This content is part of the Essential Guide: What developers need to know about cloud app integration

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Why and how to use iPaaS to integrate cloud services, enterprise apps

IPaaS is gaining traction with cloud services and enterprise app integration. Ovum IT's Saurabh Sharma shares iPaaS best practices.

Why should I use integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS)? How does iPaaS stack up against Software as a Service (SaaS) open application programming interfaces (APIs) and other solutions for integrating cloud services and enterprise applications? What's your advice for getting started with iPaaS?

IPaaS has moved beyond being a predominant approach to SaaS integration, and both large and small and medium-sized enterprises are increasingly using iPaaS for less-complex hybrid integration scenarios.

Some SaaS vendors are offering packaged integration -- cloud-based integration capabilities delivered with SaaS solutions -- thereby easing integration between on-premises and SaaS applications. From the perspective of the customer, packaged integration is ideal. Apart from simplifying the complexity of the integration process, end-to-end SaaS solutions also offer benefits such as flexible pricing and easier upgrades.

Saurabh Sharma, senior analyst, Ovum ITSaurabh Sharma

There is a downside to packaged integration: It increases the threat of vendor lock-in. Because of the greater dependence of the customer on the existing SaaS vendor, it is difficult to switch providers in the case of any service-related issues, and customers will have to take on additional expenditure for achieving integration between SaaS and other applications (on-premises or SaaS-based).

The range of applications supported by packaged integration solutions is also limited. Packaged integration is primarily available with SaaS solutions provided by vendors such as, Workday, NetSuite, Taleo, SuccessFactors and RightNow.

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