Overcoming A SaaS Hurdle


Cast Iron Systems this week released a new version of its SaaS integration appliance that offers new data conversion, profiling and migration capabilities, as well as pre-built templates that simplify application integration tasks. Cast Iron's integration appliance helps businesses -- and the solution providers and systems integrators that service them -- build links from an on-demand application to other SaaS software, on-premise applications and data sources.

The iA4000 Series, which became generally available this week, replaces the earlier generation iA3000 product line, said Chandar Pattabhiram, product marketing vice president.

Sales of software-as-a-service applications are expected to grow more than 30 percent a year and reach $21 billion in 2011, according to IDC. That includes sales from SaaS outfits like Salesorce.com and NetSuite and major vendors such as Microsoft, Oracle and SAP.

Astadia, an Atlanta-based service provider and systems integrator, uses the Cast Iron system to integrate on-demand applications with other applications and databases for its clients, said Mike Lingo, global services vice president. Having a single platform to handle such integration chores, instead of stitching together multiple technologies, helps Astadia reduce its costs, he said.

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The new capabilities in the iA4000 will allow Astadia to expand the services it offers clients. "We'll start to do more data migration and data cleansing work," he predicted. And the new library of pre-built integration process templates should improve his developers' productivity.

The iA4000 release includes a new process flow designer tool for developing a visual depiction of information flow. It's also the first version of the product that's available both as a hosted service and an on-premise application.