Integration architecture has evolved over the years. The first generation was characterized by tools and architectures that lasted from the 1990s to the early 2000s. A service-oriented architecture/enterprise service bus defined the second generation. Now, simplified API-enabled applications, the need to connect data and systems in a multi-cloud environment, and the application of AI to integration tasks are delivering the next generation of integration platforms. As Wipro has helped companies consolidate and augment their integration capabilities, we have observed a few key themes that could influence the latest generation of digital integration platforms.
- Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) is Now the Default Choice
iPaaS platforms have finally crossed the capability and acceptability threshold of serving as enterprise integration platforms, supporting a wide variety of digital integration needs. For organizations looking to modernize their previous generation platforms, an iPaaS with flexible, multi-cloud deployment support has become the default choice. While these iPaaS platforms are still used by integration specialists in most organizations, it is only a matter of time before the long-held vision of democratizing integration finally becomes a reality.
- Event Hub is Now a Core Component of the Stack
Organizations are beginning to augment their integration platform with an “Event Hub.” This allows companies to adopt technologies and tools to ingest, store, and process event streams and enable event-driven interactions. While this is something that most integration platforms were already doing, a few features are getting better in the third generation.
- The ability to seamlessly operate across a multi-cloud environment
- Event lifecycle management that provides the same level of mature tooling and processes currently available for APIs
- Adoption of emerging open standards
Global enterprises are increasingly familiar with standards like AsyncAPI and are starting to ask for a unified governance experience for their APIs and events. In response, companies should work with their partner ecosystem to address these new requests and impact their approach to providing a unified experience.
- Data APIs and Digital Integration Hubs
For the past year, companies have expressed greater interest in setting up a to power their data APIs and data-delivery programs. These hubs combine technologies such as an integration platform, in-memory database, data virtualization, change data capture, event streaming, event processing, and GraphQL engines to deliver rapid and scalable access to enterprise data.
- Consolidation, Standardization, and Rollout of Integration PaaS
Organizations that have large integration landscapes and multiple products with overlapping capabilities are looking to consolidate, refactor their existing integration platforms, add self-service capabilities, and deliver an integration PaaS for the rest of their enterprise.
- Cloud Vendor Integration Offerings are Now Hybrid Integration Platform Options
The integration offerings from cloud vendors are getting serious consideration from companies that are adopting cloud for their applications. For example, Azure’s integration offerings are now a popular option for Azure platform customers, and we have seen several companies roll out lightweight integration frameworks on top of AWS’ offerings.
Technology will always be impacted by rapid change; it’s the nature of the industry. Still, there is no denying we are in the midst of a generational shift as companies pivot faster than ever to stay ahead of the competition. Although digital integration is not new, its impact on, and importance to, a company’s long-term success has never been more important.