Pervasive Software, a 20-year-old data management and integration software vendor, is betting that its older, legacy technologies will give it an edge in a crowded “in the cloud” integration platform market.
Pervasive’s DataCloud platform, announced March 25, taps the company’s flagship tool kit, the Pervasive Data Integrator, which performs a number of functionalities that really are essential to integrating applications-be they in the cloud or on premise.
“What do you want out of a data integration tool?” asked Michael Hoskins, Pervasive’s chief technology officer. “Data integration, ETL [extract, transform, load], point-to-point integrations between the front office and back office, message based [integrations] over an Enterprise Service Bus, B2B integration with EDI and the like.
“Because we have hundreds and hundreds of man hours into this stack, it allows you to build every integration you can imagine. If someone else announces a [integration] cloud and they don’t have 80 years of manpower into it, they don’t have a cloud.”
Hoskins said that the introduction of DataCloud is really the third wave of evolution of SAAS integration for the company, which offers three deployment models. The first is a data integration engine that includes its 20-year-old, on premise integration history as well as a healthy portfolio of SAAS partners. The second wave for Pervasive was offering its integration services in the cloud to partners-something it has been doing for almost seven years.
“DataCloud is the third wave,” he said. “Pervasive is hosting our own platform in our own cloud, for anyone to use. It’s the final, most crucial piece of on demand integration.”
You Can’t Wish Away Integration
The DataCloud architecture encompasses the standards for on-demand computing: a 24/7 on-demand stack that is services based, and both multitenant and multischema (the latter which enables separate rules, data and Meta data for each customer). Where Pervasive differentiates, according to Hoskins, is with its use of integration agents.
On-demand integration and add-on services
“The Achilles Heel of SAAS products in the integration challenge-people cannot wish away integration,” said Hoskins. “The gotcha is how do I link to the legacy world? We have agent technology-a data gateway-that is part and parcel of our cloud…but sits inside the enterprise, touches all the systems, and acts as a conduit up to the cloud.”
Another way in which Pervasive intends to differentiate DataCloud as an on-demand integration platform is through add-on services, which is the reason it’s called a platform. In the coming weeks, the company plans to announce multiple products that will sit on top of the DataCloud.
Pervasive just might be on to something. As options for application deployment grow with cloud computing so to does the need for integration.
“People think that on demand is harder to integrate. That’s just not the case,” said Yankee Group analyst Sheryl Kingstone. “Whether it’s premise-based or on-demand, integration is a pain no matter what you do.”
Kingstone said what integration companies are starting to do is leverage what they’ve learned from on-demand application vendors. “You put [software] in the cloud. It can be multitenant, it can be an appliance, it can be hosted. Basically what Pervasive is doing is real on demand-you pick what you want, go online, click what you need and have it as a subscription. There is no installing, no hardware.”
Enterprise Applications Consulting principal Joshua Greenbaum wrote in his blog, Enterprise Anti-matter, that application and process integration is one of the great opportunities for on-demand services: “Putting application integration into the hands of a specialized vendor that can mediate the myriad APIs needed to hook up different parts of the enterprise into a semi-seamless whole promises to be one of the truly amazing opportunities for on-demand services,” Greenbaum wrote. “This is one of those no-brainer applications for on-demand (the other is analytics, in case you were wondering) that will become an even better reason to opt out of a major in-house development effort and leave the APIs to the professionals.”