Boomi AtomSphere Integration Review

Fairly easy for a semi-technical user to configure and maintain it and is very visual


What is our primary use case?

Boomi's always a mix of a Cloud system for management. You can configure it to connect with an on-premises environment if you need to connect with on-premise data sources. But with Boomi, you don't really have to choose, it is always primarily the Cloud version, and then you just install a means of connecting to an on-premise data source if you need to and that is all.

What is most valuable?

Boomi is a tool that is implemented as a mixed market solution. It is not for very small companies. It is also not the right tool for very large companies that have more than 50 integrations. It is ideal for a mid-sized company with say 5 to 20 integrations — maybe 30 — and then it begins to become too expensive. It is a low code or no-code integration platform, which does exactly what it says. It is fairly easy for a semi-technical user to configure and maintain it. It is very visual. For us, it is simply an alternative for customer development.

What needs improvement?

Boomi consists of several modules, and the API is one product that Boomi is definitely not up to par with. For example, Jitterbit has a better API management module. However, Dell is putting a lot of energy to make changes. There is a new release already now in December or in November (2019), and they're planning some more releases in 2020. But I would say if there is one module that Boomi is less advanced in than the competition it would be the API management. But it might be totally different mid-2020.

Another point that could use improvement for Boomi is license pricing. If you don't know the pricing model very well, you might quickly end up paying more than you expected especially if you are growing and adding integrations. Again, it is different than the competition so it may be difficult to compare, but the pricing model could also clearly be simplified.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for about two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had any problems with stability, so I would say that it is stable.

However, when you compare Boomi to Jitterbit, in terms of how the user interfaces with the integrations, Jitterbit is stronger in that area than Boomi. The user interface, in this case, is only for the people who develop and do the configurations or integration. There is no end-user interface, it is only for the guy who creates the integration. But the screens and the way it is visualized to make your integration is more user-friendly with Jitterbit then with Boomi. Boomi is okay, but it is a bit more of a technical interface made for a more technical user. Jitterbit is a bit nicer, a bit better layout and a bit more intuitive. But once you get over that initial learning and navigation in Boomi and you are up and running it won't matter very much anymore. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I would say the scalability, from my point of view, where you reach kind of a problem is the pricing. Because once you have a lot of integrations, your price goes up. At a certain point, you will say to yourself that it becomes too expensive. 

There are other technologies that have a different way of pricing, where you do not pay per integration, but there is a much larger initial fee. In theory, Jitterbit can scale pretty much however you want, because you have a lot of ways to configure it and to make it load-balanced and redundant and so on. Those things are no problem and there are no additional fees. You can do much more with it without additional costs. You are not limited by the number of integrations in your price level. But typically the entry-level fee to start is ten times higher to get started with Jitterbit. So a different type of client will go for that pricing model because they don't want to have to think about the pricing constraints.

The Boomi licensed model is actually about the same cost as Jitterbit in the end. It is positioned for companies with 5 to 35 integrations. Once you go above that, it becomes very expensive. If you have more integrations and need to scale more than that, I see that people would maybe want to go to other products like MuleSoft or other larger players.

How are customer service and technical support?

Because I don't use Boomi myself, I have never been in contact with them directly for any technical issues. The community is free, and the users there can solve a lot of issues. Most of the time can help yourself with the community if you are a bit of a technical user. If you are not very technical, then typically you will ask someone to coach you and to help you. That might typically be a local partner. You will typically only need accommodation for someone to train you and help you to do the first integration and you will probably be ready to do the next one by yourself.

How was the initial setup?

I would say that someone who is familiar with data and queries and familiar with the world of manipulating data will be able to do the initial setup and be productive with Boomi in three to four days.

There is plenty of online learning and a whole certification track. There is a very, very active community, so when you have questions you can just post queries and a few hours later you will get feedback. It is a tool that someone in your company who has a little bit of a technical background and is experienced with data will probably be able to have a production version up and running and to do a lot of things without help from an external partner. Once you start to do more complex integrations or API management, I would advise that you work with an experienced partner to get you up to speed and design. Doing that will keep you from making too many rookie mistakes that will end up costing more time and money to fix.

But it is a tool that you can use at the company and do it yourself. It is not a tool that you need always to pay an external developer to help evolve.

What about the implementation team?

I'm a consultant. I don't do the implementations myself. I select technologies for clients, and then I coach the clients to use them well. I supervise the partner who integrates them. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Boomi is priced using a different strategy than with Jitterbit. With Jitterbit you pay more at the entry-level. I'm speaking here about the paid version of Jitterbit because Jitterbit also has a free version. With the paid version of Jitterbit, the entry-level is higher than Boomi, but you get the less in the box with Boomi.

So, with Boomi, you can start lower, but you need to make sure that you calculate all the little things you will need, such as a connector for testing. If you are not very familiar with all the options that you don't have, you might think that Boomi is less expensive. But then when you start using it, you see what you need and what you want to add what you had not considered, the pricing scheme can surprise you. It quickly brings up the price to about the same as Jitterbit. As a consultant, I know all this but it may not be obvious even to someone who is careful about due diligence.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have done an in-depth review of Jitterbit vs. Dell Boomi. For one client we chose Dell Boomi, for the other client we are not sure, we have not decided yet. But both products are, I think, fairly equal. But there are are some differences that would make you choose one over the other.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate Dell Boomi AtomSphere as an eight.

What would make it better from my perspective is not just a question of features. There is actually a problem in that market, and that is offering a tool that a company can use by themself without the help of a local partner. I think that is where Boomi as a tool might be just a bit too complex. On the other hand that is also the power of it because the complexity allows you to do more complex integrations. The nice thing is that it is not a case where you have to ask your external partner or technical person to do everything for you. It is really a tool that you can learn to use yourself. I think the point is to be sure you have enough qualified partners and resources locally who can help you when you need it. There I see that Boomi could be a problem for some people depending on location. Because I'm speaking now for Belgium and the Netherlands, in our region it is okay. It can be better, but it is okay.

That is a very big point against Jitterbit. Jitterbit has almost no partners and zero in Belgium. At least not certified partners. That makes it a bit harder to get local support. And I know that for my typical customers — companies that would have from 50 to 1,000 users — that they like to have a local person who can come and coach and help and train, and then also design. In the end, the client wants to do the things themselves, but they want someone to help them to start up. That help is something they prefer in their local, native language and in their local offices. That is something that Boomi provides, even though they could be better in the partner landscape. But for Jitterbit, it is actually non-existent in Belgium. It could be much worse and much more of a problem elsewhere.

There is a roadmap that I saw and it looks very good for the future development of the API, so I have the feeling that Boomi will have the API management issues fairly under control. They can always improve the number and type of connectors that they have for the integrations. What you typically see is that products have various types of connectors in e-class integration at the surface. You have tools that are very focused on sales and marketing, integrating things like your Facebook advertisements, CRM and your leads, and other kinds of integrations. That is not really where Boomi is currently positioned as a big player. There are other companies and products that do those things better.

Then there are other tools that are for really big enterprises or complex systems, and these are very expensive solutions. That is also not where Boomi is positioned. Boomi is mainly focusing on integrating a lot of midsize business databases, CRM systems, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and things of that sort. They do that very well. But they might want to focus also a bit more on social media and that kind of marketing tool to expand their market base. Maybe not doing that is a strategic choice. But I know that they have a lot of funding from Dell — much more funding than Jitterbit has. They must easily have ten times the funding. They have to use it to improve the product compared to the competition.

So basically in the next releases, they could just improve on the partner landscape, the API management model, and maybe add more features for versatility to do more than they do now.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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