Iris – Can you build an integration pipeline for me?

The promise of Artificial Intelligence technology is flourishing. From Amazon shopping recommendations, Facebook image recognition, and personal assistants like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa,  AI is becoming part of our everyday lives, whether we know it or not. These apps use information collected from your past requests to make predictions and deliver results that are tailored to your preferences. 

The importance of AI in today’s world is not lost upon us at SnapLogic. We are always trying to keep up with the latest innovations and technologies, so making our software fast, efficient, and automated for our customers has always been our goal. With the Spring release, SnapLogic launched the SnapLogic Integration Assistant. The SnapLogic Integration Assistant is a recommendation engine that uses Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to predict the next step in building a data pipeline for the cloud, analytics, and digital initiatives – with up to 90% accuracy.

Currently, customers build pipelines by searching and selecting from over 400 Snaps in the SnapLogic catalog and dragging and dropping them into the canvas. Repeating this step for every single Snap, although easy, can make a pipeline building process somewhat tedious and time-consuming. But with the Integration Assistant, the recommendation engine will provide the logical next steps in the building process, making pipeline building easy and efficient. The recommendation engine is a part of SnapLogic’s “Iris” technology – an industry-first in applying artificial intelligence for enterprise integration. See how it works in this video.

In the next few steps,  learn how to enable this feature and start building interactive pipelines yourself.

Right now, we have two ways of building pipelines:

  • Choose a Snap from the SnapLogic catalog
  • Use the Integration Assistant for recommending the right Snaps

How to enable the Integration Assistant feature

By default, the Integration Assistant option is turned off,  allowing you to continue building pipelines by selecting Snaps in the SnapLogic Catalog. However, to utilize the Integration Assistant, just head to the Settings icon and check the Integration Assistant option.

Once the Integration Assistant is enabled, you’ll immediately see the benefits of the self-guided user interface. Drag the first snap onto the canvas and the Integration Assistant instantly kicks in and highlights the next suitable Snap. At the same time, it also opens up another panel that lists suggested Snaps on the right-hand side of the canvas. These AI-driven Snap recommendations are based on the historical metadata from your previous workflows.

Next, you can choose to click the highlighted Snap or pick from the recommended list by dragging the suitable Snap into the canvas. This process continues further until you select a snap with a closed output. At this point, the Integration Assistant will stop suggesting Snaps and the pipeline will be ready for execution.

As you can see, the Integration Assistant improves your pipeline building experience by suggesting Snaps that are best fit for your organization based on the historical metadata flows.

Interested in learning more? Watch a quick demo on our YouTube channel – SnapLogic Spring 2017: Integration Assistant.”

Namita Prabhu is Senior QA Manager at SnapLogic.

Introducing SnapLogic Community

We are happy to announce that our new SnapLogic Community is live!

community-overview

Created by popular demand - it’s been running in alpha and beta for a few months – the community is a place where we encourage customers to ask questions about SnapLogic and share their expertise and best practices. Whether you’re looking for help or have tips or tricks, the goal is to provide a community that helps each other.

community-categories

  • Want assistance configuring a particular Snap? Post a question in the Snap Packs category.
  • Interested in sharing a pipeline you have found to be particularly useful? Write about it in the Designing Pipeline category.
  • Want to build your own Snap Pack? Go to the Developing Snaps category.

And yes, we are involved. SnapLogic developers, product managers, field teams, and others review the posts as they come in and when they are updated, but we will rely on the community to support each other.

How to get started

The SnapLogic community is currently for SnapLogic customers only. If you’re a customer with a verified customer email domain, it won’t take us long to approve you and grant you access. 

Go to https://community.snaplogic.com/ to request access. 

When approved, look out for an email with further instructions.

Once you’re approved and logged in, take a look at the content already provided by customers and SnapLogic employees who took part in the alpha and beta releases. Find something particularly useful? Go ahead and “Like” the post. Want to contribute to a thread or have a question? Please do! This community is for you. You will help drive the direction the community takes as it evolves. As your Community Manager, I will occasionally ask for suggestions for the site, but feel free to post ideas that you might have as they come up to the Community Info category.

We’re looking forward to growing this community. Sign up today and let us know what you think.

Request access at  https://community.snaplogic.com/.

Gaurav Dhillon on the BBC: “Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Passion”

Growing up in India, SnapLogic CEO Gaurav Dhillon was an avid listener of the BBC World Service, the preeminent international radio broadcasting giant based out of London. He wasn’t alone – since 1939, the BBC World Service has ruled the global airwaves, reaching hundreds of millions of people every week with its award-winning 24-hour news, reporting, and analysis.

So it was full-circle for Gaurav, when on a trip to London last week, he was invited by the BBC World Service to appear as a guest on its live global news radio program, ‘Business Matters.‘ Hosted by Roger Hearing, the hour-long show reviews the day’s global headlines and business news, with commentary throughout from live guests – this time including Gaurav and Marketplace reporter Nancy Marshall-Genzer.

After discussing the day’s news, the discussion turned to Gaurav and his storied career in technology. On the table for discussion: Gaurav’s upbringing in India, early influences that shaped his life’s ambitions, how he helped build Informatica from an idea into a billion dollar public company, why his burning desire to innovate and build great products led to his departure from Informatica and to the founding of SnapLogic, and his advice to aspiring entrepreneurs who want to make their mark and have an impact on our world.

You can listen to the full broadcast here. The focused 12-minute discussion with Gaurav starts around the 26:30 mark.

Spring 2017 Release: Self-driving integration, field cryptography, MS Dynamics 365 CRM and more

Today the Spring 2017 release is available and featuring artificial intelligence (AI) technology that promises to dramatically reduce the time and cost of cloud, analytics, and digital transformation initiatives. The first AI-powered feature is SnapLogic Integration Assistant, a recommendation engine that delivers expert step-by-step guidance to improve the speed and quality of building a data pipeline — with up to 90% accuracy. Integration Assistant is available to all of our customers starting today at no charge.

SnapLogic’s Spring 2017 release also introduces new and enhanced software that helps our customers jumpstart their CRM, HR, and cloud data warehousing projects. Finally, the release has added platform-wide features designed to save time and increase productivity.

New or enhanced capabilities in the Spring 2017 release include:

  • SnapLogic Integration Assistant: The SnapLogic Integration Assistant is a recommendation engine that uses machine learning to predict the next step in building a data pipeline for the cloud, analytics, and digital initiatives – with up to 90% accuracy. It is part of SnapLogic’s “Iris” technology – an industry first in applying artificial intelligence for enterprise integration. See how it works in this video.
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration: A new Snap Pack is available to help users create, read, and update records in the cloud and on-premises versions of Microsoft Dynamics. Also, users can delete a record based on account ID and also search with various filter options.
  • Workday integration: The Workday Read Snap now supports page number and page size and shows great performance improvements. The Workday Write Snap now supports bulk operations for many objects and has improved performance from hours and minutes to just seconds.
  • Confluent integration: The updated Confluent Acknowledge Snap greatly reduces potential data losses, eliminates duplicates, and externally acknowledges each message.
  • Enhanced Snaps for Amazon Redshift, Anaplan, Tableau, Apache Hive + Kerberos.
  • Field encryption and decryption: The Transform Snap Pack now includes new Snaps to encrypt and decrypt field values for sensitive data, or entire documents, providing a greater level of data security.
  • Platform enhancements: These updates save time and enhance productivity, including Snaplex restart; enhanced Asset Search with Snap labels; network statistics display to aid troubleshooting and performance optimization; and parameterizable accounts that make it easier to automate or dynamically assign environments in a development lifecycle.

SnapLogic is committed to continuous innovation and the features in the Spring 2017 release for the SnapLogic Enterprise Integration Cloud are examples of how we continue to make integrating data warehouses, applications, IoT, and big data streams faster, easier. and more powerful. To learn more, go to www.snaplogic.com/spring2017.

Will the Cloud Save Big Data?

This article was originally published on ITProPortal.

Employees up and down the value chain are eager to dive into big data, hunting for golden nuggets of intelligence to help them make smarter decisions, grow customer relationships and improve business efficiency. To do this, they’ve been faced with a dizzying array of technologies – from open source projects to commercial software products – as they try to wrestle big data to the ground.

Today, a lot of the headlines and momentum focus around some combination of Hadoop, Spark and Redshift – all of which can be springboards for big data work. It’s important to step back, though, and look at where we are in big data’s evolution.

In many ways, big data is in the midst of transition. Hadoop is hitting its pre-teen years, having launched in April 2006 as an official Apache project – and then taking the software world by storm as a framework for distributed storage and processing of data, based on commodity hardware. Apache Spark is now hitting its strides as a “lightning fast” streaming engine for large-scale data processing. And various cloud data warehousing and analytics platforms are emerging, from big names (Amazon Redshift, Microsoft Azure HDInsight and Google BigQuery) to upstart players like Snowflake, Qubole and Confluent.

The challenge is that most big data progress over the past decade has been limited to big companies with big engineering and data science teams. The systems are often complex, immature, hard to manage and change frequently – which might be fine if you’re in Silicon Valley, but doesn’t play well in the rest of the world. What if you’re a consumer goods company like Clorox, or a midsize bank in the Midwest, or a large telco in Australia? Can this be done without deploying 100 Java engineers who know the technology inside and out?

At the end of the day, most companies just want better data and faster answers – they don’t want the technology headaches that come along with it. Fortunately, the “mega trend” of big data is now colliding with another mega trend: cloud computing. While Hadoop and other big data platforms have been maturing slowly, the cloud ecosystem has been maturing more quickly – and the cloud can now help fix a lot of what has hindered big data’s progress.

The problems customers have encountered with on-premises Hadoop are often the same problems that were faced with on-premises legacy systems: there simply aren’t enough of the right people to get everything done. Companies want cutting-edge capabilities, but they don’t want to deal with bugs and broken integrations and rapidly changing versions. Plus, consumption models are changing – we want to consume data, storage and compute on demand. We don’t want to overbuy. We want access to infrastructure when and how we want it, with just as much as we need but more.

Big Data’s Tipping Point is in the Cloud

In short, the tipping point for big data is about to happen – and it will happen via the cloud. The first wave of “big data via the cloud” was simple: companies like Cloudera put their software on Amazon. But what’s “truly cloud” is not having to manage Hadoop or Spark – moving the complexity back into a hosted infrastructure, so someone else manages it for you. To that end, Amazon, Microsoft and Google now deliver “managed Hadoop” and “managed Spark” – you just worry about the data you have, the questions you have and the answers you want. No need to spin up a cluster, research new products or worry about version management. Just load your data and start processing.

There are three significant and not always obvious benefits to managing big data via the cloud: 1) Predictability – the infrastructure and management burden shifts to cloud providers, and you simply consume services that you can scale up or down as needed; 2) Economics – unlike on-premises Hadoop, where compute and storage were intermingled, the cloud separates compute and storage so you can provision accordingly and benefit from commodity economics; and 3) Innovation – new software, infrastructure and best practices will be deployed continuously by cloud providers, so you can take full advantage without all the upfront time and cost.

Of course, there’s still plenty of hard work to do, but it’s more focused on the data and the business, and not the infrastructure. The great news for mainstream customers (well beyond Silicon Valley) is that another mega-trend is kicking in to revolutionize data integration and data consumption – and that’s the move to self-service. Thanks to new tools and platforms, “self-service integration” is making it fast and easy to create automated data pipelines with no coding, and “self-service analytics” is making it easy for analysts and business users to manipulate data without IT intervention.

All told, these trends are driving a democratization of data that’s very exciting – and will drive significant impact across horizontal functions and vertical industries. Data is thus becoming a more fluid, dynamic and accessible resource for all organizations. IT no longer holds the keys to the kingdom – and developers no longer control the workflow. Just in the nick of time, too, as the volume and velocity of data from digital and social media, mobile tools and edge devices threaten to overwhelm us all. Once the full promise of the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning begins to take hold, the data overflow will be truly inundating.

The only remaining question: What do you want to do with your data?

Ravi Dharnikota is the Chief Enterprise Architect at SnapLogic. 

Gaurav Dhillon on Nathan Latka’s “The Top” Podcast

Popular podcast host Nathan Latka has a built a large following getting top CEOs, founders, and entrepreneurs to share strategies and tactics that set them up for business success. A data industry veteran and self-described “company-builder,” SnapLogic founder and CEO Gaurav Dhillon was recently invited by Nathan to appear as a featured guest on “The Top.”

Nathan is known for his rapid-fire, straight-to-the-point questioning, and Gaurav was more than up to the challenge. In this episode, the two looked back at Gaurav’s founding of Informatica in the ’90s; how he took that company public and helped it grow to become a billion-plus dollar business; why he stepped away from Informatica and decided to start SnapLogic; how integration fuels digital business and why customers are demanding modern solutions like SnapLogic’s that are easy to use and built for the cloud; and how he’s building a fast-growing, innovative business that also has it’s feet on the ground.

The two also kept it fun, with Gaurav fielding Nathan’s “Famous Five” show-closing questions, including favorite book, most admired CEO, advice to your 20-year-old self, and more.

You can listen to the full podcast above or via the following links:

Case study: Connecting the dots at Box

“Data needs to be delivered to a user in the right place at the right time in the right volume.”

Spoken by veteran SnapLogic user Alan Leung, Senior Enterprise Systems Program Manager at Box, Alan provides insight in this case study for why a cloud-first ecosystem with self-service integration is the right solution for many enterprise companies. Just as Box is on a mission to improve and innovate cloud-based file storage, internally they have moved toward a cloud-centric infrastructure that benefits from a cloud-based integration platform.

connecting-the-dots-at-box

Read the full case study here or take a look at some highlights below:

  • Overall problem: Box needed to more efficiently integrate cloud-based applications, including Salesforce, Zuora, NetSuite, and Tableau, all of which they relied on for daily operations.
  • Challenges: The primary challenge was around APIs – each application’s endpoints for integration purposes behaved differently, limiting abilities to build useful connections quickly and resulting in a series of disjointed silos. Manual upload and download processes caused a strain on resources and a waste of time and effort.
  • Goal: To satisfy the need to aggregate the business data piling up in various applications into a cloud-based warehouse to enable self-service, predictive analytics.
  • Solution needed: A cloud-based integration platform that vastly reduced or eliminated the time-consuming manual processes the users faced.
  • Solution found: With the SnapLogic Elastic Integration Cloud, Alan and his team benefitted from:
    • A platform that did not require sophisticated technical skills
    • The agility to enable quick and efficient integration projects
    • The ability to handle both structured and unstructured data at speed
    • An enhanced ability to quickly analyze and make sense of so much data, allowing the company to “rapidly pivot [our] operations to seize opportunity across every aspects of the business.”

For a quick snapshot, Box currently has 23 applications connected through the platform, resulting in 170 data pipelines processing over 15 billion transactions daily. They also have eliminated the need to build a single interface internally; and an ongoing benefit of Box’s partnership with SnapLogic is that more Snaps are always being created and can be implemented for future integration needs.

Learn more about all of our customers here, and stay tuned for more customer stories.