The Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS: A technical integration service for major programs

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With a significant heritage in providing value-added services to clients migrating their infrastructure, platforms and application portfolios to cloud delivery models, it’s perhaps no surprise that Capgemini would look to create a Digital Integration Platform offering. What’s perhaps more of a surprise is the way this offering works.

Top takeaways

A Digital Integration Platform from an unexpected source

Capgemini provides a range of consulting, technology and outsourcing services to over 6,000 clients – employing around 190,000 people and operating in over 40 countries. For some years now, it’s been offering clients a portfolio of services to help them maximise the benefits and minimise the risks associated with cloud platform adoption.

With this background in providing value-added services to clients migrating their infrastructure, platforms and application portfolios to cloud delivery models, it’s perhaps no surprise that Capgemini would look to create a Digital Integration Platform offering. What’s perhaps more of a surprise is the way this offering works.

Consider the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS if you’re engaged in a large, long-term, IT-led cloud migration program

The Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS is not like most other Digital Integration Platforms. There’s no attempt at all to court ‘citizen integrators’, for one thing. This is a platform for modern development teams pursuing modern devops practices, designed to give those teams a ‘leg up’ in integrating cloud-based and on-premises systems.

We expect that most organisations adopting the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS will already be clients of Capgemini, working with it on long-term, cloud-related IT transformation initiatives – here, the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS will provide a useful way to drive business outcomes from cloud migrations (and new cloud-based application delivery projects) more quickly.

Capgemini: adding value to its cloud services through integration

Capgemini’s heritage

Capgemini started life in 1967 as Sogeti. Following acquisitions of CAP and Gemini Computer Systems in the 1970s the company took on a variation of its current name; acquisitions of Hoskyns (1990), Ernst & Young Consulting (2000) and a variety of other technology services firms followed.

The company now employs around 190,000 people and operates in over 40 countries, providing consulting, technology and outsourcing services to over 6,000 clients. Revenues in 2016 totalled EUR 12.5bn.

The service broker vision

For some years now, Capgemini (as have other systems integrators) has been offering clients a portfolio of services to help them maximise the benefits and minimise the risks associated with cloud platform adoption – including a Cloud Service Brokerage offering, designed to help clients plan for, select and manage multi-cloud platform environments; and Public Cloud Managed Services, which assist clients in prioritising, designing and managing the migration of existing workloads to a variety of public cloud platforms (including AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform).

Integration as-a-service

With this background in providing value-added services to clients migrating their infrastructure, platforms and application portfolios to cloud delivery models, it’s perhaps no surprise that Capgemini would look to create a Digital Integration Platform offering. What’s perhaps more of a surprise is the way this offering works.

Rather than simply resell technology from, and provide value-added services around, one or more Digital Integration Platform providers, Capgemini decided to assemble its own technology proposition from a collection of third-party technologies – and provide managed services around that platform as an integrated service offering instead.

Having worked one-to-one with many clients to provide cloud integration solutions, Capgemini started work on building what it now calls the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS in 2016, within an internal ‘accelerator’ program, initially with the aim of building a set of reusable capabilities so client projects could focus more on delivering business value (and less on developing ‘plumbing’. The Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS was formally launched in early 2017, and is now a standalone Capgemini offering that’s part of Capgemini’s Cloud Choice service line.

Today, the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS provides two related capabilities: data and application integration, and API Management. There are currently two flavours of the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS: one based around WSO2’s open-source API Manager, and another based around (strategic Capgemini partner) Oracle’s API Platform Cloud service.

Inside the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS

Core functions

As mentioned above, under the covers the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS is an integrated framework that brings together a cluster of technologies. Together, the framework provides the following principal capabilities:

  • Application integration. Here, the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS by default uses a combination of Apache Camel and RabbitMQ:
    • Apache Camel is an open-source, message-based integration framework designed to help projects implement common ‘enterprise integration’ patterns, and it provides a prebuilt set of integration functions for message routing and transformation. Importantly, Apache Camel has pluggable protocol support that makes it easy for projects to implement adapters for any number of protocols (e.g. FTP, EDI) and formats (e.g. XML, JSON, CSV). Apache Camel also provides ‘out of the box’ domain-specific languages (DSLs) for Java, Spring and Scala – which means that projects can define integration pipelines within mainstream application development environments, but without resorting to low-level code.
    • RabbitMQ is an open-source messaging implementation conforming to the AMQP standard.

For defining integration pipelines (‘routes’ in Apache Camel), the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS is set up by default for developers to write specifications in the textual DSLs that Camel supports. There’s no graphical model-based design environment: Capgemini firmly believes that complex integration work demands an engineering-led approach, and it’s this complex work that it’s targeting with the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS.

As an alternative, the Capgemini Enterprise PaaS also supports the use of Docker containers for hosting integration logic – opening clients up to multiple other integration framework options.

  • API Management. Here, the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS uses either WSO2’s API Manager or Oracle’s API Manager Cloud service. You get a range of API Management capabilities across the API lifecycle – from development and publishing to access control (enforcing clear separation between developers and publishers), documentation and discovery (through an API Store / publisher portal), authentication and authorisation, rate limiting and usage analytics. Sources for any integration routes created with Apache Camel, or integrations created with Spring Integration or hosted in Docker containers can be exposed via API Manager.
  • Service Management. Under the covers, automation of the platform (resource management, cluster management and job scheduling) uses HashiCorp’s Nomad. Service monitoring and analytics functionality are provided via Grafana or Kibana. Here there’s a huge amount of customisability of visualisations, built-in support for event-based notifications, and support for user-configurable dashboards.

Although teams will use Eclipse-based tools (rather than web-based tools) to develop integration logic, the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS also bundles components that enable continuous integration / continuous delivery (CI/CD) practice. Here, the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS makes use of GoCD (continuous delivery server), Rundeck (automated deployment, run book automation), and Nexus (providing a repository for binaries).

When it comes to shipping pre-built integration ‘content’, the fact that the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS makes use of Apache Camel means that your projects can automatically take advantage of the dozens of available Apache Camel components (see http://camel.apache.org/components.html). In addition, Capgemini provides example applications that provide connectivity with popular services and resources (Twitter, SAP, Salesforce, MongoDB, MySQL).

Value-added services

As well as offering the core Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS platform, Capgemini also offers a set of three add-on services that clients can take to help them deliver value from the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS more quickly (and more sustainably). All Capgemini’s customers so far have taken advantage of these services:

  • Accelerate. This add-on service provides targeted training to a client’s project team to help them get up-to-speed with the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS and deliver an initial project (defined as part of the service setup).
  • Connect. This add-on service commissions Capgemini specialists to connect the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS to a set of existing applications and platforms, as well as integrating it into a client’s existing development processes and workflows and configuring it to fit in with a client’s existing operational and administrative practices. The platform is deployed to a private or public cloud.
  • Expert. This add-on service commissions Capgemini specialists to work alongside a client’s team to transfer platform knowledge and assist with delivery of a particular project.

Deployment options

Capgemini has assembled the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS from components that are available and can be straightforwardly supported across public clouds. Its default client offering sees the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS deployed on AWS, but Capgemini can also deploy and support it for clients on Google Cloud Platform or Azure public clouds; or on a private-cloud OpenStack implementation. Capgemini uses a single-tenant model for the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS runtime; each client is served its own dedicated Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS instance.

The company emphasises that unlike almost all other Digital Integration Platforms, the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS (the WSO2-powered version) can be deployed completely behind an organisation’s firewall, as there are no dependencies at all on cloud-based services (many other platforms require the use of some cloud-based development or administration tooling, at the very least).

If you’re using Apache Camel as the integration framework at the core of your Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS instance then regardless of the platform used to host your instance, the team designing and configuring integration routes will use Eclipse-based tools and deploy code ‘remotely’. If you elect to use other integration frameworks via the platform’s Docker support, however, your development team may use different tools.

Packaging and pricing

  • The Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS is priced on a usage basis, and offers four specific usage tiers – with each tier based around the number of reserved CPU cores dedicated to an instance, data transfer volumes, numbers of flows and connections:
  • Micro instances are available for non-production use or production use. This tier provides for up to five integration flows and 15 connections.
  • Small instances provide for up to 20 integration flows and 60 connections.
  • Medium instances provide for up to 40 integration flows and 120 connections.
  • Large instances provide for up to 60 integration flows and 180 connections.

Pricing for these instance tiers is available on request. Each service tier includes all hosting and software licensing costs (except for Oracle-specific licensing if you choose the Oracle-powered version of the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS), and production instances also include 24/7/365 support. Every client also needs to purchase a ‘foundation service’.

Recommendation

The Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS is not like most other Digital Integration Platforms. There’s no attempt at all to court ‘citizen integrators’, for one thing (Capgemini asserts that clients will tend to consume the APIs served by the platform within other, more packaged, integration platforms and tools). This is a platform for modern development teams pursuing modern devops practices, designed to give those teams a ‘leg up’ in integrating cloud-based and on-premises systems with a professionally-supported, subscription-licensed offering. Capgemini has worked to make the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS pricing competitive with that of widely-used competitive offerings, and we expect it to continue to maintain price competitiveness.

We expect that most organisations adopting the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS will already be clients of Capgemini, working with it on long-term, cloud-related IT transformation initiatives – here, the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS will provide a useful way to drive business outcomes from cloud migrations (and new cloud-based application delivery projects) more quickly.

The fact that Capgemini offers a version of the Capgemini Enterprise iPaaS where all the technical components are open-sourced means that Capgemini can commit to support clients’ digital integration needs through the platform over the long term, regardless of the whims and fashions that can drive commercial platform vendors to pivot, fail, get acquired or lose interest. Of course, working in this way also helps Capgemini build and retain renewable subscription-based contracts with clients over the long term, and minimise any risk of being ‘locked out’ of a client’s environment once they make a shift to the cloud. A further important point to note here is Capgemini’s “buy-out” option: here, customers have the ability to purchase their platform instance for self-managed use in perpetuity if they want to take responsibility for the platform back from Capgemini.

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