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iPaaS (integration Platform-as-a-Service) is emerging as a response to the cloud integration challenge. iPaaS is a suite of cloud services and enables users to create, manage, and govern integration flows connecting a wide range of applications or data sources without installing or managing any hardware or middleware [1]. These features consolidate as runtime containers and services for generic applications, that are visualized and provided on-demand and as a service over a network. Moreover, applications not only have to be scalable with respect to multiple dimensions (number of users, endpoint, transactions, data volume, etc.) but also elastic in what concerns to variations in demand as well [2].
Looking to the future, research firm Gartner predicts that by 2016, at least 35 percent of all large and midsize organizations worldwide will be using one or more iPaaS offerings in some form [1].
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Figure 1. iPaas

What about IoT? The definition of IoT given by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is “A global infrastructure for the information society, enabling advanced services by interconnecting (physical and virtual) things based on existing and evolving interoperable information and communication technologies”. According to Gartner, the IoT population will reach 26 billion units in 2020 and that IoT products and service suppliers will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion, mostly in services [3]. There are various kinds of IoT applications, intelligent transportation systems, e-health or smart home are some of them. And how all this data will flow?
There isn’t standard architecture for allowing interactions of heterogeneous devices and diverse domain applications while preserving reusability, security, privacy and providing customization and scalability. It is very difficult to define a common standard among all the diverse devices belonging to diverse context domain in IoT. [23]. Although there are many efforts such as the four-layer model proposed by the ITU or the IoT-A (Internet of Thing Architecture) Reference Model, but we still have to wait until the arrival of a standard.
 

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Figure 2. IoT

 
The integration area evolved much since the systems were composed of stovepipes and the concern for integration was residual. Today it is everywhere, and organizations loose competitiveness and cannot survive without it. The data flows quickly and in consequence, turns the EAI in a very dynamic and challenging area with great potential. But there is no ideal approach in defining and implementing architecture. It will always depend of the organization’s needs and constraints.

Ricardo Santos

EAI Consultant and IoT Evangelist at Polarising
References

  1. Service-Oriented Architecture and Legacy Systems, http://www.infoq.com/articles/service-oriented-architecture-and-legacy-systems
  2. Brunetti, G., Feld, T., Heuser, L., Schnitter J., Webe, C.: Future Business Software: Current Trends in Business Software Development. . Springer Science & Business Media, California (2014)
  3. Gartner, http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2636073
  4. S. Bandyopadhyay, M. Sengupta, S. Maiti and S. Dutta, “Role of middleware for Internet of Things: a study,” International Journal of Computer Science & Engineering Survey (IJCSES), Vol.2, No.3, 2011.