iPaas stands for “Integration platform as a service”. iPaas is rapidly gaining ground in the integration market and ESB’s are becoming less popular. Why is iPaas becoming so popular?

ESB technology

ESB is the abbreviation of Enterprise Service Bus. This technology was launched in the late 90’s and belongs to the category of message oriented middleware. I personally like the architecture. Its primary use is in “Enterprise Application Integration” (EAI). The concept is analogous to the bus concept found in computer hardware architecture. The motivation was to find a better concept for loosely coupled software components. The use of the term ESB however is ambiguous and differs from vendor to vendor.

Difficult to implement

ESB certainly helped companies to integrate applications better. It forced developers and architects to look at integration in a different way. But unfortunately, the technology often did not deliver what companies expected from it. For me, ESB has a lot of similarities with ERP. Big monolithic systems, complex, too much custom code, difficult to upgrade and high total cost of ownership. Despite all the hard work of developers and architects. But ESB has paved the way for the next generation of integration platforms.

I know one thing for sure. Building applications is difficult. Integrating them is even more difficult.

Integrating cloud applications

Netsuite, SalesForce, SuccessFactors, Okta, …

The rise of applications running in the cloud has changed the integration world. Today’s application architecture is no longer based on on-premise situations only. The days of ERP systems being the center of the universe are gone.

You therefore have to think in terms of services running in a hybrid environment. Your challenge is to integrate everything with everything. Thus integrating applications running both in the cloud and on-premise.


What exactly is iPaas? Thank you Gartner for this excellent description 🙂

iPaaS is a suite of cloud services enabling development, execution and governance of integration flows connecting any combination of on premises and cloud-based processes, services, applications and data within individual or across multiple organizations.

iPaas has been designed with cloud integration in mind, not just the integration of a single enterprise. Some benefits:

  • A single platform to build, deploy and manage integration processes
  • Scalable infrastructure, easy management
  • Automatic upgrades and deployments
  • Shorter implementation times
  • Subscription model

In addition to that, some iPaas platforms also offer message queueing. So if you are looking for event-driven integration options, it is all possible.

So think twice before you implement an ESB. You often don’t need one. And why not using a mix of a new iPaas and your existing ESB? Or combine an iPaas with a message broker like ActiveMQ? Long live the hybrid world 🙂

Dell Boomi is the #1 iPaas platform. Visit the Dell Boomi platform page for more information.