Around the beginning of this month I started doing some consulting work with SnapLogic. SnapLogic was founded by Informatica alumni who were solving problems of quickly gaining access to data located inside the enterprise in order to build hybrid applications that solved their real-world problems. They originally solved this problem with resourceful scripts that would pull data out of various data sources, store and/or index this data, and then make it available to users in a format of easily consumable by the end users. (when they were originally doing this, the term Mashup wasn’t coined yet, and still isn’t favored inside corporate walls…hence the term Enterprise 2.0).
They quickly realized that they were working for a data integration firm and had build their own low level RESTful data integration. Hence, SnapLogic was formed. As an open source company, the SnapLogic edge integration platform can take data from various data sources and represent a RESTful interface to that data. Since the platform has Components that can talk to standard data sources, you can use the platform to implement a standard data services layer within an organization. Also, since it’s all open source, you can build your own Components, or use ones built by the community, to provide data services into a mix of data sources: local, remote, accessed directly, accessed via an API, etc.
On the internet, we have all see mashups of data from multiple sources (i.e., fetching a set of locations from a real estate database and then laying those homes for sale on top of Google Maps). This is an example of the RESTful data integration in action. Slowly, the enterprise has been pulled in this direction by their users (usually with the IT department kicking and screaming because they have to give up control). The SnapLogic platform has the potential to offer the IT organization a layer of control, but also offer the users access to the data that they need in order to build enterprise mashups.
I have been aware of SnapLogic since before they came out of stealth due to the fact that a number of people that I used to work with were involved with the company. At that time, I was working at IONA and there were a number of interesting discussions going around about REST (most were usually started or ended by Steve Vinoski 🙂 ) as well as the process of migrating the company from a pure closed source software provider to a hybrid model of closed and open source. Thus, I was glad when the opportunity arose to help out SnapLogic recently and gain more experience with their platform; mixing my integration experience with my recent experiences in open source.
Stay tuned for more about my experiences working with the SnapLogic and their Edge Integration Platform