What did iPaaS ever do for us?
Ian Vincent
By Ian Vincent

With any new technology or service there is always a sense that it offers a false promise, a feeling that it may be the emperor’s new clothes, and iPaaS (integration Platform as a Service) is no different. So what does iPaaS give you over and above a traditional on premise integration tool?


Firstly it is worth highlighting that no two iPaaS offerings are the same, so I’m purposefully focusing on what all iPaaS offerings ‘should’ be capable of. If you have or are looking at offerings that can’t deliver in the following areas then I’d suggest that you should understand why and question whether the offering is in fact a true iPaaS.

Cloud Native – One of the clearest differences between an iPaaS and an on premise integration tool is that an iPaaS is built for the cloud. This means that it supports connectivity to cloud applications and services (most iPaaS come with pre-built connectors for all but the most unusual cloud services), as well as supporting the technology of the cloud. Such as integration via API, REST, JSON, encryption and so on.

Updates over upgrades – one of the biggest benefits of an iPaaS over an on premise solution is the move from the intensive patching and upgrade cycle required by on premise solutions to a pain free update schedule enabled by cloud based architecture. An iPaaS should provide automatic, reliable and regular platform updates – this will reduce maintenance costs, improve reliability and ensure that you can make use of the latest features and enhancements as they come available. This is especially critical when integrating with SaaS applications that can provide updates/changes to their API and security protocols quickly.

Scalable – Another ‘cloud benefit’ is that an iPaaS should be scalable, both in technical terms (allowing you to ramp up to meet demand) as well as commercially. Allowing your business to start small but still benefit from enterprise class capabilities.

Innovation – I’ve already mentioned that iPaaS users can take advantage of new innovations quickly, on top of this they can also take advantage of features that simply wouldn’t be feasible outside of multi-tenanted environment. We’ll be covering some examples of this (such as Dell Boomi’s Suggest feature) in forthcoming blogs.

Agile Enablement – the digital enterprise needs to be more agile than ever, and with cloud adoption rates soaring the speed and flexibility offered by iPaaS enables greater business agility. Whether that is providing integration between on premise and cloud solutions or exposing core business capabilities via an API. An iPaaS offers much more than simple point-to-point integration.

These differences can be summarised in two words – speed and simplicity. iPaaS enables your business to become connected quickly and simply, whether you are connecting new cloud solutions to existing core on premise systems or starting up a zero-footprint enterprise.


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Ian Vincent
By Ian Vincent

I’m AgilityWorks’ resident Integration expert having spent over a decade moving data around the Enterprise and beyond, I work across the key SAP integration technologies and as the technical lead for our Connected Cloud Enterprise offering powered by Dell Boomi. With a young family I enjoy spending my downtime at home, as well as trying to sample the scones at every National Trust property in the South East.

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