Connecting applications on both sides of the firewall

Accelerated SaaS adoption demands new technology to integrate cloud and on-premise applications. Maneesh Joshi explains SnapLogic's innovative solution

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Designing connections and using snaps
In the spirit of cloud computing, SnapLogic users are provisioned with a dedicated sandbox in a multitenanted environment for development, simulation, and test of integration pipelines. Using SnapLogic Designer, pipeline building is a simple configuration exercise that requires no programming expertise. Customers benefit from universal access via a 100 percent HTML5-based user interface, with access secured by SSO-based policies and encryption of metadata.

SnapLogic Designer's drag, drop, and configure functionality enables customers to snap integration pipeline components together easily. These components, called Snaps, are intelligent prebuilt connectors that are available in an online marketplace called SnapStore. The SnapStore is an easily browsable and searchable catalog of more than 160 prebuilt, precertified Snaps that connect to a variety of enterprise applications, social websites, databases, and other technology protocols.

Snaps shield both business users and developers from much of the complexity of the underlying application, data model, and service. Snaps are easy to build and modify, and they're based on an open and standardized development environment.

Graphical administration
The SnapLogic Manager provides comprehensive operations support where pipelines can be visually migrated from development to testing, staging, and production. The management console also includes sophisticated error-management capabilities, where errors can be identified and corrected easily. The console can be used to view end-to-end pipeline execution, auditing, and logging information. Integration metrics and statistics are displayed in graphical fashion and proactive alerts assist with exception management. The console is also protected with SSO-based policies.

SnapLogic simplifies the process of taking an integration pipeline through its lifecycle by separating pipeline metadata and environment configuration. The environment-specific configuration -- for example, test endpoints are replaced with production endpoints when deploying to production -- are captured in what are referred to as environment documents. This makes moving of pipelines across environments a seamless process of changing the associated configuration file as opposed to changing the pipeline metadata.

The future is now
With the explosion in SaaS applications, the 1,000-app enterprise is no longer a pipe dream. It represents a true paradigm shift, where the integration layer moves closer to where new data is generated in the cloud. On-premise integration solutions that were purpose-built to run behind a firewall are ill-suited for the new world of cloud services.

Implementing incremental solutions to handle this new reality will help customers extend life of their existing investments, but sooner or later, a tipping point will be reached beyond which new solutions such as those offered by SnapLogic will become necessities. Customers need to research their options and invest in the right set of technologies that will help secure their long-term interests. Eventually, they will need to embrace the new paradigm rather than resist it.

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