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        Matt Aslett's Analyst Perspectives

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        Boomi Offers Innovation in API and AI

        I previously wrote about the potential for generative artificial intelligence technology to enhance the integration sector by facilitating outcome-driven approaches for automatically generating integration pipelines in response to declared business requirements. The use of GenAI in data and application integration remains nascent, but multiple software providers are embracing the potential for GenAI to improve the productivity of integration experts and facilitate self-service integration by non-experts.

        Boomi is a prime example. The provider used its recent Boomi World customer event to announce a family of AI agents to enhance the creation and management of integration2024_Ventana_Research_Analytics_and_Data_Coverage_Logo processes and pipelines through automation and recommendations. Boomi also announced two acquisitions to boost its application programming interface management business as well as plans to expand its approach to data management.

        Boomi, founded in 2000, was one of several vendors to offer cloud-based platform integration as a more flexible, low-code approach to application and data integration than more traditional on-premises tools. Acquired by Dell in 2010, Boomi became independent again in May 2021, backed by investment firms Francisco Partners and TPG Capital in a deal valued at $4 billion. Boomi boasts more than 20,000 customers and, since late 2022, has been led by CEO Steve Lucas.

        While there are distinct use cases for the provider’s integration, automation, management and data management capabilities, the tools are delivered via a single offering. Boomi Enterprise Platform provides a single, unified interface for accessing a composable set of functionality to address data and application integration, event stream integration, master data management, API management, EDI management and workflow automation.

        Boomi Enterprise Platform is a cloud-based managed service with a distributed runtime architecture that supports execution in the cloud as well as on-premises, providing users with a choice of deployment options. The runtime can be hosted by Boomi in the public cloud or by the customer with a preferred cloud provider, proprietary data center or edge infrastructure. Boomi Enterprise Platform also incorporates Event Streams for hosted and managed message queuing and streaming service as well as Flow for low-code development of applications with workflow automation and B2B/EDI Management for integration with trading partners using electronic data interchange.

        While Boomi remains best known for its cloud platform capabilities, the provider is taking steps to enhance its data management and API management capabilities through a combination of internal development and acquisitions. Enhanced API management was one of two primary areas of focus at Boomi World 2024, with the company announcing two acquisitions: the API control plane business of APIIDA and API management assets from Cloud Software Group. The former APIIDA API Control Plane provides Boomi with a vendor-neutral environment for managing the life cycle of APIs, including portals targeted specifically at the requirements of API developers and administrators. The API management assets include the former Mashery products acquired by TIBCO in 2015, long before TIBCO’s combination with Citrix formed Cloud Software Group. These provide Boomi with greater scalability and enhanced API gateway capabilities.

        The other primary focus of announcements at Boomi World was AI, with the provider introducing the Boomi AI agent framework to provide integration and no-code development functionality designed to enable IT and Ventana_Research_2024_Assertion_DataIntel_Data_Man_Automation_51_Sbusiness users to run AI agents to improve integration and automation. I assert that through 2026, more than three-quarters of enterprises’ data management processes will be enhanced with AI and ML to increase automation, accuracy, agility and speed.

        The Boomi AI agent framework enables customers to build and run proprietary AI agents as well as AI agents developed by Boomi and Boomi partners. Customers can integrate third-party AI agents via APIs or Boomi GPT, which was introduced in October 2023 to automate the development of integrations, APIs and master data models based on a combination of natural language prompts, generative AI models and the provider’s knowledge base developed from more than 200 million customer integration projects.

        At Boomi World, the company also introduced four new Boomi AI Agents built into the Boomi Enterprise Platform: Boomi Answers for providing prescriptive help based on the company’s knowledge base; Boomi DesignGen for automated development of integration processes; Boomi Scribe for automatic documentation of integration processes; and Boomi DataDetective for automatically classifying and tracking sensitive data including personally identifiable information. Boomi also announced the first AI agent developed by a Boomi partner—Boomi FinTalk powered by Vianai—which provides a natural language interface for querying financial data in enterprise applications, databases and documents. More recently, the company also added Boomi Pathfinder, which provides automated suggestions to improve integration process development, including automated data mapping and error resolution.

        The knowledge base to ensure these agents are supported by validated and trusted data is provided by Boomi DataHub, which is the provider’s new platform for expanding its reach into data management. In addition to the master data management capabilities currently offered via Master Data Hub, the new Boomi DataHub will also incorporate data catalog and data integration functionality that Boomi acquired with Unifi Software in 2020. Boomi also announced its intention to expand the capabilities offered via Boomi DataHub to include data movement via extract, transform and load and extract, load and transform pipelines as well as data standardization functionality to support AI and analytics initiatives.

        Boomi is best known for its integration capabilities, but the investment in API management, data management and AI agents illustrates that the provider is in the process of expanding its capabilities to address a wider range of data intelligence requirements. The company’s data management capabilities are less mature compared to its integration and API management functionality, but nevertheless, I recommend that enterprises evaluating potential providers for integration and automation, API management and data management include Boomi in the evaluations.

        Regards,

        Matt Aslett

        Authors:

        Matt Aslett
        Director of Research, Analytics and Data

        Matt Aslett leads the software research and advisory for Analytics and Data at Ventana Research, now part of ISG, covering software that improves the utilization and value of information. His focus areas of expertise and market coverage include analytics, data intelligence, data operations, data platforms, and streaming and events.

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