Added on 29 December 2022
iPaaS - Using the Cloud to Make Business More Dynamic
Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) is a set of cloud services that enable customers to develop, execute and control integration flows between disparate applications. The iPaaS model enables organisations to achieve integration without a large investment in expertise or licensed middleware software. Find out more about iPaas and what it can do for you in this article.
iPaaS stands for Integration Platform as a Service and fundamentally refers to cloud services that allow an organisation to integrate and link different data, processes, applications, or services in the cloud without having to own a platform. These are mostly used to realise long-term goals in cloud integration without having to put too much effort into it.
What is iPaaS?
iPaaS are cloud solutions to connect data, applications, processes, and systems clearly and in one place. Business and IT processes can be seamlessly linked and run without interruption. iPaaS greatly simplifies integration work and makes it more accessible by eliminating the need for complicated programming skills in most cases. iPaaS are a coordinated collection of cloud services used to make applications, data, systems and processes work together in a highly automated way, both within a company and between different organisations. This prevents data from different systems in different formats from being shared due to the uniform central storage of all information and eliminates data silos that inevitably form when all information is stored locally and inconsistently.
How does iPaaS work?
With iPaaS, an integration platform is provided by the provider in a cloud, which the company can access externally. Thus, a complete IT infrastructure including tools and all related services is made available online. The companies are only responsible for the development of processes, configuration, and mappings; it is then up to the iPaaS provider to link and manage everything in a meaningful way.
What is the benefit?
Many companies have the problem that building and maintaining a standalone hybrid integration platform is too complex. This is where iPaaS providers come in, taking over these tasks so that the company can focus on its own tasks. In addition, iPaaS combines all data and application integrations as a cloud-based platform and, if required, links different cloud models into a hybrid cloud model, a task that can often become confusing on its own.
Ultimately, the primary requirement for an iPaaS is a clean and unified platform for integrating and using different data and information across different systems and services.
When does it make sense to use it?
The use of iPaaS makes sense when a company wants to free its employees from time-consuming and technical tasks, but still wants to be responsible for the development of all processes, mappings, and configurations. This allows companies to use their knowledge and tasks with the greatest efficiency.
It is especially useful when the company's own know-how is to be used, but maximum flexibility and independence is to be maintained.
Advantages of iPaaS
There are more and more SaaS applications on the market and the more of them are used in a company, the more confusing it becomes to control them. Conventional integration methods quickly reach their limits and costly interim solutions become necessary. iPaaS offers a remedy and is a more cost-effective alternative that also relieves the burden, as the processes are managed externally.
Scalability is a major advantage of iPaaS because no matter how often and how much processes change in the company, an iPaaS solution is flexible and adaptable. It easily connects IT within a company, but also between different companies, e.g., within a parent company.
Central management of integration flows
A major advantage of iPaaS is that different tools and services can be managed from a central user interface without having to switch between systems in a time-consuming way.
Due to the cloud structure, the availability of iPaaS systems is in many cases 99.9% or higher, so access to the system is always available and failure is very unlikely.
User-friendly operation and continuous updates
Modern iPaaS solutions clearly beat traditional ETL/hub-to-spoke integrations or ESB approaches in terms of operation and maintenance.
iPaaS enable clean separation of processes without building a separate "physical" environment for each use case. This allows companies to separate different business units and their integration scenarios, or to separate production, test, and development environments.
Disadvantages of iPaaS
Of course, there are also disadvantages to iPaaS systems, but these vary from provider to provider. On the one hand, there is little leeway for very individual requirements, so when choosing the right iPaaS provider, care should be taken to ensure that individual requirements can be met. Complex integration needs require technically competent personnel because the provision of an iPaaS is certainly not simple, yet often easier than developing a stand-alone solution. And due to the broad range of requirements, there is also a wide range of iPaaS providers, some of which are specialised in certain areas.