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7/31/2012
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Informatica Adds Integration Options As Cloud Demand Multiplies

Independent data-integration vendor adds templates, developer's tools, and prebuilt connectors for Eloqua, NetSuite, and Workday cloud apps.

After doubling its cloud business over the last 12 months, Informatica announced Tuesday that it's putting checkmarks on the cloud-integration wish list with its Informatica Cloud Summer 2012 release. The upgrade adds prebuilt connectors, reusable integration templates, and a developer's edition aimed at custom scenarios.

Informatica has been integrating on-premises and cloud-based data sources since 2006, so it has a long list of prebuilt connectors for databases and applications from the likes of IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce.com, and SAP. Informatica Cloud Summer 2012 fills out the vendor's Cloud Connector Toolkit list with prebuilt, application-native integrations for the Eloqua cloud-based marketing platform, and NetSuite and Workday cloud-based ERP suites. The release also delivers a prebuilt Web services connector, a beta connector to the Google Big Query service, and deeper data modeling capabilities for complex data-integration scenarios.

Looking beyond popular connection scenarios, Summer 2012 introduces cloud integration templates that provide building blocks for common data-integration tasks such as extraction, merging, aggregation, routing, and format conversion. The idea is to speed and simplify the development of integration applications. Those might be disposable apps used for one-time projects, such as application migrations, or they might be custom integrations used by OEM partners or customers with home-grown or legacy applications.

[ Need insight on big data integration? Read eHarmony Matches Informatica HParser With Hadoop. ]

The Cloud Connector Toolkit, integration templates, code samples, documentation, and best-practices recommendations are being made available through a new developer's site within the online Informatica Cloud Community. Informatica is also introducing a free developer's toolkit with a Java-based API for building custom connectors, and a template designer for building integration applications from its ready-made building blocks.

"We've built a lot of our own native connectors, but we're never going to get to all the new apps that are coming online and niche apps that are out there," said Darren Cunningham, Informatica's VP of cloud marketing, in an interview with InformationWeek. "We're giving the community access to the tools so they can build them and offer them through our marketplace."

Informatica is the largest independent data-integration software vendor with $784 million in revenue last year, and Informatica Cloud is its fastest-growing source of business. The vendor reports that its cloud-integration volume has doubled from an average of about 118,000 integration jobs per day in July 2011 to about 230,000 jobs per day in July 2012. Application-to-application scenarios, both on-premises-to-cloud and cloud-to-cloud, are driving most of the demand, according to Cunningham, but interest in extract-transform-and-load jobs, from cloud apps to on-premises data warehouses, is also growing.

Competitors in the cloud-based data-integration arena include Dell Boomi, IBM CastIron, MuleSoft, SnapLogic, and Talend.

Informatica has long seeded demand for its cloud capabilities by giving away a free data loader for Salesforce.com and the Force.com platform. With the Summer 2012 release, Informatica has added data loaders for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and NetSuite. The free tool lets users upload to or download data from the app, and you can upgrade to the paid Informatica Cloud service if you need deeper integration capabilities, such as real-time integration, or want the convenience of stored, repeatable jobs.

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