TIBCO Software at the Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit this week launched an upgrade to the ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks middleware platform that adds support for REST APIs and JSON. Back in April ProgrammableWeb covered TIBCO Software's RESTful addition to their business Modeling software.
Kevin Bohan, product marketing manager for B2B technologies at TIBCO, says the goal is to make the TIBCO middleware platform more accessible to developers trying to access a complex array of backend services. To that end, version 6.2 of ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks also includes plugins for Salesforce.com, Marketo, and Microsoft Dynamics Customer Relationship Management (CRM) environments that can be downloaded directly with an Integrated Development Environment (IDE).
Developers can also opt to build their own connectors, using an ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks Plug-in Development Kit, which, once created, can be shared with other developers.
In addition, Bohan says TIBCO is also making graphical modeling tools aimed at “citizen integrators” who want to connect data sources together without having to wait for a professional developer to do that task on their behalf. The graphical modeling tools enable power users to integrate those data sources without having to write any actual code, says Bohan. It’s unclear how many “citizen integrators” there actually are, but Bohan says that TIBCO is betting that there will be a lot more of them in 2015.
As part of the general shift toward the API economy, Bohan notes that traditional enterprise IT organizations are starting to make the shift to RESTful APIs en masse. But rather than having them migrate to a new middleware platform, TIBCO is now providing that capability alongside support for a wide range of other application integration technologies.
ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks can be deployed on premise, hosted in the cloud, or accessed as a service managed by TIBCO. Depending on the use case, Bohan says organizations want as much flexibility as possible when it comes to deploying middleware. It makes no sense to invoke a cloud service, for example, to integrate two applications running in the same on-premise environment, says Bohan. In fact, Bohan contends that as hybrid cloud computing continues to evolve, developers will increasingly witness more federated instances of middleware being deployed inside and outside of the cloud.
Obviously, when it comes to middleware in and out of the cloud there is no shortage of options. Depending on the project, developers are likely to encounter multiple different instances of middleware on any given day. The rise of RESTful APIs, fortunately, provides a level of abstraction that finally masks all that complexity from developers who are usually trying to find the simplest way possible to integrate two disparate data sets.