01 Sep Hybrid Integration Platforms
Modern businesses require modern solutions. Many organizations are running a cloud-first digital transformation, at pace and at scale. More and more cloud products and solutions are adopted, which are all based on cloud-software paradigms including modern and standard-based interfaces. This also applies to the choice of your integration platform and infrastructure related to your hybrid system landscape. Selecting the right technical building blocks is integral to driving innovation, enhance efficiency and creating a long-term, scalable framework. The Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP) is vastly and rapidly becoming this framework of choice.
What is a Hybrid Integration Platform?
HIP’s are the way to securely integrate on-premise and multi-cloud environments, hence the term Hybrid. It bridges the divide between physical environments and cloud products. From that perspective the HIP allows on-premise solutions to seamlessly integrate with cloud-based applications.
In order to meet the growing need for secure and reliable cloud integration solutions, several technology vendors have started to offer integration services known as Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS).
They enable connectivity and controlled data-exchange between processes, people, things and data with less effort by providing the tools to rapidly develop, secure and monitor integration flows and API’s. It uses standard communication protocols like HTTP, SOAP, OData and REST to communicate with and control multiple systems that an organization requires.
Besides this, the HIP can implement typical Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) patterns as required by companies who are running globally distributed systems: e.g. Message Router, Dynamic Router, Request-Reply and Content Enrichers.
Hybrid Integration Platforms allow for a unified user experience across all products, leading to a gain in productivity, while also opening new possibilities to turn data into business insights.
Some of the productivity gains can be found in:
– A Uniform and model-driven approach of interface development (low-code)
– Existence of standard predefined/pre-packaged integration content and API’s
– Holistic and future-proof integration approach, based on flexible and easy-to-use integration building blocks
The necessity of HIP in a multi-cloud environment
As a business, you should have the freedom to choose multiple deployment models for your employees and your business requirements. Complex integration patterns, huge amounts of data, most of the times scattered around a multi-cloud IT landscape and an ever-growing number of endpoints require a holistic approach.
A HIP functions as the middleware layer that seamlessly integrates data and processes across platforms. It breaks the boundaries and limitations of existing systems, opening data silos. By doing so it allows different users and apps to access on-premise, cloud, big data, structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data. It introduces multiple levels of security and management to different personas, allowing specific tasks to be accomplished faster while reducing risks to the overall integration.
A Hybrid Integration Platforms should span and support the following four dimensions:
1. Personas or constituents – The stakeholders in the integration project, integration specialists, ad hoc integrators, citizen integrators and smart machines
2. Integration Domains – The entities to be integrated, Application Integration, Data Integration, B2B and Process
3. Endpoints – Define where the systems reside, these could be on-premise servers, a SaaS in the cloud, mobile devices and IoT devices
4. Deployment Models – Cloud, on-premise, hybrid and embedded in IoT devices
We already see application leaders responsible for modernizing integration strategies and infrastructure extending existing tools to support the integration of cloud services, mobile apps and IoT devices using public API-management platforms. Also, implementation partners & integration experts in the field are moving forward into the future asks for integration with core IT systems, breaking through silos and building realistic assessments of future requirements.