Options for cloud, SaaS data integration grow

The options for cloud and SaaS (software as a service) data integration grew larger on Wednesday with the announcement of Talend Cloud, a new product from open-source vendor Talend.

Talend Cloud builds on the company’s set of data integration tools and other middleware, adding a series of prebuilt connectors to cloud services such as Salesforce.com, Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service), SugarCRM, Google Apps, Twitter and NetSuite.

The connectors “provide native connectivity, encapsulating any complex, vendor-specific APIs,” according to a statement.

As adoption of cloud services among corporate IT shops has grown, so has the need to tie those applications back to on-premise data stores and systems.

Last year’s moves by IBM and Dell to respectively acquire cloud data integration vendors Cast Iron Systems and Boomi suggested such work has, or is set to become, a lucrative business.

Data integration vendors are competing on a similar basis, according to analyst Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research. “It’s about the ease of use in managing connections. The number of supported and updated connections is key, but manageability is the Holy Grail,” he said.

To this end, Talend touts its ability to give customers a single development and runtime environment, as well as integrated monitoring. In addition, Talend’s open-source community frequently generates new connectors, providing another advantage, the company contends.

Despite the growing number of tools available for SaaS integration, most companies are still using “labor-intensive custom programming,” according to a recent Forrester Research report, “Seven Top Integration Trends for 2011 to 2012.”

The challenge of integrating on-demand applications with other systems was the number-two reason why respondents to a Forrester survey said they were not adopting SaaS, following security concerns.

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