A 10 Minute Guide to Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP)

Are you interested to know what the newest thing in integration is? The answer to your question is Hybrid Integration Platform, better known as HIP. This integration approach is fast becoming the new wave in integration.

By 2022, Gartner predicts at least 65% of large organizations will have implemented an HIP to power their digital transformation

This article is a step-by-step explanation of what HIP is, why you should consider it, what will you need to implement it, and how to choose the right implementation approach according to your business reality.

So, let’s start by explaining what HIP is.

What is HIP?

A Hybrid Integration Platform or HIP is a framework for system integration that was developed by Gartner, and considers the following four dimensions.

  1. Constituents: are stakeholders in the integration project.
  2. Endpoints: are where the systems to be integrated reside.
  3. Integration models: are the entities to be integrated.
  4. Deployment models: are the different connection environments.

Now, let’s see each dimension in detail.

Figure 1: An HIP example

Constituents

One of the most important characteristics of HIP is the inclusion of new stakeholders, who are now involved in integration. Together, they join forces by forming a “facilitation team” that assists and performs the integration task. This team is composed of the following roles:

  1. Integration specialists: people with technical knowledge involved in the integration project.
  2. Citizen integrators: people that participate in the integration project, but are not technically strong. For example, business unit managers, people from marketing, etc. This group participation will increase in the future.
  3. “ad hoc” integrators: people who participate in the project without a specific role.
  4. Smart machines: their importance is increasing, and will increase even more with the advances in IT. Typical examples are delivery trucks, production machines and pool cars.

Endpoints

The endpoints define where the systems reside. HIP innovates, when compared with other integration approaches, in that it basically includes all possible hosting methods. These are:

  • On premises devices: includes systems that are available on site. An example is custom made legacy systems.
  • Cloud: includes systems that are available through the internet, usually as a service. A typical example is Salesforce.
  • Mobile: includes systems that are available on mobile platforms, such as Android.
  • IoT: includes systems used to manage things, such as security cameras and automobiles. With the advance of IoT in recent years, systems integration will increasingly consider including these elements.

 

Integration models

An important aspect of HIP is that it considers not only the integration of data, but a vast range of entities. These are:

  1. Applications: applications that need communication with each other.
  2. Data: data available on databases and generated by different systems.
  3. B2B: systems across different businesses.
  4. Processes: business and operation processes.

 

Deployment models

Similarly, HIP connects systems residing on different deployment settings. The main ones are:

    1. On-premises: systems residing on site.
    2. Cloud: systems hosted on the cloud.
    3. Hybrid: systems on the cloud and on site.
    4. Embedded: systems embedded in IoT devices.

Now that we know what HIP is about, we can move to the next important question: why you must consider HIP in order to survive in the present competitive market?

 

Why HIP? Breaking the boundaries

In today’s world of hyper-competition, businesses need a powerful competitive edge to survive. In order to have it, businesses cannot fall behind in the quality of their software systems. They need the best software available, development speed in custom software, and data sharing among different systems.

In order to achieve this, technology ecosystems are converging more and more towards using a common data source, which is administered in an efficient and focused manner, according to the priority needs of the businesses.

In these ecosystems, operational, transactional and analytical apps feed from and contribute to the same pool of data sources. For example, apps such as Salesforce, which are used by the Marketing and Sales department, draw data from the same pool that BI and analytics do.

This unified data source results not only out of the need to reduce data silos, but also from the necessity for updated information that prompts the right business decisions and thus, increases in sales and profits.

 

Figure 2: Apps connected to a unified data source

Now that you are aware of the importance of HIP, let’s analyze how to implement it. In order to do this, first we need to consider what factors are important when deciding on an HIP approach.

3 Implementation key factors

The main points to consider when implementing an integration implementation are:

  1. Business priorities: functional and timing requirements, considering the better ROI for your business. Based on these priorities, integration should be considered as a “product” that drives business value.
  2. Available skills: certainly a very important aspect, as integration specialists are a scarce resource.
  3. Allocated budget: particularly important for the small and medium enterprise.

Figure 3:  Implementation factors

How to implement HIP

There are three main ways to implement HIP. How to choose among them depends mainly on the size and level of homogeneity / heterogeneity of your business.

The first one is Centralized. It includes a single implementation and a centralized governance. The implementation is done by a centralized team. Thus, it is best for small to medium enterprises that, due to their size, are highly homogeneous.

The second implementation method is Shared. This method also has a single implementation and a centralized governance. However, it is implemented by several teams, usually located at the different business’ subsidiaries. Therefore, it is ideal for large and global organizations that are homogeneous in nature.

Finally, there is the Federated model. It involves multiple HIP implementations, a federated governance (from which its name derives), and it is implemented by several teams. Thus, it is the characteristic implementation model for large, global and heterogeneous businesses.

Table 1: Implementation approaches

DBSync and HIP

HIP is the future in integration, and DBSync is already there. Our three main products are: Cloud Workflow, CDM and Replication.

Cloud Workflow lets you connect two or more apps via connectors. A typical example would be reading data from Salesforce and feeding it into a database or another app.

CDM and Replication are two powerful tools that help you create snapshots of your Salesforce data and replicate it. There is an on-premises version and a recently released cloud version.

There are several characteristics that define our tools as hybrid. First of all, their user friendliness that basically creates an environment that does the job for you. Secondly, the capabilities to work both, on the cloud and on-premises. And finally, the capacity to create custom connectors and thus, to basically connect anywhere.

The benefits of these tools are legion: reducing admins’ and developers’ wasted time, reducing data duplication, reducing storage needs, creating continuous workflows that can run from lead to sale, coordinating data sources for Analytics and AI, and many more.

Table 2: DBSync main connectors

Conclusion

There are many reasons to understand what Hybrid Integration Platform is about. In this article, you have seen some key concepts that define HIP, and which can also help you analyze how you can apply this approach.

Ready to learn more? Check out our website at http://www.mydbsync.com/ which features many more knowledge resources, and try hybrid integration with our product for free.

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