • Support for Integration flow development and life cycle management tools



6. Flexibility: 


No product is complete at any moment of time, there is always something which is missing and has to be added or is good to have. And there might be many requirement where we can’t wait for the feature to be released. Will it be possible to customize the tool/service based on the company’s specific need?


7. Expansion ability: 



There are many already existing organizations who have defined various standards(structure, security, transmission) based on industries domain, government laws etc. which are to be followed . Many standards will be added going forward.What types of standards do the tools/service support? Does it have extensions which can be leveraged on top of basic Integration Interface?


8. Connectors: 



This is very important aspect, as there are loads of apps/systems getting introduced in market everyday and you never know which system/app you will have to integrate with. The more connectors we have the better it is. But the must ones are the enterprise connectors for B2B products like SAP or Salesforce etc. and make sure that it at least supports all of the applications being used by your organization.


9. Licenses: 



What are the type of license and subscription model available to choose – matching to our requirement. Do we have an option to upgrade/downgrade or change the subscription model based on our needs and what about the updates - are they free? 


10. Costs: 



And finally, last but not least - what will the total cost of owning the integration service?


Now let’s go a level down, i.e. what actually is your need ?


Broadly Integration need can be categorized as
  1. EAI – Here the enterprise applications made to communicate with each other i.e. connecting multiple independent systems/applications which are part of IT landscape of the enterprise. 
  2. B2B – Here applications/systems of business partners are made to communicate with each other.



For above the How it is/can be done can be categorized as
  1. Workflow/Business Process Automation/Process Orchestration
  2. Asynchronous Messaging 
  3. Event Based
  4. API based



Seeing that some enterprises only needs event based integration or workflow based integration(not all discussed above), most of the iPaas service providers have segregated the services thus removing a need to buy whole package and only opt for the ones you need. 


Like for workflow we have options like 

Azure Logic Apps, MuleSoft Anypoint Platform,AWS AppSync,TIBCO Cloud Integration etc



Depending on the needs within the enterprise, a specific service may be better suited to solve integration challenges you face. If you need all of them, then procure the required service as and when needed or if you see an option where buying a package(Whole Integration Suite) would cost less then go for it (if this option is available).





Related Post 

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you have any suggestions or questions or want to share something then please drop a comment