To reach their digital transformation goals, businesses need to integrate more systems, people, and things than ever before. More importantly, they also need to make those connections at faster and faster speeds. With its ease-of-use, ability to automate processes, and quickly and easily set up connections between all systems and applications, integration platform as service, commonly referred to as an iPaaS, is becoming the tool-of-choice to help organizations connect everything in their growing networks and accelerate their digital transformation.
An iPaaS enables businesses to connect data, applications, and processes faster than a traditional integration platform. In addition, an iPaaS is designed to connect any database and any application—whether it is in a cloud environment, on-premises, or a combination. Connected apps allow businesses to improve operations, drive more business through self-service channels, reduce costs, and engage and empower employees. But, since iPaaS is a relatively new approach to integration there are some common misconceptions surrounding it. Let’s clear up some of these misunderstandings so you can get the most out of this versatile platform.
Misconception #1: iPaaS is only for integration specialists
A good iPaaS caters to the different needs of different groups of developers that have different levels of coding experience. It should have an easy-to-use, intuitive, visual interface so there’s no coding required, making it the ideal solution for business users who don’t have coding experience. And, it should also allow integration specialists to design and deploy flows using the more advanced tools and workflows they are familiar with.
Misconception #2: An iPaaS only integrates cloud-to-cloud systems or apps
Since iPaaS started as a cloud-to-cloud integration tool, many still think it only works with cloud-based components. But, iPaaS does more than just connecting cloud based systems. iPaaS is extremely versatile and can connect on-premises to cloud and back to on-premises from the cloud. It’s ability to connect anything, anywhere is one of the main reasons for its growing popularity.
Misconception #3: iPaaS and ETL are the same thing
ETL does three things that iPaaS does. It makes sure you can extract data, turn that data into the right format, and then load all that transformed data into some other system. An iPaaS is capable of doing all of this, but it’s more than just ETL. With an iPaaS, you can connect different systems together, get data from multiple sources, have multiple transformations, and send the data to the right person or another system in a wide variety of ways. Basically, ETL is a subset of what makes an iPaaS.
Misconception #4: iPaaS and IaaS are the same thing
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) gives users control over the infrastructure. Well-known IaaS solutions include Amazon AWS and Microsoft’s Azure. iPaaS is a service that iPaaS connects to all of the various cloud services you use (such as Salesforce, Workday, Concur, etc.) and pulls data from each of those systems, transforms it, and delivers all the disparate data into one interface so it can be more easily analyzed.
To hear about other common misconceptions about iPaaS, please tune into the O’Reilly webinar: When is iPaaS the Right Level of Abstraction?