As 2009 drew to a frosty close, two open-source software providers — MindTouch, which offers enterprise collaboration platforms and wikis, and data-integration company SnapLogic — decided to huddle up to generate a little extra heat. The result of the partnership — a Business Application Integration offering that debuted in December 2009, priced through the end of the year at $4,995 for up to 50 users (The solution is now priced at $9,995 for 50 users) — targets midsize companies looking for what the firms claim is an affordable, easy-to-use, enterprise business intelligence and integration solution. Since the announcement, the company has booked just under 50 transactions.
Traditional enterprise applications integration (EAI) solutions have been in the six-figure range and can take months to deploy, the two companies state. Moreover, the technology requires additional developer and maintenance costs. Moreover, the companies claim they can have users up and running within a day. According to the joint press release, the new MindTouch and SnapLogic Enterprise Integration (EI) solution requires no development resources. The challenge and waste that comes about as a result of various disconnected applications running in single company, makes it easy to see why application integration is critical-regardless of company size.
MindTouch powers the presentation layer with its MindTouch 2009 solution-released earlier this last April — which features a robust platform for developers to deploy collaborative applications such as wikis and other enterprise 2.0 solutions. SnapLogic brings the integration component with its DataFlow Server that can connect to most software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud, or Web computing applications through open connectors and data pipelines, the company states. Moreover, reports Clint Boulton of eWeek.com, SnapLogic's "components can read, write and transform data from any location and allow databases, files, Web and SAAS data to be shared and leveraged by existing apps." Both platforms are built using a similar RESTful, Web-oriented architecture (WOA) for extensibility and scalability.
The partnership with MindTouch, explained Gaurav Dhillon, chairman and chief executive officer of SnapLogic, is one that aims to "give every business accurate, integrated information to make 2010 a better year for them."
"The world oftransactional and operational data are beginning to come together with unstructured collaborative content and processes in earnest," says Rob Koplowitz, principal analyst at Forrester Research. In his experience, the notion has been in discussion for sometime, but it hasn't been until now that true collaboration has been able to gain a strong foothold. "The era of collaboration enabled business processes is really emerging," he says. In order to see this trend come to fruition, he sees open standards becoming "a big driver" that will lower cost and complexity, thereby increase adoption of collaborative processes. "Collaboration vendors have embraced open integration standards," he says. "and we're beginning to see the foundation for next generation business processes."
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