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Informatica modernizes iPaaS platform using microservices and AI

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At its online Informatica World event today, Informatica announced a cloud platform that employs microservices and an AI engine to combine data management capabilities within a service that enables data and application programming interface (API) integration.

The Informatica Intelligent Data Management Cloud (IDMC) is a revamped implementation of an Informatica platform that makes more extensive use of a previously launched AI engine dubbed CLAIRE to analyze the metadata generated by each integration, said chief product officer Jitesh Ghai.

In effect, IDMC creates a graph that makes it possible to track the relationship between various integrations for both optimization and compliance purposes. “It’s a system of record for metadata,” Ghai said.

That’s critical because it enables the Informatica integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) environment to function as a single source of truth for all integrations on an end-to-end basis, Ghai added. In all, there are now also more than 200 discrete services provided by IDMC that have been augmented using the CLAIRE AI engine, Ghai noted.

At the same time, Informatica is launching and updating a series of services it makes available on various public clouds. In addition to making IDMC available on the Microsoft Azure cloud, Informatica is adding an Informatica Cloud Data Governance & Catalog offering for the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. Available in preview, that offering promises to make it easier to apply data governance policies to the massive amounts of data accumulating in AWS environments, Ghai noted.

Finally, Informatica announced that its Cloud Data Integration Elastic (CDI-E) service for processing massive amounts of data at scale is now generally available on Google Cloud, along with a tool for managing APIs and an enhanced version of a visual tool dubbed Cloud Mass Ingestion that makes it easier to ingest data.

Flexible integration

Collectively, these capabilities are intended to address the need for a more flexible approach to integration at a time when organizations are increasingly launching complex digital business process initiatives spanning multiple applications and data sources, Ghai said.

Integrations today routinely involve gigabytes of data that need to be programmatically moved between platforms, Ghai added. That level of automation requires a platform on a microservices-based architecture that can easily scale up and down to meet those requirements, Ghai noted.

The CLAIRE AI engine, meanwhile, provides the algorithms required to ensure data quality is maintained across all those integrations, Ghai added.

Most legacy iPaaS platforms — like the applications they integrated — are based on monolithic architectures. Today, most new applications are being constructed using a more modular approach based on microservices that each have their own APIs. The Informatica IDMC makes it simpler for IT teams to construct and deploy microservices that can programmatically invoke a set of integration services to access data strewn across an extended enterprise. Theoretically, a legacy iPaaS environment could service those requests but not at the level of scale that might be required by thousands of microservices.

Enterprises face growing complexity

It’s still early days as far as the shift to microservices-based applications in the enterprise is concerned. The bulk of enterprise applications are still based on monolithic applications. But with each new application deployed, the number of microservices running in production environments steadily increases, along with the amount of data being consumed by those microservices. In addition, many monolithic applications will over time be refactored to run as a set of more modular microservices in an effort to make applications both easier to upgrade and more resilient. Rather than failing outright, a microservices-based application is designed to degrade gracefully by rerouting requests when a specific service is unavailable.

It may be a while before microservices proliferate across the enterprise, but it’s now more a question of if than when. That will inevitably make IT environments more complex, which Informatica is betting will result in a lot more reliance on an iPaaS service infused with AI.

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