Managed File Transfer vs. SOA: Round 2

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boxing glovesPart 2: The convergence of Managed File Transfer-as-a-Service and SOA for multi-enterprise integrations

In Part 1 of this post I discussed why managed file transfer thrives as an integration pattern in today’s highly regulated, multi-enterprise world, despite the growing use of transactional integration technologies like Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)/Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), service-oriented architecture (SOA) and enterprise service bus (ESB). Now I want to explore how companies are leveraging Managed File Transfer-as-a-Service as middleware in a range of emerging multi-enterprise use cases.

Recall from my Part 1 post that 60% of transactional data continues to be transferred in batch files, for reasons of cost and reliability—only 40% are individual transactions. This is the primary driver behind the trend towards integrating MFTaaS with transactional (low-latency) integration hubs and SaaS/PaaS applications, especially in scenarios where both systems and people are involved.

The following requirements characterize many of these converged/hybrid use cases:

  • The need to simplify and accelerate development, deployment and maintenance
  • The need to support large, batch and/or unstructured data types
  • The need to work across data formats and network protocols
  • The need for secure, guaranteed delivery of data on a scheduled, on-demand and/or event-driven basis

MFTaaS integration with SaaS apps and ESBs
As a case in point, Ipswitch MOVEit customers are increasingly integrating MOVEit with SaaS applications. A midsized software company recently integrated MOVEit with its Salesforce.com SaaS application. Its customers access tech support through a Salesforce.com portal, and use integrated MFT capabilities to securely transmit error/log files and other data.

Similarly, one large manufacturer uses a transactional (low latency) ESB to move small XML files, but relies on Ipswitch products to transfer (and reformat) large batch files where latency is less of an issue. Indeed, moving large files with MFT helps optimize the performance of the ESB so that near real-time transfer can be accomplished when required.

Partner/community integration with MFTaaS

MFTaaS integration is particularly advantageous where data is exchanged between a network or community of recipients outside the company. Existing infrastructure and protocols can be leveraged with no development required.

For example, a large healthcare information exchange (HIE) service provider uses MOVEit to enable its clients to securely transfer files within its healthcare PaaS solution. Another MOVEit customer is a large insurance company that exchanges data with its partners using secure, standards-based SFTP/HTTPs instead of web services.

Enterprise-wide management and control

The common denominator in all these cases is reduced complexity—and thus reduced cost—plus greater reliability of key processes. Leveraging MFTaaS where service-based solutions are in place can provide significant benefits at low cost, with rapid time-to-value.

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