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5/9/2011
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Dell Boomi Simplifies Integrating Java Apps With Cloud

Latest version of AtomSphere allows Java enterprise apps to connect with external software as a service.

Dell's Boomi integration software is making it simpler to integrate Java enterprise applications with software as a service (SaaS) in the cloud.

A Boomi connector for standard Java Messaging Service (JMS) allows multiple points of connection between internal Java apps and external SaaS applications.

Keeping it simple is always an implicit goal of cloud computing. But getting enterprise Java applications to integrate with cloud services or to provide data to a cloud application has been anything but.

Boomi's integration product, AtomSphere Spring 11, which became available at the end of April, uses JMS, a standard technology frequently invoked by Java programmers to connect one application to another inside the enterprise. The Boomi connector allows the apps to be integrated to external SaaS applications as well. A total of 70 SaaS applications may be connected, including the CRM suite offered by Salesforce.com.

In implementing the JMS approach, Dell is showing, six months after its acquisition of Boomi, that it can help the 11-year-old company adopt Dell's approach to the cloud: it calls for seeking out commonly used and if possible, standardized, technologies, such as the iSCSI storage protocol or Java's JMS, and building a cloud product set around them.

AtomSphere is a Dell on-demand software service that can establish links between cloud services and particular enterprise apps. The JMS messages reach internal applications by traveling through such entrenched middleware as IBM's MQ Series, Tibco Rendevous, Microsoft MQ, Progress Software's Sonic ESB, and Software AG's WebMethods. Boomi is exploiting existing middleware messaging to generate an alternative connection path to the cloud, bypassing SOAP or REST style messaging alternatives.

In an InformationWeek Analytics report in January, Michael Healy, president of Yeoman Technology Group, pointed out that Boomi is part of a new class of integration products for cloud computing.

"A new type of cloud vendor is focused solely on integration between you and various cloud vendors. These providers offer integration services cheaper and faster than the old way. New cloud-centric players, like Boomi, Cast Iron, and Jitterbit have forced this cloud-based approach. Boomi and Cast Iron have already been acquired by Dell and IBM, respectively. Both buyers cited the benefits of offering more streamlined integration connections across the enterprise," Healy wrote in the report, "State of the Cloud 2011: Time for Process Maturation."

This approach promises to move the enterprise into use of cloud services more quickly than it might otherwise be inclined to go. As internal applications are linked to those in the cloud, it allows administrators to inspect messages, guard against the unwanted movement of data, and enforce security rules over data prior to it leaving the firewall, Boomi's Nucci said.

In an attempt to appeal more strongly to large enterprises, Boomi also now handles large data sets. Automated processes can be set up to handle large data sets without further coding. AtomSphere supports hundreds of GB files per exchange.

In addition, Salesforce customers can select a check box on the AtomSphere connection display and implement the Salesforce.com Bulk API. Much of the bulk API's workings have been included in the Boomi JMS connector, allowing customers to move large amounts of data from their enterprise applications into their Salesforce.com applications, and back again.

Dell's Boomi AtomSphere is available as SaaS starting at $550 a month.

Dell has been associated with supplying many small and midsize businesses with their computing needs. The Spring 11 version of Boomi AtomSphere says it's trying to become the supplier of larger and longer established IT shops as well, places that are now thinking their next integration challenge lies in the cloud.

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