I posted recently on SaaS-data-integration-in-the-cloud, and a couple of vendors stopped by the comment thread to shared what they do. One was Boomi, which has a blog that does a good job of spelling out its opinions. What the Boomi blog is not so good at, however, is giving any good reasons why one should share those opinions.
I refer specifically to a couple of posts claiming that multitenancy is somehow crucial for SaaS data integration to work. To this I can only say — huh? A decent data integration system should be able to handle many parallel threads at once, connecting many pairs of databases at once. So the hard part of multitenancy is pretty much “free.” If, even so, the integration provider chooses not to go fully multitenant, whose business is it but theirs?
Yes, I know the argument “We have lower costs and more agility because we’re multi-tenant, and we pass that along to our customers.” But the cost side of that is just an economies-of-scale argument, and what really matters for economies of scale is having a lot of customers to scale them over. As for the agility side, that makes even less sense. The vendor making this argument also usually claim that multitenancy is fairly hard, which is why it’s so special that they do it, blah blah blah. So how does that degree of difficulty add to agility?
Boomi even claims
each customer must buy, install and maintain its own copy of the product and must do so at every location where integration is to occur.
I have great trouble connecting that assertion with reality. Perhaps my friends at Pervasive Software or Cast Iron Systems can jump in here, but it’s my strong impression that in the cloud version of their services, they take care of product upgrades on their users’ behalf.