When it comes to keeping applications talking to each other, Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) has served the purpose well. It has fulfilled the need of integrating applications using standards-based services. But two technology trends are forcing organizations to rethink how they will respond to the demand for enterprise integration middleware. The first is the rapid cloud adoption and the second is the acceptance of Open Source as the favored approach to enterprise software. In this environment, legacy ESB with its limitations may not remain the technology of choice. Rising to challenge the domination of ESB is Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS).
iPaaS addresses the cloud and Open Source combination that is defining the future. Gartner estimates that “the enterprise iPaaS market continued to expand notably during 2016, approaching $700 million in revenue and growing around 60% in terms of providers' subscription revenue when compared to 2015”. Fundamentally, iPaaS is set to become the preferred choice for practically all new integration projects, making traditional methodologies obsolete.
Further, Gartner in its webinar points to a rapid growth of Open Source and says, “Open-source software is everywhere. By 2020, 98% of IT organizations will leverage open-source software technology in their mission-critical IT portfolios, including many cases where they will be unaware of it’’.
Shortcomings of ESB
Before examining the practical reasons to embrace iPaaS, it helps to understand where ESB has faltered in meeting the needs of organizations. ESB has led to:
- Increased OPEX due to software license cost and server maintenance
- Customers need to buy inflexible, all-or-nothing middleware product stack despite minimal integration requirements
- Time consuming and expensive customization
- Inability to meet customer demand for combination of cloud and on-premise application integration
- Long release cycles for patches and upgrades
- A burden on resources as and when there is a change in business demands -- due to mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, etc.—leads to increased maintenance cost.
Two technology trends, rapid cloud adoption & acceptance of Open Source as the favoured approach to enterprise software, are forcing organisations to rethink how they will respond to the demand for enterprise integration middleware. iPaaS addresses the cloud and Open Source combination that is defining the future.
The Open Source advantage
By contrast, iPaaS provides integration for on premise and cloud applications across devices, channels and trading partners. It provides a multi-tenant, elastic cloud infrastructure that can scale up relatively easily. The platform comes
pre-installed with the required software and does not need any administration such as patch upgrades or log maintenance to be performed by the customer.