Flowgear, the agile cloud integration platform, provides EventBooking.com with the tools to integrate its application suite with different external customer systems.
EventBooking.com, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendor who specialize in online booking and venue management for over 900 venues, had a business challenge – how to integrate their third generation online booking and venue management product with multiple outside systems. To solve this business challenge, CTO Rob Scott had to address three technical challenges.
- 1. Have integrations built by a specialized team outside of their core development team.
- 2. Make sure the amount of custom code was kept to a minimum.
- 3. Select an integration solution that didn’t require a significant infrastructure investment.
The evaluation process
When Scott started doing research on different integration options, he came across the concept of iPaaS. This is a technology solution described by Gartner as “a suite of cloud services enabling development, execution and governance of integration flows connecting any combination of on premises and cloud-based processes, services, applications and data within individual or across multiple organizations.”
Over a period of several months Scott evaluated 10 solution vendors. “We were looking for a tool that was not only developer friendly, but also allowed us to start on a low budget while we tested and proved the concept.”
Flowgear met the criteria and was chosen as the tool to pilot the integration project. As the pilot progressed, Flowgear was able to provide other connectors that EventBooking.com needed, such as Amazon’s S3 storage service and Simple Queue Service (SQS). “It also helped that Flowgear is .NET-based as that is the development platform we use; while we can develop in Java, it would add a lot of friction to our process,” commented Scott.
The integration project
Because this was new technology, the integration team started with a proof-of-concept to get comfortable with the integration solution. Flowgear’s customer support ensured they were able to resolve questions and issues quickly, and so the solution was extended. The integration workflows now in production include:
- integrations on behalf of clients,
- integrations of internal applications via the company’s own API,
- integrations that provide message queuing via Amazon SQS.
Using the Flowgear integration platform has removed the problems that do-it-yourself custom code brings. Flowgear’s built-in connectors, or nodes, makes integration a lot easier, for example, for integrating with Salesforce.com. “When we really need to, we can still write custom code which is embedded in the Flowgear Script node,” said Scott.
The initial plan to have a specialized integration team has proved itself, as it can focus on integrations separately from core system issues. This has allowed the team to deploy various integrations solutions – APIs purely for internal use, as well as separate third party integrations, including integrating with systems of large convention centers. Flowgear has enabled the team to build event-driven tasks for internal and external apps, and to implement improved fault tolerance of online systems by integrating with the message queuing service of Amazon SQS.
For the power users in the business, the integration team has created APIs that let these ‘citizen integrators’ do their own data access without needing help from the IT team.
From a business perspective, EventBooking.com’s integration capability is now a selling point to customers, as the Flowgear platform provides a powerful integration framework to handle any kind of integration. It also gives the company the opportunity to provide broader integration services to customers.
“Flowgear has given EventBooking.com the ability to do a lot more than we could do before,” said Rob Scott.