As with conventional EAI software, you get a library of connectors for specific applications and the ability to orchestrate processes across apps. Because AtomSphere lives in the cloud, however, you can avoid a key pitfall of locally installed EAI -- application versioning that breaks integrations -- because Boomi monitors those changes and updates its connectors to match.
Not surprisingly, a lot of Boomi's business comes from Salesforce engagements. Along with being the most popular SaaS app, Salesforce sports an API that is "very mature, very robust, very well designed and built," says Moul. In addition, Boomi lists 21 other SaaS partners, so if you integrate with, say, NetSuite, you can share data easily with the SaaS HR provider Workday, for example.
According to Moul, SaaS applications have evolved from outside-the-firewall silos to agents of change in the next phase in integration. "SaaS has brought us new API maturity. Multitenacy forced APIs to expose customizations in metadata," he says.
Boomi isn't the only company in the integration-as-a service space. Informatica and Pervasive both have offerings, and Moul expects other more conventional EAI providers to jump in. I can also imagine that, as with conventional EAI software, cloud-based solutions will have many of the same lock-in liabilities. But it's exciting to see this space heating up a bit. As SaaS providers integrate more closely with each other and integration between customers and providers gets easier, one more barrier to cloud computing will fall.
This article, "Cloud computing's missing link," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Eric Knorr's Modernizing IT blog and follow the latest developments on cloud computing at InfoWorld.com.