Modern enterprises require a host of applications to manage their bookkeeping, inventory, marketing, and more. Finding powerful applications to cover these needs isn’t very difficult, but building the integrations that synchronize data between these solutions can be costly and labor-intensive while requiring enormous amounts of technical expertise.
This is where Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) technology can help. In fact, modern iPaaS solutions are blowing through app integration barriers by empowering users to connect applications without writing any code – in some cases, allowing you to generate APIs for app integrations in a matter of minutes.
Below, we’ve outlined eight business-transforming benefits of iPaaS technology. But first, let’s define what iPaaS technology is and how organizations are using it.
What Is an iPaaS?
iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service) platforms offer a cloud-based approach to connecting applications and data. Whether the connection is cloud-to-cloud, ground-to-cloud, or ground-to-ground, an iPaaS lets you synchronize the different aspects of your business faster and more efficiently than traditional solutions like ESB (Enterprise Service Bus).
The key use cases for iPaaS include:
- Automatic API Generation: The most advanced iPaaSs offer visual, point-and-click tools for building and publishing APIs without any coding experience.
- Cloud-to-Cloud and Hybrid-Cloud Integration: Connect on-premises systems to cloud applications and establish cloud-to-cloud connections.
- Business-to-Business (B2B) Data Integration: Quickly establish data connections between your business applications and those of your partners, vendors, and customers.
- Business Intelligence and Machine Learning Data Integration: Connect your on-prem, cloud, and SaaS solutions to cloud platforms – like Snowflake, RedShift, Tableau, etc. – for advanced BI, AI, and ML analytics.
- IoT Network Integration: Overcome IoT integration challenges with massive horizontal scalability and powerful cloud-server processing.
- Microservices Integration: Use pre-built connectors to generate and publish APIs that support a microservices architecture.
8 iPaaS Benefits
Using an iPaaS for the above use cases offers the following key benefits:
1. Fast, Easy Integrations
ESBs and hand-coded integrations are particularly excellent for on-premises systems, legacy apps, and complex IT infrastructures. However, when an iPaaS fits the integration use case, app connections will be faster and easier. Here’s why:
- No delays: An iPaaS lets you integrate applications – even link on-prem apps and cloud services – without suffering the delays of traditional integration techniques.
- Low-coding and no-coding requirement: The pre-built integrations and low-code API creation tools (no-code in some cases) allow you to quickly build app connections.
From a time-to-market perspective, some of the more user-friendly iPaaS solutions can generate APIs for a wide variety of data sources in literally minutes as compared to manual, hand-coded strategies that require on average 34 days for a single API.
2. Inexpensive, Cost-Effective Integrations
ESB app integrations can cost your organization hundreds of thousands of dollars – even millions – per year. Outsourcing custom-coded integrations can cost even more. That’s not to mention the price and maintenance fees of on-site hardware that these solutions require.
For many use cases, an iPaaS connects your apps in minutes. Moreover, the iPaaS manages the connections and maintains the connected data for an affordable monthly and yearly subscription fee. In this respect, your iPaaS represents a predictable, manageable expense – and you only pay for the service level you need without incurring a large up-front investment.
3. Agile, Flexible Scalability
Another benefit of iPaaS relates to its scalability. As long as the integration platform offers a bridge for your applications, adding new solutions and services to your network doesn’t involve significant risk. In other words, it eliminates the labor, costs, hardware, and time commitment required to develop traditional integrations.
Best of all, if you decide that an app or service isn’t for you, removing it from your list of iPaaS connections doesn’t represent a significant loss – just a reduction in your monthly iPaaS fee. This gives you greater flexibility to scale up or down in response to changing business demands.
Your iPaaS should include a wide array pre-built integrations for popular solutions and use cases like:
- Apple Push Mobile Notifications
- AWS S3
- IBM Db2
- Microsoft SQL Server
- Scout APM
- SOAP to REST
- IBM Maximo
If the API connector you need isn’t available, your iPaaS should also offer a scripting editor that supports different programming languages, such as PHP, Python, and NodeJS – so advanced users can program new APIs with iPaaS-empowered features like RBAC, API limits, and more.
4. Better Security and Data Compliance
iPaaS solutions include more advanced security and governance features than traditional integration solutions (like ESBs). For example, a modern iPaaS should include the following:
- Features that satisfy corporate and regulatory compliance standards such as GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, SOC2, etc.
- Role-Based Access Control (RBAC).
- Support for the latest enterprise authentication technology, such as OpenID Connect, Active Directory, and OAuth.
- Advanced API logging capabilities
5. Low-Code Application Programming
Some iPaaS solutions feature low-code programming environments to reduce the hand-coding burdens associated bringing a new application to market. For example, the DreamFactory iPaaS partners with the low-code app development platforms AppSheet to support the easy development of MVPs (Minimum Viable Product), mobile apps, and websites without significant development costs. Another great option in this space is AppInstitute’s easy to use app creation platform, they also offer insightful tips on how to create a successful no-code app.
But what good is low-code app development if you later need to hand-code custom API’s to connect your data to the application or MVP? This is where the API generation tools of your Integration Platform as a Service can help.
If your iPaaS offers a “no-code” API generation tool, you can automatically generate APIs to quickly connect thousands of data sources to your applications. Your iPaaS can also serve as a proxy that communicates with other APIs – to plug in additional features and capabilities like business intelligence, billing, or marketing tools.
6. Real-Time Integrations for Big Data Processing
Modern enterprises are dealing with more data than ever – while also migrating en masse to the cloud. Statistics project that 90% of the world’s data was created within the last two years, and by the end of 2020, one-third of all data will reside or pass through the cloud. And according to ZDNet, approximately 45% of businesses have already integrated “some of their big data” processes with the cloud.
Because iPaaS technology is native to the cloud, this integration solution is uniquely suited to handle the high-volume, real-time data integrations – and near-real-time processing demands – of a modern, hybrid-cloud enterprise IT architecture. With its ability to quickly synchronize data cloud-to-cloud, ground-to-cloud, and ground-to-cloud, iPaaS tech could be the key to overcoming your big data growth hurdles.
As an example of this at work, retailer E.C. Barton used the DreamFactory iPaaS to give their CRM systems real-time updating capabilities. Now, when a customer buys building materials from any of the 104 E.C. Barton locations across the United States, their enterprise CRM system instantly synchronizes to reflect this activity.
7. Reduced integration redundancy for multi-tenant applications
An iPaaS offers an efficient way to build multi-tenant applications – where your software runs as a single instance that services multiple customers or “tenants.” This could be a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application that your build to service millions of customers through a web portal – like SalesForce. Or, it could be a custom business application that benefits multiple departments in your organization.
iPaaS connections are ideal for multi-tenant applications because they reduce integration redundancies while offering rapid scalability for onboarding new tenants. As cloud services, they also eliminate the massive hardware and software requirements that a multi-tenant architecture could require.
8. Unlimited, horizontal scalability for IoT
The profit-boosting potential of IoT is endless. According to Statistica, “the installed base of IoT-connected devices and things stands at around 26 billion as of 2019 with forecasts suggesting that this number will nearly double by 2023.”
Traditional integration solutions can’t handle the horizontal scalability needed IoT integrations – where you could be dealing with massive volumes from millions of endpoints. However, the unlimited scalability of a cloud-based iPaaS can handle these workloads with real-time data integrations and near-real-time processing.
With MQTT emerging as the go-to communications protocol for IoT, make sure your iPaaS includes a pre-built MQTT connector for IoT endpoints and message brokers. This powerful gateway offers a security layer, API orchestration, and logging capabilities.
Final Thoughts on iPaaS Benefits
After reviewing the benefits of iPaaS listed above, you should have a clear picture of how Integration Platform as a Service can support the most important goals and objectives of your enterprise.
Whether you’re looking to free up hundreds of thousands of dollars from your budget, need a more efficient way to generate API’s, want to launch an IoT network – or just need to speed up the onboarding (and offboarding) of IT business applications – you may want to explore the money and time saving benefits of iPaaS technology a little further.
DreamFactory: Fast, Secure, Powerful iPaaS Integrations
The DreamFactory iPaaS was built to be the fastest, easiest, and securest way to integrate your data and apps – whether they’re on the web, cloud, or ground. Noteworthy features of the DreamFactory iPaaS include:
- Runs on-premises or in the cloud
- API creation in minutes for many use cases
- Automatic SOAP to REST conversion
- Data Mesh to combine unrelated databases
- Advanced API logging features
- Server-side scripting
- Live API docs
- Deep SQL support
- MQTT connector for IoT endpoints
- Meets data compliance standards like GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, etc.
- Role-based access control (RBAC).
- Flexible support for popular enterprise authentication solutions
If you’d like to experience the DreamFactory iPaaS for yourself, sign up for a free trial or schedule a demo with one of our integration specialists now.
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