2014: Annoying cloud and mobile backends

Say Cloud one more time and…

Cloud, cloud, cloud.. Yes, repeat is a powerful rhetoric device, but if I once more evangelize cloud based integration to my customers, they might shoot me. CIOs are well aware of benefits of cloud and how hybrid integration will come and cut cost, reduce pain and chaos of system integration. Well, at least the first one. Marketing message of cloud computing has become an annoyance.

Nevertheless, cloud based integration will take ground in area of system integration as enterprise systems slowly move to cloud . Well, this is old news, now is the time for cloud adoption to achieve critical mass. 2014 will be year of cloud commoditization.

Mobile backends

According to Appcelerators survey last year, 50% of the 804 respondents planned to do enterprise-specific apps. Apple and Google have already made their private app stores. Rise of enterprise-specific private apps boost the need for mobile backends.

Cloud is obvious solution for hosting mobile backends as they are easy to take in use, there are no large investment in the beginning and scalability is a built-in feature. As backends need enterprise data from other SaaS and on-premises applications, it is quite probable that we’ll see quite a lot of integration projects where mobile backed is connected with other systems via – hopefully – hybrid integration platform.

Open APIs and API management

Web-based APIs, where organizations publishes free APIs on Web like Facebook, Google and Twitter have done, are natural sequel for SaaS. A manufacturing company might want to publish their product catalog for as Open API. A web store might want to mash-up that product catalog with other catalogs. An ERP, provided as-a-Service, uses that very same product catalog to provide real-time product information for ERP user and so on. Need for low-latency services is a must in cloud based integration. Easy and short-sighted solution is a traditional point-to-point integration architecture in cloud. Eventually this just leads to cloud spaghetti integration.

Point-to-point integration in butt leads to spaghetti

cloud spaghetti

The way Facebook open-API is used, point-to-point fire-and-forget integration is fine, but when dealing with business process orchestrations, need for governance and management is crucial. It is actually even more important as data and logic is distributed among separate services by different service providers.

My assumption is that movement towards cloud will reduce the need for traditional middleware integration, but as business processes are not real-time time, the messaging just moves to cloud based buses. Cloud-based integration platforms is a great platform for centrally develop and manage open-APIs. This require ability to create low-latency orchestration (without persistence) and publish them as REST services. Cloudintegration platforms together with big-data might even create whole new opportunities for enterprises to mash-up existing business data and publish them as open-APIs.

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