The needs of Dell's systems integration (SI) partners drove the new enhancements, said Chris McNabb, Dell Boomi general manager. Many SI partners, he said, specialize in a certain area and want to prebuild integration capabilities: "That way, you can come to the table with 80% of the problem solved, and be very fast, effective and high-quality when delivering the service."
Integration packs ride on SOA framework
Dell Boomi has always run on an SOA framework, which has allowed customers to create, publish and manage the lifecycles of Web service endpoints, McNabb said, noting that SOA is a key enabler for Dell Boomi's new real-time integrated capability for an integrated Platform as a Service platform (iPaaS).
"Now that people are creating and publishing services, they need the ability to manage them, monitor them, [administer] them and secure them," said McNabb said. "With that SOA framework, we've now added [application programming interface] API management capabilities to measure, monitor the services in production and secure the services in production." Web services managers can use the tool to see what is going among the services in production, and scale and perform at a very large enterprise rate.
I think this puts Dell in a very competitive light against all of its competitors.
Adding API management could be one of the biggest, most valuable changes to Dell Boomi, according to Carl Lehmann, IT industry analyst and research manager in the integration and business process management group at Boston-based 451 Research. "There are a host of other API management vendors who are on the market that offer various ways to manage and market APIs, so Dell needed to do something along the same lines," Lehmann said.
Application programming interfaces provide a way to facilitate data flow. "They can be coded in many different ways, [and] because there are so many ways now, organizations need a way to manage [APIs], their quality and their use," Lehmann said. "Dell just added that capability to some extent."
Plug in real-time integration
The pre-packed, embeddable automated integration packs can be placed inside a software package, essentially taking integration off the table for most in-house SIs and software architects, as well as Software as a Service (SaaS) providers, McNabb said.
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While the need to integrate cloud and on-premises applications is clearly there, SIs and SaaS providers say it can be costly and slows down the sales cycle. The latest Dell Boomi Atmosphere's integration pack is designed to address that issue, McNabb said.
"[An] integration pack is a capability the platform has to imbed integration technology into an existing SaaS product," McNabb said. "We've had SuccessFactors and those types of companies take our integration capabilities, embed them right into their technology, so when you buy their technology, it can come pre-integrated from your enterprise back to their SaaS product."
With this technology, an organization can support identical and nearly identical integration from customer to customer, according to McNabb, so it can be created and deployed across several instances.
Speeding integration for vertical services
Dell Boomi's new vertical service process libraries will help system integrators increase the efficiency and speed of integration delivery. Software architects in vertical markets, particularly government services, need a way to create industry-specific libraries and keep them on hand for use when needed. Within the new Dell Boomi offering, McNabb said, there are multiple libraries customers can become a member of, each of which provides the ability to capture an internal IP address to add value quickly to integration services.
Right capabilities at the right time
The focus of Dell Boomi's new release is a wise one, Lehmann said. "Earlier it released a master data capability, and now they have API management. I think this puts Dell in a very competitive light against all of its competitors."