IBM App Connect provides a business user-friendly web-based tool that enables business users to connect applications together to automate tedious and time-consuming tasks. It helps you automate workflows and integrate data, apps and APIs across hybrid cloud environments. They are designed to support a range of roles and needs; from simple, single-step flows across cloud apps to multi-step flows requiring sophisticated data transformation and mapping. With that said, here are five things to know about IBM App Connect:
- App Connect is used for app to app integration by business users.
App Connect is targeted at business users. It does not require you to be an integration specialist or developer. It has a simple and intuitive web-based user interface that involves specifying the necessary information to achieve integration. The figure below shows the personas that are targeted by the App Connect product.
- App awareness enables integration in minutes.
App Connect contains ready to use connectors to common cloud-based applications such as Salesforce. What that means is that App Connect is aware of these applications and knows what the possible events that could occur are and also what the possible actions that could be taken are. This enables providing a simple user interface to business users to achieve integration.
- You don’t need to install anything.
App Connect is a cloud-based SaaS offering, and there is nothing to install. All you need is a modern web browsers to create your integration flows. The integration flows will run in the cloud as well, so you need no hosting hardware either.
- It takes only four simple steps to integrate two apps and automate a manual process:
- Select the applications you want to integrate. One is a trigger i.e. the application in which a particular event occurs, and the other is an action i.e. the application in which the event in the first application causes an action to occur.
- Connect your credentials for the applications. The applications you are integrating almost always will require credentials to allow you access. You’ll need to provide the credentials. They will be stored securely.
- Select the data you are interested in and map it. When the event occurs in the trigger applications, data associated with the event can be used in the action. You simply need to select the data you are interested in and map it to attributes in the action that will be taken.
- Run your flow in the Cloud on IBM infrastructure.
That’s all there is to it - you simply have to give it a try to appreciate how quick and easy it is.
- You can use App Connect, not just Cloud apps, but also your on-premises enterprise apps.
You can extend App Connect by making your enterprise application available in App Connect for integration as both the app generating a trigger event and as one acting on a trigger. IT professionals in your organization can surface enterprise systems of record in this way for consumption by line of business users to automate their manual tasks.
The IBM Integration Bus is used to achieve this. Your enterprise applications can be on a private network as well. Secure Gateway capability is available inside App Connect to securely connect to your private network and keep the data involved in the integration safe.
Learn more about IBM App connect and sign up for a free trial here.
Also, check out the recently published IBM Redbooks draft: An Architectural and Practical Guide to IBM Hybrid Integration Platform.
Please use the comments section of this post to leave comments or ask questions about this IBM Redbooks to the authors.
Shahir Daya is an IBM Executive Architect in the GBS Global Cloud Center of Competence. He is IBM Senior Certified Architect and an Open Group Distinguished Chief/Lead IT Architect. Shahir has over twenty years at IBM with the last fifteen focused on application architecture assignments. He has experience with complex high volume transactional web applications and systems integration. Shahir is currently focused on Cloud application development services and Platforms-as-a-Service (PaaS) such as IBM Bluemix, containerization technology such as Docker, design and development of Systems of Engagement (SOE), and Cloud based DevOps including IBM Bluemix DevOps Services. You can follow Shahir on Twitter @ShahirDaya.