IBM B2B Integrator Overview

IBM B2B Integrator is the #4 ranked solution in our list of top Business-to-Business Middleware tools. It is most often compared to Mule ESB: IBM B2B Integrator vs Mule ESB

What is IBM B2B Integrator?

IBM B2B Integrator helps you securely integrate complex B2B processes with your partner communities. It provides a single, flexible B2B gateway that enables your organization to meet a wide range of B2B integration needs. The solution can improve business processes beyond enterprise boundaries and increase visibility into and across supply and demand chains.

IBM B2B Integrator is also known as IBM Sterling B2B Integrator, Sterling Gentran Integration Suite.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Business-to-Business Middleware Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: June 2021

IBM B2B Integrator Customers

Bonnie Plants, Toshiba Europe, Florida Hospital

IBM B2B Integrator Video

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AP
Solutions Architect at Capgemini
Consultant
Out-of-box process orchestration yields quick implementations

What is our primary use case?

* Partner onboarding * In-house application * Enterprise integration * B2B EDI enabling * Single point integration solution

Pros and Cons

  • "This solution allows for easy integration with heterogeneous applications."
  • "Out-of-box process orchestration yields quick implementations."
  • "Map translator needs more enhancements."
  • "End-to-end visibility and monitoring application required. The control center is available and covers this area, but it still fails in many monitoring scenarios."
  • "API-Fication required, and there should be more clarity on their cloud migration strategy."
Dev Manager at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It is easy of use and it's easy to maintain. It's also faster to on-board partners.

Pros and Cons

  • "It is easy of use and it's easy to maintain. It's also faster to on-board partners."
  • "There should be a single place to do things, rather than making it complicated, not moving away and truncating the old features but instead coming up with the new and still keeping the old stuff confuses people sometimes."

What other advice do I have?

Whatever industry or company, it doesn't matter. Depending on their need, Sterling Integrator is still a big framework for anyone who is looking to integrate their backend applications which are in legacy mode today, and their point to point applications. If they really want to have this type of application, well it's scalable and Sterling Integrator is still the solution. I have been a speaker here for Sterling Integrator, and I think IBM already has at least four or five prospects here. They're talking to me to understand how we did at ABC. So I'm helping them to get to us. It's one of the…
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Network Manager at Garanti Bank
Consultant
The business processes are the most valuable features.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend it.
President and CEO at a tech vendor with 11-50 employees
Vendor
The extendability is an important feature, which we need.

What other advice do I have?

Get a Sterling expert. Without that, the product might not be successful.
Manager of Enterprise Architecture at PSCU
Vendor
We use it to move data files back and forth in a secure fashion.

What other advice do I have?

You have to look at a lot of factors such as: * Scalability * High availability * Disaster recovery * Usability * Performance Just do your homework. That's all it boils down to. Every vendor and every customer is going to be different, depending on their host system.
Solutions Architect
Vendor
We benefit from the out-of-the-box capabilities of IBM's healthcare package, including an option to customize the maps.

What other advice do I have?

If they are looking for a B2Bi solution, and I'm assuming that solution also will leverage some of the cognitive strengths of Watson, it's an awesome B2Bi solution. If anybody has a B2Bi business case, this is definitely one of the solutions, a mature solution in the market that they can consider.
Principal IT Program Analyst at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Provides business processors and service-assigned adapters.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend others to go with this solution. You can learn and invest in the future rather than selecting a solution in which you do not know if it's going to last for long.
CEO at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Has business process orchestration around the inbound and outbound transactions. There have been a couple of issues in terms of scalability and high availability.
Senior Account Executive at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Consultant
It's a suite of communication protocols, offerings, data transformation and back-end application integration.

What other advice do I have?

Try to reach out in the network of users via LinkedIn, or at an IBM conference. Get the feedback from other clients that use the solution and see if it's a fit, and what challenges it can meet for them.
Consultant at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
It has a number of different components that can fit together. Visibility would probably be the most important improvement.

What other advice do I have?

Be careful with the visibility. I think they are going in the right direction in a lot of things. Depending on the transformation that you need, we've got that built-in to the Sterling B2B product, which is good for basic transformation and mapping, but anything advanced would probably need Transformation Extender. When selecting a vendor, I look for company stability and the direction of the product. I know a lot of tools in this area have kind of been around for a long time and they didn't really change that much. IBM has done a lot to modernize it a fair bit, so it's been a pretty important…
B2B Manager at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
We previously used Gentran NT. We moved over to Sterling Integrator and we're happy with the translation part of it.

What other advice do I have?

I would say make sure that they really have a high volume, a number of partners and transactions to justify the cost of putting BDBI in. Maybe if they're a smaller shop or there is some other translation software they might want to go with or going on the Cloud might be another option for a smaller company. Our size is very large and we have 12 people in our BDBI team right now that support the EDI and communications.
NR
Solution Architect at O.C. Tanner
Real User
The file gateway allows us to build out custom protocols for use cases such as FTP, SFTP, and S2.

What other advice do I have?

It can do everything. Now that IBM is acquiring the ITX/ WTX, it's going to be a next generation tool. As long you add some capabilities to it, it's going to be good solution. You should go for it!
Software Engineer at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The EDI conversion is the only thing I like about it. The mapping and stability need to be improved.

What other advice do I have?

Test it thoroughly, not just carry out surface-level testing. Make sure the business logic works as to how you're going to store the data, how much data you will need, how slow it's going to be, i.e., once you've stored the data against it and so on.
Integration Techinical Lead at a logistics company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
One of the Powerfull & stable tool out there to handle B2B

What other advice do I have?

This is a good tool for a person who already understands the B2B concepts. You will have to build the base framework first and then start onboarding customer interfaces otherwise you will end up with too many customer interface to handle down the line.
VV
Applications Integration Analyst at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
It is flexible, with the ability to integrate across various enterprise systems.

What other advice do I have?

The solution is very good for the traditional integration scenarios, such as point-to-point integrations. When you're looking to take the technology to the cutting edge, new age, digital, 21st-century, omni-channel kind of scenario, it still doesn’t make the cut. When selecting a vendor, the most important factor is obviously the company size. This plays a role in the market. We go by the Gartner market leader recommendation. Anything on Gartner gets our "eyeballs."
Director of Application Development at a transportation company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Vendor
From the scalability standpoint, not having to do upgrades is a valuable feature.

What other advice do I have?

Probably you just need to make sure, as you go through your contract, that your SLAs are accounted properly and you know what to expect with any potential downtime.
Integration Architect at Delphi
Vendor
For managed file transfer, you can isolate a source system and a target system. It should integrate better with other IBM products.

What other advice do I have?

If you are looking at the solution as a managed file transfer tool, it does the job. There are probably similar products out there, just from an MFT perspective. Sterling has integrated itself as a B2B platform. This is excellent, because it has many capabilities that we are not using currently. It is a full replacement for EDI, but we're not using it currently. I know that the product is very capable. IBM needs to integrate it better into their portfolio of other products in order to make it work better. I would recommend it, but be careful because it is complex and there are gaps in…
JM
Subject Matter Expert at HCL
Consultant
It has a number of different components that can fit together so you can use it partially or fully.

What other advice do I have?

I would say to be careful with the visibility. I think they're going in the right direction in a lot of ways, depending on the transformation that you need. We've got a built-in to the Sterling B2B product, which is good for basic transformation and mapping, but anything advanced would probably require something superior.
Infrastructure Engineer at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
The number of self-service options and the transaction transparency are valuable features.

What other advice do I have?

We actually have several meetings with other colleagues at other companies who want to implement this solution and we tell them some of our pain points, some of our success stories and overall that it's the right move if the company can afford it, because I know that IBM is not always the cheapest. But it is worth the investment to have a product that is the best in the market, and overall more stable and more scalable. My rating reflects that there's a lot more work to do. Still, compared to other products, our legacy platform, it still outperforms them.
Senior B2B Professional at Sea Level Solutions
Consultant
Versatile product and easily transportable.

What other advice do I have?

I rated it a nine because there is always a little bit of room for improvement. I would advise colleagues to find a way to be able to utilize this product because it would give them everything they need and then some because it's just it's a very versatile product.
System Engineer at First Citizens
Vendor
I like the ability to customize it, manage partners, and manipulate the files.

What other advice do I have?

I would give them basic information about how to set it up to make sure that it runs efficiently. I would give them performance advice, as well as configuration advice on how to deal with partners, bringing files in and sending files out.
Integration Architect at a pharma/biotech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Supports communication protocols such as FTPS.

What other advice do I have?

It's a case-by-case basis, so advice depends on what your needs are and what you're looking for. But if you're looking for something like data transmission and transformations, then yes, this is an ideal solution. But, if you're looking for large file transfers, then Sterling B2B is not the one. Another IBM product like Aspera is the right one. It totally depends on upon what kind of use cases you are trying to handle.
VP at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Provides a single point of visibility for all the transfers that we conduct within our bank.

What other advice do I have?

It's great. Build your team, because you would need constant administration of this gateway. Even though when I say it's not complex, you need a dedicated admin to take care of your investment, i.e., if it's going to be a big gateway for your organization. But apart from that, once you have it, it is automated on its own.
JB
Director at LFL Corp
Real User
It is simple and extensible. It hasn't given us any grief in terms of downtime.

What other advice do I have?

Plan your requirements, understand what it is you're trying to accomplish, or where you want to go, and then fit the solution to that. Don't try to figure things out first, or just build solutions.
B2Bi EDI/MFT Technical Lead at Bridgestone america
Vendor
We can move data between different platforms, transform it from one format to another, and do encryption and decryption.

What other advice do I have?

Really look at what your business needs are and make sure that your business needs and the tool that you are purchasing fits those needs. Just because you've used it in the past, just because you know somebody who's used it in the past, doesn't mean it's a good solution for you. It has to be something that fits the business needs. Where's your business going? What are your future needs? You have to think out of the box. You can't stay in the box in this environment because it is constantly growing and evolving.
Engineer at First Citizens Bank
Vendor
The business gets all the files for whatever transfers we do and gets them securely.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend this product. Make sure that you always have the IBM support because being a big product, when getting exposed to the outside world all the time, it has a lot of vulnerabilities that come with it. It's a great product and should go for it. It will make money for your bank. The most important criteria while selecting a vendor are costs and stability.