by Wayne Lashley, Chief Business Development Officer for Treehouse Software
Along with three of my colleagues, I recently participated in the Treehouse exhibit at the Gartner Application Architecture, Development and Integration (AADI) event in Las Vegas. This is a conference where we have exhibited in the past, and I personally have attended several other times. In fact, I just learned that the DI in AADI no longer stands for “Data Integration”; this change was only made in the past couple of years, as in the past it was the data integration aspect that made the show particularly relevant to Treehouse.
Though data integration vendors such as Informatica, Pervasive and Adeptia—and Treehouse—were in attendance, their numbers seemed diminished over prior years. And while “Legacy Modernization” had an entire subject “track” a couple of years ago, a number of “name” LM vendors were notably absent this year, and the topic was only rarely represented in sessions.
But there was a predominant theme at the event, and its name is Cloud.
People have been talking about “Cloud” for years already, and it is a well-established concept with many dimensions and extensive implementations. And it’s probably familiar enough to The Branches readers that I won’t waste words describing it, other than to say that it is simply a way to offer computing services via the Internet without the subscriber—most Cloud offerings are subscription-based—knowing or caring what or where the physical implementation is.
Many people consider that Salesforce.com is the granddaddy of all Cloud services, and to my mind it popularized the term “Software as a Service” (SaaS). Evolutionary Technologies, Inc. (ETI), a long-standing player in the data integration field and a company that I have had a lot of contact with over the years, reinvented itself around 2005 as a SaaS company, in doing so placing the company on the leading edge of “aaS” providers and essentially defining an entirely new market space.
These days there are a number of other “aaS” genres competing for mindshare and dollars, the most dominant being “Platform as a Service” (PaaS). Once again, Salesforce.com seemed to define the space initially, but others such as Amazon and Google have since come to dominate it. Just this week I was invited to an event for Oracle partners where Oracle executives will present their concept for an Oracle Cloud PaaS. I recall a Microsoft Worldwide Partners Conference (WWPC) a couple of years ago where Microsoft kicked off its Azure Cloud platform. You don’t have to install Microsoft Office on your PC anymore; Office 365 runs in the Cloud.
Even legacy applications are getting the Cloud treatment: a company called Heirloom Computing has commenced offering a platform for running legacy COBOL applications in the Cloud.
Cloud has also entered popular culture and commodity services. There’s a TV commercial that I keep seeing advertising a Cloud-based service that automatically troubleshoots, tunes up and cleans up your PC.
In short, you’re nobody if you’re not in the Cloud.
D-for-“Data” may have morphed into D-for-“Development” in the AADI Summit name, but data replication, integration and migration remain very relevant in the Cloud age. Indeed, you can’t spell Cloud without a D.
To support provisioning of Cloud-based applications, there has to be a means for getting data from where it is now—often in mainframe-based legacy databases or relational databases on open systems, within a company’s internal IT infrastructure—to the Cloud facilities, be they public or private. This doesn’t happen by magic. We have recently been working in a customer implementation where Oracle and DB2 data are being replicated bidirectionally in a Cloud implementation using our tcVISION solution. Such a scenario posed a bit of a challenge for us in terms of licensing: the machines on which tcVISION is installed are not specifically known at a given point in time. So we had to adapt our licensing model to accommodate the new reality.
We expect to see continued growth and demand for our replication and integration solutions as Cloud offerings evolve and expand. Furthermore, we are working on a new Cloud-oriented solution in collaboration with Cloud platform providers. I have briefed several Gartner analysts on it, and their feedback has been encouraging. Check back to this space regularly for news on this exciting new Treehouse offering.