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Cloud integration with JNBridge – Press Pass

I talk with the press frequently. They thankfully whack down my ramblings into concise quotes. For those who prefer to see more, I try to dump publish slightly polished up conversations I have with press into this category of posts: Press Pass. I spoke with John K. Waters and Paul Krill about JNBridge’s announcement today. Here is the press pass:

Do we need cloud integration?

[There are] now over 3,000 APIs on ProgrammableWeb…took 8 years to get to 1,000, 18 months to 2,000 and 9 months to 3,000
John Musser at Gluecon, 25 May 2011

“As enterprise development teams start including cloud technologies in their applications, incompatible cloud platforms and APIs will be a huge road block,” said Michael Cote, analyst at RedMonk. “We’re already seeing a clamoring for tools and services that integrate this spaghetti bowl of end-points, and they’re only going to become more important to realizing the benefits of cloud development.”

There’s definitely a need to integrate existing Java and .Net based applications to cloud-deployed applications: be those SaaSes like Salesforce, or sales & marketing automation platforms, or custom built applications that companies are running on the cloud. While cloud is all the rage now, a huge amount of existing business IT – “enterprise applications,” if you will – are still running in the “traditional” way in on-premise datacenters. Many of those applications are, obviously, in ,Net and Java (both of which top the TIOBE index consistently, along with C). Rather than do some sort of whole-sale to-the-cloud refactoring, companies are going to need to find incremental ways to get the benefits of cloud – at least if they’re not lucky enough to make the dramatic changes needed to be pure cloud. And, there’s also just the simple need for companies to integrate their internal IT – applications, systems of record, accounting, etc. – with SaaSes.

Are these the same old issues just moved to the cloud? How big a problem is in now/in the future? How about the impact on developers?

Essentially, it’s the same issues, but with less time spent managing the end points, hopefully. Also, cloud-hosted end-points tend to be a lot more API friendly than traditional applications, if only by following simpler web services approaches. But, there is no universal fix for incompatible data standards in the cloud. True, there are de facto plumbing “standards” like JSON, REST, OAuth, and others that have emerged, and the favor that cloud applications tend to give dynamic, quick languages like JavaScript opens the possibility for faster and easier coding when it comes to doing integration work.

But that integration work – coding to get two end-points that previously didn’t talk to each other to, well, talk to each other – still needs to be done, and even more so when pre-cloud technologies like the Java and .Net worlds supported by JNBridge are taken into account. At the end of the day, there’s still no universal data formats that can be relied on to automate this passing data seamlessly between different systems: developers still need to put in work to make incompatible end-points talk to each other, even if cloud makes those end-points more “friendly.”

How well do you think JNBridge executes with this release on JNBridge CTO Wayne Citron’s vision of “cloud interoperability is any object or API, on any platform, in any language, anywhere”?

Well, there’s a whole world outside Java and .Net, the two technologies JNBridge is servicing here, but the Java and .Net world are a universe in themselves that needs plenty of help. There’s so much valuable data and process locked in Java and .Net applications that can’t just be left behind in whatever cloud-y future is out there – and refactoring all of that to be cloud friendly would be an onerous task. Instead, you need tools that help modernize those pools. Clearly there’s competition out there from

Clearly there’s competition out there from other outfits like MuleSoft who announced a cloud integration story yesterday, all the way up to big folks like Microsoft Cast Iron, Dell Boomi, and Microsoft. On the other hand, all of the interest in integrating between “the cloud” and “the ground” pretty well validates the need.

Disclosure: JNBridge is a client, as are Microsoft, MuleSoft, IBM, and Dell.

Categories: Cloud, Press Pass, Programming.

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