Technology Friday: Azuqua and iPaaS 2.0: Making Cloud Integration Cool Again
Welcome to Technology Fridays! Today we are going to focus on the integration platform as a service(iPaaS) space and one of the new names that is bringing a lot of innovation to that market: Azuqua. Fresh from a $10.8 million round led by Insight venture Partners, Azuqua is one of the names to follow among the new generation of iPaaS technologies.
The iPaaS segment has seen a lot of demand in the last few years buts the current composition of the market still has major gaps that need to be filled. On one side of the spectrum, we have dominant, enterprise-focused iPaaS stacks such as SnapLogic or MuleSoft CloudHub which posses incredibly sophisticated capabilities but typically require some on boarding and professional services work before a company can leverage their full benefits. On the opposite side of the iPaaS market, we have stacks like Zapier or IFTTT that provide a self-service model that allows developers to quickly get started with the platform but that results too limited for most enterprise scenarios. In between those two groups of iPaaS stacks, the market has created a strong demand for cloud integration technologies that are sophisticated enough to power enterprise scenarios while also simple enough for developers to quickly get started building integration solutions. Let’s call this generation of technologies iPaaS 2.0 and consider Azuqua one of the platforms leading that class.
Azuqua abstracts integration applications using a very simple group of constructs that are available through the Azuqua designer, the platform’s mail development tool. Azuqua introduces the concept of FLOs as a container for all artifacts related to an integration application. A FLO is structurally composed by a series of Cards which represent atomic actions in integration workflows. Azuqua includes two main types of Cards: Actions and Events. From a workflow standpoint, an Azuqua FLO always starts with an Event followed by a series of Actions.
As you might have already figured out, Azuqua Events represent a point-in-time occurrence that triggers the execution of a FLO. Azuqua models Events in three main groups: Application, Scheduled and On-Demand. Application Events are created based on a condition in an external application. Scheduled Events start a FLO oat a specific time while On-Demand Events activate a FLO from an external or internal applications.
Actions are Azuqua Cards that orchestrate the control and data flow of an integration FLO and abstract specific business logic routines. Azuqua includes different categories of Action such as cryptographically functions, control flow primitives or mathematical routines.
Developers can implement Azuqua FLOs directly from the designer and expose them via APis so that they can be invoked by client applications. Azuqua operates like a native cloud service but it also supports connectivity to on-premise back-office systems. the platform has a strong dependency on the Microsoft Azure platform (probably attributed to the DNA of the founding team) but support for other cloud infrastructures should soon follow.
Azuqua is one of the new platform pushing the boundaries of the iPaaS 2.0 market. Another technology I like to place in this category ( of an up and coming iPaaS stack) is Azure Logic Apps which enables iPaaS capabilities as a native Azure service. iPaaS pioneers such as SnapLogic, MuleSoft CloudHub, Dell Boomi or IBM CastIron Live should also be considered competitors of Azuqua.