iPaaS vs. ETL vs. PIP: What are They and How Do They Differ?
It goes without saying that the world of data for enterprise organizations is greater and more complex than ever. With corporate consolidations and the agility of businesses expected to mimic the digital speed of the modern consumer, growing data, as well as the disparity among data sources, creates more and more challenges for business users. Connected, accurate data means actionable insights for better decision making and the attention required to uplevel customer experience is today’s competitive advantage.
Enterprise corporations need access to accurate, connected data to do everything from check on order status to completely overhaul their IT infrastructure as part of a full-scale digital transformation program. The problem is that a typical company relies on such a vast array of disparate software applications to manage this huge dataload, creating an environment where mistakes and painfully-slow manual processes are all too common.
To manage all of this data effectively, businesses typically rely on three integration methods: Extract, Transform, Load (ETL), integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS), and Packaged Integration Processes (PIP).
But what does each method entail, specifically? We look at all three in detail below.
What is Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL)?
ETL is a common data integration process that involves extracting, transforming, and loading from one or multiple sources into a singular data repository.
Working in batches, this three-step method first sees the data extracted from its original sources, cleaned up and standardized into the required format, and finally loaded into a repository, such as a data warehouse, for access by the business.
A related method – Extract, Load, Transform (ELT) – is similar but sees the order of the steps completed differently, with the data being loaded into its repository first before being cleaned and standardized into the format needed by the business.
Although a frequently-used integration method, ETL has a number of drawbacks. One of the greatest drawbacks is that ETL is always performed in batches – never real-time and typically takes longer to set up without the most up-to-date data. It can be time-consuming and tricky to modify, making it difficult to update when the data changes. ETL usually requires a greater investment of cost and skilled headcount, resulting in higher cost of ownership and time to implement.
ETL duplicates and manipulates data, making it potentially vulnerable to security risks. Leaks or breaches can occur as the data is transferred from one location to another, putting critical information at serious risk, potentially shutting down an entire company and costing it millions of dollars.
What is an integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS)?
An iPaaS, on the other hand, is a platform that builds, manages, and deploys integrations.
The key differences between ETL and iPaaS is that ETL serves essentially as a data warehouse, while iPaaS is more comprehensive, allowing enterprise corporations to set up the orchestration, translation, and transformation of data all in one place. iPaaS also offers built-in security and helps to standardize how applications, services and data sources speak to one another.
A cloud-based service generally, iPaaS lets businesses connect their data systems live, on-premise, or in the cloud. This allows for data integration via secure API endpoints, giving businesses a competitive edge and removing the need for installing or maintaining any type of hardware or middleware.
Enterprise organizations leveraging iPaaS technology can create integrations to keep their data in sync and accurate with little to no coding, although developers are still required to use the technology effectively.
With iPaaS technology, enterprise corporations can automatically share data between applications and stay updated across disparate data sources. By connecting data under centralized management, iPaaS eliminates the need for manually changing data across various applications and services and also removes the silos that prevent key data from being shared between applications, services and data sources.
What is a Packaged Integration Process (PIP)?
Finally, PIPs offer another approach for data integration.
PIPs are predefined application integration that are designed to standardize, accelerate and automate business practices. They address common integration use cases across software and SaaS applications, databases, APIs, business processes, B2B assets, and data lakes and warehouses. They also offer more than just horizontal integrations between various applications, as they’re comprehensive implementations of integration challenges that many businesses encounter.
PIPs offer reusable integration assets that ensure businesses don’t need to develop integration processes from scratch every time. They’ve become increasingly common in recent years as many businesses lack the IT staffing to complete complex and time-consuming integration projects.
Gartner sees PIPs as a critical component to supplement iPaaS.
“By 2023, use of Packaged integration Processes will grow from less than 30% in 2020 to above 65% of new integration projects.”
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PIPs offer many benefits for enterprise corporations, such as self-service integration, faster time to value, and quick and efficient deployment. Many also provide full lifecycle and version control, meaning that there’s no need to worry about updating any integration platforms or endpoints.
In general, PIPs don’t have to be tied to a specific integration platform and can function standalone. However, when leveraged with an iPaaS, they can serve as the last-mile of integration, offering a prebuild, accelerated solution without IT dependence and with an agility that benefits business stakeholders to improve customer experience more quickly.
enosix, for example, can serve as both a standalone PIP as well as an application for iPaaS technology.
enosix’s PIP Technology for SAP Integration Can Deliver More Value – Standalone or in Support of Your iPaaS Investment
enosix’s purpose-built framework and prepackaged SAP integration offers a last-mile data virtualization solution. By leveraging real-time data, enosix offers iPaaS users (as well as non iPaaS users) less risk and faster time-to-market. enosix’s market-leading technology can enhance your current iPaaS infrastructure, delivering the speed and value to tackle any type of SAP integration, no matter how large or complex.
By leveraging the complex business logic of Variant Configuration within SAP, including configurable pricing and products and without the latency of data syncing or replication, enosix’s connector completes the last-mile of SAP integration in real-time. Powered by enosix’s SAP-certified API framework, no designing, training, or coding is required – delivering real-time solutions fully secured and governed by the Anypoint platform for SAP customers.
Leveraging low or no-code PIP technology, enosix’s PIP technology allows business to realize value in weeks, not months. Enosix’s use of data virtualization can unlock business processes, authorizations, critical data, and user permissions from SAP without the need to recreate them on the front-end, delivering back-end translation in a real-time, simplified, and bi-directional integration.
enosix’s new partnership with MuleSoft offers an enterprise-level solution for last-mile SAP integration. As digital transformation projects need access to disparate data sources and applications, enosix’s PIP technology can provide leverage for iPaaS solutions like MuleSoft for enterprise SAP integration in real-time. Certified for both SAP ECC and S/4HANA, enosix’s SAP connector for MuleSoft enables SAP customers on both versions to quickly integrate with MuleSoft and Salesforce Cloud Solutions.
By leveraging both enosix’s PIP and MuleSoft’s iPaaS technology, enterprises can scale quickly and accurately and provide a superior customer experience.
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Interested in learning more about how enosix’s packaged integration can virtualize the complex business logic from SAP in real-time – with any frontend system? Go ahead and schedule a conversation with one of our experts to find out more.