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IBM's hybrid integration platform

The data that enterprises try to access resides across broad hybrid environments that need to connect systems and applications across multiple clouds — both public and private — and also to on-premises facilities. Because the average enterprise uses 3 – 10 clouds, this issue is complicated drastically. The cloud is changing the way enterprises onboard new technologies and the pace of change and demand for integration has never been greater.

Digital transformation can be daunting due to siloed data and unreliable integration approaches. Integration work will likely account for at least half of the time and cost of building a digital platform. Integration must be an enabler, not an inhibitor.

Integration is key

Most IT environments today are hybrid and multicloud in nature. Enterprises face the reality of multiple clouds, SaaS offerings, and the need to connect data.

Devices, systems, and people have gone global and become virtualized. Enterprises face many challenges in this ever-changing landscape. To face these challenges and to connect heterogeneous endpoints in global locations, enterprises are starting to use a hybrid integration platform to take advantage of the best cloud-based and on-premises integration approaches.

Traditional systems were not designed to be directly accessed by external, high volume applications, partner interfaces, IoT flows, and multicloud interactions. The centralized, specialized methods of traditional integration can’t keep up with the volume and pace of apps and data on their own.

Modern integrations require moving away from a monolithic architecture to a more fine-grained approach that can be deployed anywhere. Enterprises are moving from a centralized approach, which can be difficult to scale to a decentralized model that democratizes integration without sacrificing governance and security.

Enterprises are letting go of point integration products from multiple vendors with limited capabilities and are moving toward hybrid integration platforms. These hybrid integration platforms support a broad range of integration styles and leverage features like common administration, asset sharing, and cloud scalability and resilience. IBM calls this integration style “agile integration,” which helps teams successfully modernize their approach to integration by allowing individual team members to contribute in more ways and develop new skills that remove bottlenecks (reducing dependency on specialized resources).

IBM’s hybrid integration platform

IBM Cloud Pak for Integration is the only hybrid integration platform on the market that supports both traditional and emerging integration styles. It accommodates many integration capabilities:

  • API integration, which enables synchronous access to fine-grained services across various backends.
  • Application data integration, which enables synchronous access to coarse-grained services across various backends.
  • Enterprise messaging, which enables asynchronous point-to-point access to services in closed heritage systems or heterogeneous backends.
  • Event publish/subscribe integration, which in an event-driven architecture enables asynchronous many-to-many coordination of services across multi-cloud and on-premises contexts.
  • File transfer, which enables batch integration between systems for moving large data files in short timeframes.

From a development perspective, IBM Cloud Pak for Integration delivers capabilities that increase integration developers’ efficiency and flexibility while reducing costs.

  • Low code: Use built-in features, such as templates, pre-built connectors, and an asset repository.
  • Agile DevOps: Use tools that support test-driven development and automated CI/CD pipelines.
  • Distributed component-based architecture: Take advantage of lightweight, fine-grained integration services that enable microservices and on-demand runtime application-level development.
  • Open: Build on open standards with assured compatibility across diverse environments.
  • Integration patterns: Use a range of integration styles that include APIs, message queues, and emerging capabilities, such as event-driven architecture and high-speed data transfer.

IBM Cloud Pak for Integration offers a single, unified platform for all your enterprise integration needs. It deploys integration capabilities into the Red Hat OpenShift managed container environment and uses the monitoring, logging, and security systems of OpenShift to ensure consistency across all integration solutions.

To get started, check out our IBM Cloud Pak for Integration hub on IBM Developer.