By Zeb Mahmood, Principal of Product & Strategy
On the heels of our announcement of the SnapLogic Spring ’13 release, I wanted to showcase how the updates benefit the kinds of professionals that I?m sure you will recognize. They include:
?P? – the pipeline builder
P has less than 3 years of enterprise software tools experience. He uses SnapLogic to save time when building and maintaining integration pipelines using visual design tools.
?A? – the admin
A has over 10 years of hands-on sys admin / dev ops experience. He uses SnapLogic to reduce time spent on deploying, monitoring, and maintaining enterprise integrations.
?C? – the CIO
C may never directly use SnapLogic, but will always ask the tough questions: What is the ROI and TCO? He has multiple ETL/ESB/EAI tools. He is interested in SnapLogic because it fills functional gaps left open by the incumbent integration tools, and it provides tangible cost benefits.
If you were to visit SnapLogic?s new office in San Mateo, you?d see the user personas plastered on the walls. This helps everyone at SnapLogic know who the users are – the people we listen to closely when mapping out our product roadmap. The SnapLogic Spring ?13 release offers something for each of the user persona listed above.
New Snaps make P more productive. These include Snaps like Head and Tail that sample data from the start or the end of a data stream rather than having to digest the entire dataset. An Exit Snap provides more control over the behavior of sophisticated nested pipelines. Other updates include a CSV Parser Snap enhanced to validate file meta-data at run-time, and the Aggregate Snap makes in-memory data processing for large datasets super efficient. Over a dozen Snaps are either net new or have been enhanced in this release.
While the new and enhanced Snaps get P to be more agile in building pipelines, significant usability enhancements have also been made to the SnapLogic Designer to ensure that everything that P needs during the pipeline design / troubleshooting time are easily accessible. For example, all the server logs are separated into several functional buckets and exposed in a spreadsheet like tabular format that P can search, filter, and sort through.
All these enhancements make P more productive!
We?re seeing a lot of our customers expanding the use of SnapLogic within their enterprise. At times they are not building new pipelines, rather they are adding more data sources to existing pipelines. These new data sources are introducing new varieties/structures of data from very large text fields, to streaming binary data. To ease such enhancements, the new SnapLogic release provides support for database BLOBs/CLOBs, and enhances support for Snaps like FTP, HTTP, etc. to support binary data. It?s important to note that SnapLogic?s RESTful platform has always supported streaming data.
New updates for A include enhancements to the Management Console, the Server and the Sidekick (the on-premises connectivity). The Management Console updates include management and monitoring of a cluster of SnapLogic nodes in real-time. Other enhancements include pipeline execution history metrics, users/groups management, and status of SnapLogic Sever to Sidekick connectivity.
Generic Snaps like the File Reader, XML Writer, etc. are considered core Snaps and have been provided pre-installed with the SnapLogic Designer and Server. While endpoint specific Snaps like Salesforce.com and Birst are installed on an as-needed basis. With the new release, all Snaps, core or installable, are now decoupled from the Designer and the Server. This significantly lowers the overhead for SnapLogic upgrades. The best analogy for this is upgrading apps on your iPad versus upgrading iOS on your iPad. You may upgrade the apps once a week, but you upgrade iOS once year. Similarly P can upgrade the Snaps weekly, while A upgrades the SnapLogic platform once a year.
I?m trying to keep the blog short, but I can?t close without talking about the support for private SnapStores. The enhancement is in direct response to SnapLogic?s customers and consulting partners. Customers wanted a private SnapStore so that they can provide a self-service integration tool to business analysts that expose application data via Snaps. The consulting organizations asked for the capability to manage access to Snaps that they?ve built using the private SnapStore vs. having to list their Snaps on SnapLogic?s public marketplace.
Overall, better productivity from the P and greater control for A provides faster time to integration and cost savings benefits for C. Managing unstructured and streaming data allows for faster and better informed decisions for the business. Overall, the SnapLogic Spring ?13 release provides benefits from the top down, for every persona invested in the integration process.