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Topics and trends related to the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Program & Oracle Cloud product strategy.

Empowering the Citizen Integrator

Gwen Surgeoner
Communications Manager

You may remember the emergence of end-user computing. IT had tremendous application backlogs and they weren’t being responsive to Line of Business (LOB) needs. First came 4GL languages that allowed LOB users to create their own reports from databases. Next, came personal computers and the productivity tools like spreadsheets. In general, the trend has been toward supporting the do-it-yourself (DIY) business user. That trend is now visiting the application integration arena.

First There Was Citizen Developer
All along, Gartner has chronicled developments, made predictions and coined terms to describe the evolution of the DIY business user. Gartner first coined the term “citizen developer” as “a user who creates new business applications for consumption by others using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT.” They operate outside of IT and create new business applications either from scratch or by composition.

Gartner predicted in 2009 that these citizen developers would build 25 percent of all new business applications by 2014. Three trends appear to have nurtured the birth of the citizen developer and have fostered the current DIY trend in application integration:

  • Cloud computing is freeing application development from having to care and feed the required infrastructure.
  • Due to the consumerization of technology, end users are more technologically savvy and have more sophisticated requirements.
  • Tooling has become much more powerful and easier to use thus lowering the bar for application developers.

Enter the Citizen Integrator
As Gartner has sharpened its focus from general application development to integration platform as a service (iPaaS), Gartner’s Massimo Pezzini recently specialized the “citizen developer” term to coin a new term, “citizen integrator.” A citizen integrator is a citizen developer who is specifically focused on building integrations between existing applications. Here is how we profile a typical citizen integrator. He or she:

  • Is from the LOB, not IT;
  • Needs to react to business needs faster than IT can respond;
  • Maintains a solid understanding of business processes;
  • Has good data analysis skills, but isn’t necessarily formally trained in any traditional enterprise application integration (EAI) tools or technologies;
  • Understands specific capabilities and data objects of the applications that need to be integrated;
  • Is often confronted with integrating new cloud-based application investments with existing on-premise applications.

Oracle’s Integration Cloud Service
Oracle has been a leader in the service oriented architecture (SOA) space for many years. Oracle SOA Suite has been very well received and has topped the charts in many analyst reports. Recently, it brought the SOA technology to the cloud with Oracle SOA Cloud Service. Both Oracle SOA Suite and Oracle SOA Cloud Service are IT-focused products, but Oracle hasn’t rested on its laurels. It has aggressively taken what it has learned and created a new product called Oracle Integration Cloud Service (ICS) that is targeted for the citizen integrator.

Integration Cloud ServiceICS simplifies development of integrations between applications in the cloud and between applications in the cloud and on premise, all without needing to write code or install and manage infrastructure. As a subscriber of SaaS applications like Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle Marketing Cloud and Oracle Service Cloud, a citizen integrator has access to these applications through ICS. Using built-in adapters, ICS lets citizen integrators integrate applications in hours instead of months.

ICS helps citizen integrators along four fronts:

  • Connect: SaaS and web service adapters are available to accelerate integration with cloud-based and on-premise applications.
  • Design: Users enjoy an intuitive, web-based, visual designer to implement integration design patterns and map data flows without coding.
  • Monitor and Manage: ICS provides extensive visibility into auditing and error management information.
  • Pre-Builts: The Oracle Cloud Marketplace provides a host of pre-built integrations and adapters to extend the capabilities of their service.

The evolution of end-user computing to citizen development and to citizen integration will continue as business needs grow, users become more sophisticated and technology becomes even more powerful and easier to use. ICS is an excellent example of how Oracle is squarely focused on the citizen integrator. I encourage you to spend a few moments to explore quick product demos. These three will satisfy your curiosity in under seven minutes: Creating Connections, Creating Integrations and Mapping Data. You will be surprised at what a citizen integrator can quickly accomplish with ICS.

Cheers,

Tom Barrett
Oracle Director, Global Partner Enablement

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