webMethods Integration Cloud

Connect on-premises and SaaS applications with ease

By David Overos, Director, webMethods Product Marketing, Software AG
Sachin Gadre, Director, webMethods Product Management, Software AG
 
As cloud-based applications proliferate, businesses expect the same level of service from their cloud integration solution that they get from the Software as a Service (SaaS) applications.  Learn how webMethods Integration Cloud connects cloud-based applications with on-premises applications and empowers business users without creating new silos of integration logic and assets.
 
Issue 3, 2014 Download PDF

The cloud integration dilemma

The success of cloud application vendors has created an integration challenge for businesses that is only going to get bigger. SaaS vendors such as Salesforce® are doing an excellent job of selling their application services directly to a department or line of business instead of at the enterprise level. This approach makes a lot of sense for business buyers who are the stakeholders and really care about application use.  But it can create new challenges for a centralized IT organization.
 
The integration dilemma is based on the reality that business applications, even if they are serving a departmental need, do not operate in a vacuum. Most applications depend on data that already exists but resides in other systems. This becomes a problem when business users are not able to easily get at that data. This is why integration, especially the synchronization of data with key systems of record, is one of the greatest challenges for companies adopting SaaS solutions.

Introducing webMethods Integration Cloud

To help IT act more like integration service providers—offering tools and integration guidance—to departmental users, Software AG is introducing a new integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) offering called webMethods Integration Cloud. This new hosted service provides connectivity to cloud-based applications, as well as to on-premises applications, and enables users to configure integrations between these applications.
 
The most common objective of iPaaS is to synchronize data between cloud applications and a company’s systems of record to eliminate data silos and help ensure customer satisfaction by reducing customer service errors caused by bad data.
 
With webMethods Integration Cloud, you can integrate your cloud-based SaaS applications, such as Salesforce.com®, Successfactors® and ServiceNow®, with other cloud-based applications. webMethods Integration Cloud also lets you integrate SaaS applications with traditional, on-premises ERP, CRM and warehouse management applications, such as SAP® systems and Oracle® E-Business Suite. This “hybrid” cloud integration model complements our existing webMethods on-premises integration platform.

Benefits of cloud services

Organizations expect the same level of service from their cloud integration solution as they get from SaaS applications, including:
  • Elimination of maintenance and upgrade projects
  • Ability to scale on demand
  • Faster time-to-value by eliminating hardware procurements and installation
  • Ability to work from anywhere
  • Subscription-based licensing
webMethods Integration Cloud is designed to provide these same features that customers seek from their cloud application service providers.

Product capabilities

webMethods Integration Cloud is a fully managed cloud service. The key capabilities, shown in Figure 1, include:
 
Tenant and role management
Tenant registration and self-service (user and role management) are key capabilities of webMethods Integration Cloud. Customers or tenants can easily register using the public website at www.webMethodsCloud.com. Once the account is provisioned, the customer can log into the website and create additional users and roles. Administrators can use roles to restrict user access to integration cloud features.
 
Stage management
Newly registered tenants get access to a single development environment called a “stage.” Tenants can create up to four stages (environments), depending upon their license. Tenants can promote integration flows and accounts from one stage to another, making it possible to implement a rigorous software development life-cycle process in the cloud.
 
Application management
webMethods Integration Cloud provides out-of-the-box connectivity to SaaS applications such as Salesforce, ServiceNow and StrikeIron™. These application connectors, along with pre-built operations, are included in Integration Cloud and are available for tenant re-use. Tenants can create accounts and additional operations for each application.
 
Responsive browser-based UI for citizen developers
Integration Cloud features a brand new browser-based responsive user interface that is intentionally built for citizen developers. The user interface can be accessed using any modern browser, and it supports guided development using wizards to help users create integrations. Since the interface is built using standards-based HTML5, it is also accessible from tablets and mobile devices.
 
Mapping, transformation and enrichment
Mapping, transformation and enrichment have always been strengths of the webMethods Integration Platform. These functions are now available to Integration Cloud users. Integration Cloud includes transformers that provide drag-and-drop transformation and mapping capability. In addition, citizen developers can call operations that provide transformation and enrichment capabilities within their integrations.
 
On-premises connectivity
On-premises webMethods customers can connect their webMethods Integration Server to webMethods Integration Cloud to create cloud-to-on-premises integrations. Administrators can define on-premises applications, operations and accounts through an easy-to-use interface. These definitions can then be uploaded to Integration Cloud where they are used to build cloud-to-on-premises integrations. Connectivity between on-premises Integration Server and Integration Cloud, built on a Terracotta Universal Messaging layer, is very secure because the connection is initiated from the on-premises Integration Server to Integration Cloud, removing the need to open up firewall ports in the on-premises side.
 
Multi-tenant architecture
Integration Cloud is fully multi-tenant. Multiple tenants share a development execution instance. Each tenant gets a separate production execution instance of Integration Server. Tenants interact with the execution instance using the Web-based user interface. Tenant can be assigned additional execution instances from a farm of instances. Multiple instances can be clustered to provide high availability and failover.

Conclusion 

Software AG’s webMethods Integration Cloud delivers SaaS application integration in an easy-to-use way, while complementing existing investments and methodologies in on-premises webMethods ESB technology, reducing integration silos and speeding up integrations.
 
webMethods Integration Cloud is a great choice for companies seeking to benefit from an iPaaS solution that eliminates data and integration silos and who want an iPaaS that is built on the rock-solid foundation of the webMethods ESB. Look for webMethods Integration Cloud in October 2014.