The integration market has changed! When I look back to my role as an integration specialist a number of years ago (the start of a new year is as good as time as any for reflection), I remember talking about EAI (enterprise application integration), connectors, and mappings, and also discussing the applicability of technologies such as CORBA ORBs (remember those?). Everything was on-premise (no notion of iPaaS or containers in those days, at least not by today’s typical definitions), and the focus was on connecting big ERP-like applications to custom databases and other systems via proprietary interfaces.
Things did move forward, and we advanced into a world of “SOA” (service oriented architecture) and ESBs (enterprise service bus). Interfaces became more open, technology evolved (initiating many arguments associated with the various SOAP “standards”), and integration solutions were extended with B2B capabilities to extend their reach beyond the firewall.
One could expand upon—and debate—these integration phases in more detail, but, in general, this was the way that integration approaches evolved for many years. Now, the integration market is a much different place! Integration is no longer focused primarily on connectivity inside the firewall. APIs and lightweight API gateways are leading the charge when it comes to accessing data and business functions. A much larger emphasis is being placed on organizational culture and user personas (click here for one such discussion) as a determinant of an integration strategy’s success, and we now have a wide variety of technologies, practices, and patterns for implementing API-led integration solutions. Microservices, iPaaS, CaaS, containers, DevOps, circuit breakers, Backends for Frontends, event sourcing, cloud-native, edge integration, pervasive and hybrid integration—the list simply goes on and on. It can be a confusing world; many of the discussions I have with customers today involve looking at each of these areas (which I typically group into the three core pillars of organization, practices and patterns, and technology), and identifying the potential fit of one or more of these concepts into their environment. In other words, how does an organization move from what they “had and have” to what they “want to have”?
In case you have this same question, and since we are not going to be able to fully answer this question in the span of this blog, we have decided to kick off the New Year by hosting a series of events to further discuss this topic. The TIBCO Innovation Workshop Series: Harnessing the Integration Spectrum combines live workshop-style webinars and in-person events across the country. The first of these events is the upcoming workshop webinar on January 10, which will cover some guidelines around the use of hybrid integration technologies and approaches, and also look at how to extend integration techniques to IoT, mobile, cloud, and big data environments. At TIBCO, we call this the Integration Spectrum: The need to integrate people, devices, content, and services anywhere and everywhere. Register and join the webinar for a quick look at the workshop contents, and see how it may apply to your organization. Or stop by and learn and discuss some of today’s hot topics! There is a chance to play with some technology at each of the workshops if you wish, so make sure to bring your laptop to the events. We look forward to seeing you there!