We are often asked by our clients and prospects how Connect Bridge compares to our competitor’s products and ESBs (enterprise service buses). This may seem as a simple question, but there’s so much more to it than meets the eye – because it simply does not.
A golden cage
Recently, I was playing with Legos with my little nephew and found it quite unsatisfying, which was rather odd, as I always enjoy every moment with him. Lego bricks are nice and beautifully made, but they somehow fall behind in areas they should primarily excel at – freedom and creativity. They should open a world of creation; enable children to freely join bricks, to design their own world of fantasy and mystery... But they rather make them follow the pre-set rules, processes and directions, so that they achieve what the designers deigned to design.
And it’s the same with the majority of data integration software. They offer a golden cage made from gilded predefined rules, methods and triggers, but not much more.
If you’re in for predefined…
Don’t get me wrong. iPaaS (integration platform as a service), integration platforms, such as Zapier, KingswaySoft solutions, Snaplogic, Scribe and many others, are mostly great at what they are made for: constructing simple predefined data integrations enabling workflow automation. They even enable you to mass-process and bulk-load data from various predefined sources and to transform them to be used in other predefined applications. They enable you and everyone else – even without any expertise or experience – to utilize data in predefined data-based business processes and workflows in a neat and predefined way from an intuitive, predefined environment…
This is all wonderful, but a bit too predefined, one might think, and lacks what today’s businesses need the most: flexibility, creativity and control.
What does Connect Bridge do differently?
While solutions offered as an iPaaS model are as a rule aimed at the business user, Connect Bridge is intended for more tech-savvy users willing to dig deeper – and requiring more control. These iPaaS solutions provide an easy to use interface enabling you to set up all the basic integrations between databases and systems of record. Connect Bridge, however, offers no such thing – yet it proposes so much more. It gives you the freedom to design and create your own integration, business and processing logic from the ground up, not limiting you with pre-designed and pre-defined workflows. It gives you the power to integrate your applications and systems with any other application or system, to synchronize data omnidirectionally, to consume data in the most meaningful manner.
Moreover, unlike iPaaS solutions, Connect Bridge offers three distinct deployment options: on-premises, hybrid and cloud for ultimate flexibility, and control based on your unique needs.
What sets us apart – the target user and possibilities
Frankly, Connect Bridge is not an end-user tool, rather a platform supporting large-scale, complex – and unrestricted integrations among data, applications and systems. It’s not intended for end-users in a business environment, rather for in-house development teams, software vendors and integration professionals, as it does not entirely eliminate the need for coding – rather it decreases coding requirements by up to 90%.
With Connect Bridge, you are free to do with the data anything you desire (or find meaningful). There are no limits to your world of possibilities, since by eliminating the need to build and code communication mechanisms for your (or your customers') systems, we enable you to fetch, process and store any data from any place. Connect Bridge is a middleware platform, as it connects – or bridges, if you prefer - your applications and business systems, enabling simple and reliable communication between various infrastructure components.
What Connect Bridge does for you
Databases, business systems, repositories and data storage systems communicate with the world through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). This set of APIs can be seen as a glossary of terms (or commands) the target system can understand. However, most of the systems speak a different language, so to be able to efficiently communicate with them, your application – and you – would need to master all the APIs and their characteristics. And that is no easy task.
So this is how Connect Bridge deals with the issue to lift the burden from your shoulders and enable you to access a wealth of information:
1. Connecting to the target system
Connection to target systems is established via ODBC or JDBC drivers or web services.
2. Visualization of the target system
Connect Bridge provides a set of SQL statements and stored procedures to visualize the target system entities as virtual tables.
3. SQL query execution
The user/application can interact with the target system by executing SQL queries or stored procedures.
4. Translating SQL to API calls
The submitted SQL queries are translated to API calls or code to call the relevant functions on the target system.
5. Result retrieval
The target system returns the required value, the result code or an error. The platform presents the result to the user/application.
Also, when it comes to security, Connect Bridge is second to none covering multiple security mechanisms, including RSA public-key encryption, digital certificates, OAuth, etc. On a lower level, data security and integrity is ensured by communicating with the target systems via secure APIs rather than directly.
We truly believe that there’s no point in doing what everyone – or even anyone else – already does. Connect Bridge has thus not been designed to compete with various iPaaS solutions, rather to complement them or to enable you to extend your integration efforts by providing you the ultimate freedom to choose the target systems and data processing techniques.
To learn more, check out the video below, or read our blogs.