Dell Boomi AtomSphere Review
The iPaaS functionality and browser-based IDE are mature and stable.


Valuable Features

  • Dell Boomi offers a leading Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) platform worldwide by an elastic single-instance, multi-tenant cloud.
  • An atom (the run-time) can also be deployed on an on premise infrastructure or private cloud, and has cluster capabilities (called a molecule) for high availability (HA).
  • The iPaaS functionality is very mature. The browser based IDE is also very mature and stable.
  • Integrations are configured visually by dragging and dropping them on a canvas, and by this it offers a (near) zero code IDE. Coding can be applied by scripting through Javascript or Groovy.
  • The platform offers over 200 standard connectors for applications and technology, such as HTTP(s), databases, SOAP, XML, and REST. It furthermore offers EDI connectors, including HL7 for health, exposing APIs, Master Data Management (MDM) and a hpaPaaS with ManyWho for BPM use cases. ManyWho was acquired in March 2017 by Dell Boomi and was then added to the offering.
  • The Boomi Suggest feature offers crowd sourced data mapping suggestions based on use cases of metadata of over 7 million maps. it is quite impressive and accurate.
  • Automatic crowd-based regression testing is offered by Boomi Assure in which the quality and productivity for application integration is increased substantially when compared to a conventional approach and/or other iPaaS offerings in the market.
  • Boomi Resolve offers automatically suggested solutions for commonly occurring errors.
  • Offers an additional efficient means for delivering application integration when compared to other offerings in the market.

Improvements to My Organization

The Dell Boomi integration platform allows an organization to quickly integrate their possible dispersed application landscape of SaaS of on premise and private cloud applications.

AtomSphere has a bi-weekly release calendar through which improved and new functionality is automatically released to its customers.

This allows an organization to quickly use new features and/or improvements. The platform’s time-to-market can be considered as distinctive with such a short release calendar.

Room for Improvement

  • There are more mature (dedicated) API management and master data management (MDM) solutions available in the market.
  • Dell Boomi does not offer an option for local version control/repositories. (As is also the case usually with other SaaS vendors)
  • This may be seen as a disadvantage, but it does not really have any implications other than to rebuild the integrations when moving away from it to a new integration platform. The same holds true when moving away from other integration platforms available in the market.

Use of Solution

I have been using this product for seven months.

Stability Issues

No stability issues so far.

Scalability Issues

No scalability issues so far.

Customer Service and Technical Support

No experience yet with their customer service and technical support.

Previous Solutions

I used to work at a MuleSoft implementation partner. MuleSoft Anypoint Platform is used there for stage-event driven architectures (SEDA) for both ESB patterns, iPaaS, micro-services, and API management. Dell Boomi was added to the product stack in January, 2017.

Initial Setup

The initial setup was very straightforward and was as you would expect with a cloud platform and a service.

ROI

The ROI is that application integration is delivered much faster and efficiently than in a conventional approach. This the case with other integration platforms available in the market with similar capabilities

As a result, less FTE is involved during delivery and support. The time-to-market of new initiatives is greatly reduced and organizations are able to innovate and differentiate in the ever growing competitive and changing market.

As data and information is no longer ‘locked’ in systems of record and/or are no longer opened up by point-to-point integrations through which vendor lock-in increases, an organization using an integration platform such as Dell Boomi gains and takes control over their own data and information.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

The licensing model of Dell Boomi is based on a ‘pay-per-use’ model. I would advise an organization adopting Dell Boomi to make a clear plan on which integrations should be delivered, so that all needed investments are known up-front.

The technology type of integrations should also be taken into account when creating this complete overview for licensing, as well as the expected number of messages per interface/API.

If a company is replacing an existing integration platform, such as the ones that were available around 10 years ago, I would advise on migrating step-by-step to Boomi.

By doing this, all new integrations can be realized on Dell Boomi and existing connections can be migrated in time and when required (before license renewal of the former integration platform).

This would allow an organization to have the proper type of cost control in place, and would not require a ‘big bang’ approach for migrating to the new platform, while such an approach is still be possible and viable.

Other Advice

I worked at a Dell Boomi implementation partner. A large part of the in-house team of integration consultants who work with the customers have been certified upfront to guarantee a level of quality in delivery.

If an organization wants to implement and support the integration platform with their own development staff, I would advise them to partner up with a Dell Boomi partner for best practices and to receive training.

When selecting a vendor team, my advice would be to have a formal RFI/RFP and to have a Proof of Concept (PoC) in place for the short list based on customer specific use cases.

Secondly, I would base a final decision/selection on the ‘organizational fit’ between the organization in question and a possible implementation partner. How much the partner can unburden an organization in this field, as the partner chosen should be the expert, is also important. Not only is qualitative and on-time delivery key, but also support.

Additionally, I would look for a partner with a proven track record of support.

In both cases, on-site reference visits can help to get additional insight in the product and a possible implementation partner.

Besides the advice on partnering up with an official Dell Boomi partner, it is good to know that by using the very visual and mature IDE, non-IT minded and skilled people can also learn the platform rather quickly.

We have several integration trainees who are on-boarding the platform and have no knowledge, background, nor experience in IT. This seems in line with, and a confirmation of, the ‘citizen developer’ idea.

The platform is offered standard as an iPaaS on the Dell cloud platform. I am not aware enough of the capabilities of this cloud platform. Considering AWS as an option for a private cloud for hosting seems logical.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I worked at a Dell Boomi implementation partner in the past and I went independent/self-employed in 2017. I give independent advice and support in the adoption of strategic technologies, and these include among other iPaaS offerings such as Dell Boomi.

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