Rather than getting caught up in a religious debate about the best method for integrating applications, it's best to accept the fact that, depending on the age and the use case of the application, every integration scenario is likely to be different. Recognizing that reality, Informatica this week unfurled its Informatica Cloud Winter 2014 cloud service that, in addition to providing more business process controls, now includes support for RESTful APIs.
Organizations face myriad integration challenges, says Clive Bearman, Informatica's director of product marketing. RESTful APIs provide a way to easily handle simple requests, but in the enterprise, there are applications that harness Web services technologies such as SOAP to drive series of long-running processes requiring multiple levels of approval.
Rather than forcing organizations into one paradigm or another, Informatica Cloud Winter 2014 gives organizations the ability to invoke RESTful APIs or SOAP as appropriate, Bearman says.
In fact, those interfaces are only a means to a larger process integration end, Bearman contends. Informatica, which acquired Active Endpoints earlier this year, is embedding a model-driven process integration framework with the Informatica Cloud platform. That approach, says Bearman, makes it possible to facilitate the movement of data flows in real time across a complex set of integration requirements. The latest version of Informatica cloud now also includes a global repository that make it easier to reuse cloud integration processes.
The Informatica Cloud itself is based on what Informatica describes as a virtual data machine, dubbed Vibe, that embeds data management capabilities directly into the cloud service.
As the convergence of business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) applications gains momentum it’s pretty apparent that there will be a raft of applications that rely on RESTful APIs that will need to be integrated with all manner of traditional enterprise applications.
Religious wars inside or out of IT tend to be counterproductive for all involved. Clearly, RESTful APIs represent a major step forward in terms of the democratization of integration. But before the rise of RESTful APIs, there were all types of integration paradigms that are not going to go away any time soon. The cloud affords an opportunity to start converging all those paradigms in a single location, which should in theory make things easier for developers.
While it may take some time to sort all this out, the good news is that, from a developer perspective, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to applying the right integration approach to the challenge at hand.