What is iPaaS?

Integration platform as a service (iPaaS) is a hosted service offering in which a third-party provider delivers infrastructure and middleware to manage, develop and integrate data and applications. Think of iPaaS as a cloud-friendly alternative to traditional forms of data integration: you can bring together on-premises and cloud-based applications and data to create a single source of trusted data with less effort and expense.

iPaaS offers a fully managed service with continuous, automatic system updates in the cloud and eliminates the need of manual upgrades and maintenance of software. In today's multi-cloud world, data-driven organizations need a robust iPaaS that can support any type of users, any data, and any integration pattern for maximum flexibility and scalability.

What is Driving iPaaS Adoption?

Cloud is changing the way we conduct business—and it’s driving the need for iPaaS as a way to bring together distributed resources and systems in an intelligent, flexible manner.

Cloud provides scale, cost, and elasticity benefits that accelerate business agility: you can scale services on demand to support fluctuating workloads and changing demands without worrying about infrastructure costs or maintenance. Cloud also offers policies and technologies that strengthen security and help to protect data, apps, and infrastructure from potential threats.

As organizations invest in cloud computing, they are also embracing software as a service (SaaS) , platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offerings. Environments may now include SaaS applications such as Salesforce, NetSuite, Workday, and Marketo; public clouds such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud; and PaaS to modernize data warehouses, data lakes, and analytics.

The growing challenge of cloud integration—and multi-cloud integration

All of these services (and opportunities) mean cloud integration and data management challenges have become even more important to the cloud journey. Data is now spread across far more locations, and new data types are emerging every day. Integration capabilities should be expanded to users who are not typical developers via self-service—so you can manage and address new use cases such as cloud data warehousing, application integration, partner data exchange, and others in an agile way.

You must manage cloud integration and multi-cloud environments if you want to be able to scale, store, and analyze all of your data, regardless of its location. You need a mature integration solution with a framework robust and secure enough to support modern, sophisticated use cases. You need a next-generation iPaaS.

Why iPaaS?

iPaaS allows organizations to rapidly improve the quality of data integration—providing greater reuse of data and greater consistency of data across the organization—with little effort, as the service provider does the work of configuration, deployment, and optimization.

With an iPaaS solution, you need not worry about managing and maintaining the software—it will be fully managed with system updates in the cloud that will address a broad range of use cases and multiple integration patterns.

iPaaS use cases powered by AI and machine learning automation

A next-generation iPaaS has the breadth and depth of integration, management, and connectivity capabilities to address a broad set of integration use cases. Adding AI and machine-learning helps drive automation and greater efficiency

Evaluating iPaaS Vendors and Solutions? Look for these Key iPaaS Features

  • Cloud data integration. Automate and speed up your workloads to cloud data warehouses with out-of-the-box solution templates tailored for cloud data warehouses like Amazon Redshift, Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Google BigQuery, and Snowflake.
  • Cloud application integration. Integrate data sources in real time with intelligent business processes that span cloud and on-premises applications (e.g., Salesforce, NetSuite, Marketo, SAP).
  • Partner integration and EDI. Exchange data and electronic messages with business partners using a cloud B2B gateway.
  • Cloud integration hub. Streamline the data integration architecture by replacing it with a simple publish and subscribe architecture, where data sources only publish data once for all subscribers. Subscribers receive the data in the format and time frame they require.
  • Cloud data quality. Protect data, discover data quality issues, and build and run data-quality rules to correct issues on an ongoing basis. This ensures the delivery of trusted data for decision making and key business processes.
  • Cloud master data management. Provide a 360-degree view of data about key business entities (e.g., customer, supplier, partner) from multiple internal and external data source systems.
  • Cloud data security. Identify sensitive data quickly and protect it to comply with regulations and data security policies.
  • Microservices-based architecture. Enable a unified user experience with a modular microservices architecture that’s customizable and easy to navigate.
  • Powered by machine learning and AI. Automate and accelerate integration and data management with artificial intelligence and machine learning recommendations.
  • Expansive use cases. Ensure support for new and unique integration patterns so you can quickly address emerging challenges and use cases.

iPaaS Examples

A well-designed, next-gen iPaaS has the robust scalability and cloud integration capabilities you need to deliver trusted, reliable data across your organization. Here are some examples of how iPaaS can help you address and solve integration challenges that may be holding back your business.

Challenge: I need to integrate data from multiple sources and locations

With the growing and ever-changing number of data sources, manual, complex, and siloed approaches to integrating data and applications can prevent companies from developing and launching hypercompetitive products and services. An iPaaS enables you to efficiently connect hundreds of applications and data sources across on-premises and cloud. Best-of-breed iPaaS products provide easy-to-use drag-and-drop interfaces that eliminate complex coding. Users can quickly build integrations (i.e., data mappings) using the streamlined interfaces as well as preconfigured templates and prebuilt mapping templates.

iPaaS advantage: Comprehensive data integration for cloud data warehousing

Agile analytics initiatives are key to fueling informed business decisions and competitive advantage. To that end, cloud data warehouses present a flexible and scalable option when building new data warehouses or migrating and extending existing data warehouses to the cloud. An iPaaS helps streamline and simplify the effort required to gather data across different sources and deliver it to the required cloud data warehouse.

iPaaS and Amazon Redshift: Enterprises are leveraging iPaaS to modernize their data warehouse on Amazon Redshift by moving data from a wide array of on-premise and cloud sources in an efficient way. Learn more about Informatica for Amazon Redshift.

iPaaS and Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse: Out-of-the-box iPaaS connectors should enable you to rapidly unleash data from across your entire environment and push it into Azure SQL Data Warehouse for business insights, offering a complete end-to-end business process. Learn more about Informatica for Microsoft Azure.

iPaaS and Google BigQuery Enterprise Data Warehouse: To fully realize the benefits of Google BigQuery enterprise data warehouse, you must load with trustworthy, integrated, relevant, and timely data from all your cloud and on-premises systems. A modern iPaaS can help make the process more streamlined and efficient. Learn more about Informatica for Google BigQuery and Google Cloud.


Challenge: I need to better manage my APIs and improve application integration

With the shift to cloud, companies are developing a combined application integration and data integration strategy that considers how on-premises and cloud applications and data services co-exist. A next-gen iPaaS supports these efforts with API management and application integration capabilities ranging from event processing and service orchestration to process management.

iPaaS advantage: Broad application integration capabilities

Today’s IT landscape is a complex tapestry of interrelated applications, from CRM to ERP and beyond. Organizations must bridge these applications so they can easily share data.

Unlike traditional ESB-based solutions, a true iPaaS manages the state of orchestrations and business processes for your system-to-system interactions, whether they are synchronous, asynchronous, long-running, or short-running. An iPaaS makes it easier to define and operate the sophisticated and truly reliable business processes and integrations that give you a competitive advantage.

iPaaS and Salesforce integration

Salesforce is now a mission-critical tool for many organizations—and as its feature set expands to cater to more users and more data sources, so does the complexity of the data involved. An iPaaS helps you integrate Salesforce with other applications and better manage data complexity. 

For example: You may need to have your Salesforce leads’ opt-out information shared with your marketing automation system. Aspects of your sales opportunity need to be shared with your CPQ system to build and send out a proper quote to a prospect. After an opportunity is closed, you may need to know inventory information in order to pull a product from the warehouse, pack it up, and tag it for shipping. Your accounting system should then know when your new customer should be sent an invoice to pay for this item. iPaaS enables these complex interactions between Salesforce and other systems to occur swiftly and accurately. It intelligently integrates and manages the disparate data sources and applications involved, ensuring consistent delivery of reliable data and giving you better insight into what information needs to be in which location at each step of a business process—and how often it needs to be updated.

iPaaS advantage: API management

Application programming interfaces (APIs) are the binding agent for applications and services. API integration is rapidly growing as a pattern for integrating applications in near-real time. A modern iPaaS with API management capabilities enables you to develop, publish, manage, monitor, deprecate, and consume APIs to orchestrate business processes that span multiple clouds and on-premises systems within and outside their firewalls.

2021 Gartner MQ: What Does iPaaS Success Look Like?

Gartner Names Informatica an iPaaS Leader for 8th Year

In the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise iPaaS, Informatica is positioned furthest for Completeness of Vision and highest in Ability to Execute.

With support for any integration pattern, any user (no scripts or code required), and any data (from any source: on-premises and multi-cloud), Informatica’s next-generation iPaaS accelerates your cloud journey. And it’s the first iPaaS to leverage an intelligent data catalog.

An industry-leading and innovative iPaaS solution is one part of a successful data management strategy. For success in the cloud, you need modern, cloud-first data integration solutions and intelligent metadata management powered by AI and machine learning.

See why Gartner has named us a Leader for all three pillars of a modern integration platform:

  • 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise iPaaS¹
  • 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Integration Tools²
  • 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Metadata Management Solutions³

Download the reports today to see for yourself which vendors have a comprehensive, modern integration platform and are best suited to work with you on your digital transformation goals.

iPaaS Resources

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

¹ Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service, Eric Thoo, Keith Guttridge, Bindi Bhullar, Shameen Pillai, Abhishek Singh, September 29, 2021.
² Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Integration Tools, Ehtisham Zaidi, Robert Thanaraj, Eric Thoo, Sharat Menon, Nina Showell, August 25, 2021.
³ Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Metadata Management Solutions, Guido De Simoni, Mark Beyer, Ankush Jain, Alan Dayley, 11 November 2020.

Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service was known as “Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service, Worldwide in 2015 and 2016