The cloud is a place to store data, to buy processor power and to buy complete services.
Increasingly, it’s also a source of integration services that join the cloud and on-premise data and applications.
Tibco Software Inc. is the latest to join the movement by offering its Cloud Bus integration platform as a service (iPaas) for joining social media cloud applications – such as Salesforce – with data held behind the firewall.
“We recognize customers are not going to be 100 per cent in the cloud as there’s still a lot of on-premise data that is very interesting to them,” said Steve Lueng, Tibco’s director of product marketing for cloud computing.
“So to fulfill the need of integrating cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-on-premise we’ve released Cloud Bus.”
The service meets a number of needs, he said, for organizations that don’t want to put customer data in the cloud but do want to leverage the cloud’s power for certain applications.
For example, he said, when fulfilling customer orders parts of the process can be moved to the cloud but other parts stay on-premise.
Each pack has tailored functionality. The SAP pack, for example, includes a Tibco BusinessWorks project library for use with existing projects and requiring only configuration of global variables. It syncronizes data coming in from Salesforce or any other data collection app to SAP, enforces data integrity, creates a new record in SAP for a new record in a CRM system and can move data from a CRM system to SAP and back again in real time.
There are also QuickConnects for linking 11 cloud applications including FaceBook, Yammer, DropBox and Evernote to on premise data. QuickConnects have lesser functionality than integration packs.
For example the FaceBook connect includes a Cloud Bus project library to use with existing projects by simply configuring global variables.
It allows users to capture likes, posts and check-ins, to retrieve all information about users that connect with you and grant you access, allows a user to post any Facebook event.
It can also connect to software-as-a-service (SaaS) and on-premises applications with Facebook with only a minimal set of configurations. Familiarity with Tibco BusinessWorks is recommended.
Tibco [Nasdaq: TIBX] also said that it is working with VMware to in the future offer CloudBus as a service on VMware’s vCloud Hybrid Service.
On advantage of CloudBus is that sensitive data stays on-premise, Leung said.
CloudBus is priced at US$5,000 a month and includes the right to connect up to four applications. The price includes templates and common data models. There is no charge for amount of data or cycles used.
John Rymer, Forrester Research’s vice-president and principal analyst for middleware, said that while Tibco is a powerhouse in integration tools, it has been slow to take advantage of cloud integration.
Companies such as Informatica, IBM Corp. (with its WebSphere Cast Iron services), Dell Inc. (Boomi AtomSphere) and others have been offering cloud-based iPaaS for some time. Dell bought Boomi in 2010. IBM bought Cast Iron in the same year.
Tibco isn’t too late, Rymer said, because cloud adoption is still early, but “they’ve got ground to make up”