You’ve heard of SaaS. Maybe you’ve also heard of DaaS, IaaS, PaaS, or even BaaS. But what is iPaaS? The acronym stands for integration platform as a service. iPaaS is a cloud-based service that connects data in any type of environment—SaaS apps, on-premises or hybrid apps and data, B2B, cloud-based apps and data, or devices. These connections can be built and deployed in one or multiple organizations without requiring the installation or management of middleware or hardware.
Businesses rely on iPaaS as a flexible, scalable way to integrate data, applications, and processes. When different systems are operating on separate platforms and data becomes misaligned, an iPaaS solution can unify those systems and create a centralized ecosystem to manage and modify data, infrastructure, and operations. This is invaluable for scalability and automation.
How is iPaaS Different from PaaS?
A platform as a service (PaaS) is a cloud-based toolset that lets developers change or upgrade operating systems without disrupting the entire system. It’s mostly meant for governing services related to part of a development project instead of the entire project or infrastructure.
A PaaS provides the tools and applications to accelerate develop, run, and manage web-based apps that live within the same environment and are compatible natively. While it can be fast and cost-efficient, using a PaaS requires a development team with proficient coding knowledge.
An iPaaS differs from a PaaS in its ability to seamlessly integrate apps from different vendors, often without the support of a highly knowledgeable development team. This is because some iPaaS solutions are low-code, meaning they offer a graphical user interface that provides the option to either use code or produce an application without code, depending on the situation. This makes an iPaaS more accessible to more types of users and requires less technical coding knowledge to manage.
While a PaaS connects applications that live in the same environment, an iPaaS allows businesses to connect data from sources without this native connectivity.
Why is this helpful?
Many businesses adopt technologies over time, as their needs evolve. These solutions serve different functions across the business and are not always compatible with one another. The issue with this incompatibility is that crucial data in the systems isn’t shared. That means teams can’t see how data in System A relates to data in System B to learn from patterns and simplify workflows. An iPaaS solves that issue.
What Can iPaaS Do?
Perhaps the biggest benefit to iPaaS is in how it supports the needs of organizations with a cloud infrastructure. As businesses rely more heavily on software and data, the ability to integrate systems seamlessly and share that data becomes crucial. An iPaaS creates more efficient environments for internal teams, breaking down data silos and providing real-time data processing. Data analysis, communication, and workflow management are simplified as data is centralized and more easily accessible. So, what exactly can an iPaaS do that enables all these great outcomes? An iPaaS can:
- Allow applications to talk to one another regardless of where they’re hosted
- Move data between applications and transform data to fit specific formats
- Help teams design the logic of an integration to build more efficient workflows and coordinate actions between applications
- Monitor and manage integrations with scheduled run times and health checks
- Power cloud and big data analytics initiatives
- Create universal connectivity between various types of data solutions
- Provide data delivery for IoT integrations
- Perform complex data transformations
- Deliver data for a cloud data warehouse
- Retire legacy integration frameworks that are no longer relevant to modern processes
- Offer multi-cloud data sync options
Because an iPaaS can connect different types of apps, devices, and data without middleware or hardware, and because its features are often low-code and more accessible to non-technical users, these types of solutions are ideal for helping organizations scale.
Whether it’s a large enterprise or a small business, every company will face challenges to data accessibility and usability. An iPaaS solution can take on many different tasks and relate data between incompatible systems to support more accurate analytics, more efficient automation strategies, and more complex data initiatives.