Cast Iron Systems

Analysis of data integration appliance vendor Cast Iron Systems. Related subjects include:

September 28, 2010

Evidently IBM bought Cast Iron Systems for $190 million

Sequoia told TechCrunch that Cast Iron Systems was acquired for $190 million. That’s a much more successful exit than I thought.

May 3, 2010

IBM puts Cast Iron Systems out of its misery

Long ago, the first enterprise application integration (EAI) vendors offered pairwise integrations between different specific packaged applications. That was, for example what was going on at Katrina Garnett’s Crossworlds/Crossroads, which eventually became one of IBM’s first data integration software acquisitions. Years later, Cast Iron Systems tried what seemed to be pretty much the same thing, only better implemented. Recently, however, Cast Iron has been pretty hard to get a hold of, and I also couldn’t find anybody (competitor, friend of management, whatever) who believed Cast Iron was doing particularly well. So today’s news that IBM is acquiring Cast Iron Systems comes as no big surprise.

Read more

October 9, 2008

Everybody’s putting integration services in the cloud

Both Pervasive Software and Cast Iron Systems told me recently of fairly pure cloud offerings. In this, they’re joining Informatica, which started offering integration-as-a-service back in 2006. So far as I can tell, the three vendors are doing somewhat different things. Read more

March 21, 2008

Cast Iron Systems focuses on SaaS data integration

When I wrote about data integration vendor Cast Iron Systems a year ago, its core message was “simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.” Supporting points included:

  1. An appliance delivery format.
  2. Lots of heuristics for automatic mapping and quick set-up. E.g., Cast Iron claims that 70% of a typical connection can be done straight out of the box.
  3. The absence of data cleaning/transformation features that might complicate things.

Cast Iron still believes in all that.

Even so, its messaging has changed a bit. Cast Iron now bills itself, in the first sentence of its press release boilerplate, as “the fastest growing SaaS integration appliance vendor.” And when I talked with marketing chief Simon Peel today, the only use cases we discussed were connections between SaaS and on-premises apps. Read more

January 14, 2008

Intelligent Enterprise’s list of 12/36/48 vendors

I’m getting a flood of press releases today, because many of the companies I write about were selected to Intelligent Enterprise’s list of 12 most influential vendors plus 36 more to watch in the areas Intelligent Enterprise covers (which seems to be pretty much the analytics-related parts of what I write about here and on Text Technologies). It looks like a pretty reasonable list, although I think they forced the issue in some of the small analytics vendors they selected, and of course anybody can quibble with some of the omissions.

Among the companies they cited, you can find topical categories here for IBM (and Cognos), Informatica, Microsoft, Netezza, Oracle, SAP/Business Objects (both), SAS, and Teradata; QlikTech; Cast Iron, Coral8, DATAllegro, HP, ParAccel, and StreamBase; and Software AG. On Text Technologies you’ll find categories for some of the same vendors, plus Attensity, Clarabridge, and Google. There also are categories for some of these vendors on the Monash Report.

April 26, 2007

More on Cast Iron Systems

I chatted again recently with Simon Peel of Cast Iron Systems, and this time I got a better understanding of Cast Iron’s simplicity claim. It refers largely to a drag-and-drop interface that furthermore provides default mappings between pairs of application suites. Simon bristled a bit when I referred to this as mapping “like to like,” because he’s proud that it’s a little smarter than that. Still, “like to like” seems to be what it typically amounts to — customers go to customers, customer addresses go to customer addresses, and so on. Read more

March 17, 2007

The boom in integration

SaaS integration is in the air.

But of course this makes sense. Without good data integration, SaaS applications would be pretty useless, at least at large and medium-sized enterprises.

January 4, 2007

Data integration appliance vendor Cast Iron Systems

I’ve been doing a lot of research lately into computing appliances – not just data warehouse appliances, but security, anti-spam and other appliance types as well. Today I added Cast Iron Systems to the list.

Essentially, they offer data integration without the common add-ons. I.e., there’s little or nothing in the way of data cleansing, composite apps, business process management, and/or business activity monitoring. Data just gets imported, extracted, and/or synchronized, whether between pairs of transactional systems, or between a transactional system and a reporting database. A particularly hot area of application for them seems to be SaaS/on-demand app integration (, Netsuite, etc.) In particular, they boast both Lawson and as internal users, and at least at Lawson they are used for a Salesforce/Lawson integration.

The big advantage to this strategy is that their integrator is simple enough for appliance deployment. Read more

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