Integration choices – iPaaS vs. Middleware

Hybrid IT and Integration Challenges
A growing number of enterprises are moving to the cloud while maintaining some of the legacy applications in-house due to a variety of understandable reasons. IT organizations are faced with the rapid growth of SaaS applications that emerge on a daily basis and land on their enterprise stack. While these technology tools offer enterprises a wide range of benefits, it comes at a price. Data manageability is a rigorously deliberated topic in every organization, a decision for which the consequences that could last for years.

Why is Middleware losing the ground?
Middleware applications historically worked to manage the integrations behind the firewall which usually is tightly controlled, centralized data environment. Middleware does get the job done for complex integrations where data centralization is vital. Still, the significant amount of time, developer resources and money it takes to implement and maintain middleware simply cannot be ignored. Due to data decentralization and the widespread use of cloud and SaaS applications, middleware applications are struggling to keep up with the growing integration points at the pace required to do so.

Why is iPaaS gaining the momentum?
The Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) has been around for over a decade. Typically built on a multi-tenant architecture, iPaaS has shifted the onus of maintaining the infrastructure needs and managing integrations from the customer to the iPaaS vendor. Another notable industry trend is the shift toward real-time integration instead of the large batch data transfers. Due to the distributed nature of the applications, data is needed from Application B to finish the process in Application A, in real-time.

The community collaboration is usually not highlighted but the time value is enormous when the metadata of an integration solution could be repurposed. While it is the responsibility of the vendor to keep up with all the connectors, there is no denying that the user’s contribution is the most valuable. The iPaaS fits right into the DevOps Continuous Delivery Model as the application developers are adapting to the Open API model which was unthinkable in the middleware realm.

Last but not the least is the total Cost of Ownership (TCO) which is 60% to 70% less to own an iPaaS compared to middleware. These new iPaaS tools merely help us see each challenge more clearly and from fresh angles. All that said, every environment is different. Your system architects and technical team can provide a quick assessment of iPaaS vs. middleware and choose the direction that is best for your enterprise.