Jitterbit Unveils New Version of Integration Tool
January 15, 2013 Alex Woodie
Today marks the general availability of Jitterbit 5, a new version of the data and application integration toolset from commercial open source software vendor Jitterbit. The company says Version 5 will make it easier for customers to build, test, and deploy integration processes that connect front- and back-office applications, including popular ERP systems and cloud services.
Jitterbit is a data and application integration tool that’s been used by more than 20,000 customers, according to the company. The product started out as an open source product in 2005, but in 2011 the Oakland, California, company moved away from its open source roots in favor of a proprietary commercial license.
What hasn’t changed is Jitterbit’s focus on providing a simple and easy-to-use tool for a variety of data and application integration tasks. The product includes two main components, including a graphical design tool for defining integration workloads, and a runtime component that executes the integration workload.
Jitterbit has been used extensively in Salesforce.com environments, where it is the default integration tool. Andrew Leigh, who left Salesforce.com four months ago to become the vice president of products for Jitterbit, says 80 to 90 percent of Jitterbit installations are used to move data between front-office applications such as CRM, and back-office applications like ERP. For many packaged apps, Jitterbit develops “Jitterpacks” that utilize the application’s native APIs. For other applications, it uses a mix of common protocols to move the data and touch the application, including ODBC/JDBC, FTP, HTTP/HTTPS, SMB file shares, POP3, SMTP, SOAP, JMS, LDAP, and now with version 5, REST.
Leigh describes Jitterbit as an “integration solution for modern architectures. “If I’m an enterprise architect or CIO, I’m not just orchestrating processes behind a firewall. I have to integrate it and tie it in with all the new cloud services like Salesforce and Workday, and now I have to deal with a whole new set of technologies coming through the mobile and social world. [Jitterbit] is all about allowing enterprise architects and CIOs to be able to synchronize those three fundamental technologies.”
“We’re trying to do this in a way that’s much different than a traditional middleware or ESB [enterprise service bus] solutions that were very popular a decade ago,” Leigh says. “I’ve talked to hundreds of CIOs and enterprise architects over the last 10 years, and what they say is, I need to be able to do it in days. It’s all about time-to-value. We believe that Jitterbit provides by far the fastest way to integrate modern endpoints than anything else now on the marketplace.”
Jitterbit is complementary at the high end of the integration space, and displaces a range of products at lower end. To that end, it competes with the likes of open source integration tool vendors Talend and XAware, and, before IBM bought it, Cast Iron Systems. It also competes with ETL tool makers, owing to Jitterbit’s use as a “lightweight ETL” tool, according to Leigh.
The product doesn’t really cater to the big enterprises that will use the big ESB architectures of TIBCO or Software AG‘s webMethods. Leigh likens the ESBs to the big SUVs that were very popular last decade. “What CIOs and enterprise architects need today is the simple economical car to buy a loaf of bread at the grocery store,” he says.
Jitterbit version 5 introduces a new wizard that the company claims allows non-technical people to develop integrations in a completely graphical environment, without having to write a single line of code. It also unveils a new REST API that will streamline connections to the latest social media applications, including Facebook, Twitter, and Chatter. It also brings new Jitterpaks that deliver pre-defined connections to SAP‘s Business Suite, to Microsoft Dynamics GP and Navision ERP systems, and a new Salesforce.com Jitterpak that speeds connectivity by up to a factor of 10.
The company doesn’t offer a Jitterpak for IBM i, but that hasn’t stopped customers from using the product with IBM’s midrange server. The forums on Jitterbit’s website are filled with customers utilizing Jitterbit to pull data out of DB2/400 via IBM’s Client Access ODBC drivers. JD Edwards is also a popular data source among Jitterbit customers.
Jitterbit is available as an on-premise integration server, or delivered as a cloud integration service hosted by the company. The software runs on Windows and Linux servers, and requires JRE version 6 or higher. Pricing starts at $800 per month for the standard edition that can connect to two applications, but customers who want the new wizard will need to choose the professional edition, which goes for $2,000 per month and can connect to four applications. The enterprise edition costs $4,000 per month and supports an unlimited number of application connections. For more info, see www.jitterbit.com.