We spoke to 20 executives at 16 companies to get their perspective on the state of enterprise integration and where the greatest opportunities lie.
We spoke to:
Adam Fingerman, Chief Experience Officer, ArcTouch | Jon Gelsey, CEO, Auth0 | Nishant Patel, CTO, and Matthew Baier, COO, Built.io |Tyson Whitten, API Management Product Marketing, CA Technologies | Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder, Coho Data | Mike Han, V.P. Operations, Liferay | Uri Sarid, CTO, Conor Curlett, Principal Architect, MuleSoft | Gabe Stanek, Director of Field Engineering, Neo Technology | Florent Solt, CTO, Netvibes | Zeev Avidan, V.P. Product Management, OpenLegacy | Sean Bowen, CEO, Push Technology | Jon Bock, Vice President Products, Snowflake Computing | James Jinnette, Director of Information Technology, unidentified CRO | Suchit Bachalli, President, Unilog | Asanka Abeysinghe, V.P. Solutions Architecture, WSO2 | Phil Manfredi, Aaron Sandeen and Kiran Chinnagangannagari, Co-Founders, Zuggand
Here's how they answered the question, "How has enterprise integration evolved?":
It started with distributed computing and Microsoft Oly in 1992. First web services in 2001. Then came the EDI era. All of it started without standards. Most integrations are system-to-system. You need to have a proper configuration and control for governance. This includes monitoring and analytics.
The last decade it was service oriented architecture. No one understood it at first, now they do. Governance has come. We're shifting to a mobile, API-based platform. Centralized services. Every platform can connect with a different API. Connections are standardized. Mobile and cloud have standards for interconnection.
The 1990’s was all custom application development. The late 1990s was enterprise application integration. 2000's web and enterprise services. Amazon went all API. Now, the internet of things (IoT) is changing things even faster - integration platform as a service. It's taking all these APIs and mashing them together. Integrating anything and everything. There's lower overhead in the cloud. API and integration are key for IoT to achieve the growth that’s projected.
Four to five apps used to be needed to integrate within the firewall. These companies will move to the cloud shortly. Now you have hybrid companies with legacy systems migrating to the cloud. Finally you have those companies completely in the cloud with 30 applications. We’re working with Fortune 1000 that run the gamut with regard to enterprise, cloud and hybrid.
We're connecting directly to the backend via the cloud. We have gateways to apps in the field. We're building custom apps for enterprises as we evolve from employees bringing their own devices to work, to IT locking down what someone can use. IT has 1000's of devices for which they need to build custom apps to help employees. United Airlines has an app that enables flight attendants to know who is in every seat and feeds the flight attendants information to improve fliers' customer experience.
Before 2010 was painful. Now apps have evolved to work in the cloud so everything talks to each other through a Restful interface.
We went from exchange formats and EDI to service-oriented architecture. Today’s frameworks are much more important to accelerate the cycle for development. Today you can go directly to the cloud without worrying about building out, or funding, an infrastructure. There’s a tremendous increase in the number of moving parts. Now microservices serve more as building blocks for apps versus the apps themselves.
The intrinsic value of APIs is that they make things faster and quicker. We’re serving up APIs for developers to use for a given service (e.g. access to shopping cart or database). You can have mashups from different locations resulting in a better user experience with more and better information.
Virtualization of resources. The data center is now in the cloud (i.e. AWS or Azure). This helps, it’s much easier to connect. Hardware no longer adds any value.
The pendulum is swinging from on-premise, to cloud to an on-premise appliance with on-demand needs.
It has become more refined. A lot of different themes repeat every five to seven years making software integration patterns easier. Restful services are a simple concept that made web services easier to consume. A simple convention is in place which is less complicated for engineers and developers to work with.
Renaissance around messaging - data versus voice. Changing at a quick pace while adding reliability and stability.
ERP companies realize the products they’re selling can no longer live in a bubble. They can only sell their product when they’re able to easily integrate with e-commerce. They have a financial incentive to be more open and easy to integrate.
Integration with mobile isn’t an issue since mobile mirrors the web.
Evolution from Oracle and IBM to open source has opened the minds of organizations to adopt different architectures. Develop tools and technology to support persistent payers. This has created a lot of subpackage solutions.
What do you see as the significant evolutions of enterprise integration?