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Does anyone have suggestions/recommendations/guidance they can offer on when to use a message broker like RabbitMQ/Kafka vs. an iPaaS solution like Mulesoft/Jitterbit/Dell Boomi/Workato? Can they coexist peacefully? Or should one of the two options be selected as the defacto integration middleware?

I have the beginnings of a micro service architecture that's built on RabbitMQ, but am in the process of evaluating other middleware options. In our services, we need the ability to communicate between services of course but also to integrate with SaaS solutions like Salesforce. I have experience with RabbitMQ, and I like the speed and horizontal scalability it offers, however it's a pretty low-level technology compared with some of the iPaaS solutions. In Workato for example, there's no IDE to speak of or code to write; it's a point-and-click experience in a web browser to build an API to integrate with SaaS systems and also on-prem software (via installed "agents"). I'm in the process of evaluating middleware options for a medium-size company and trying to make sense of all the tooling options. Message brokers and iPaaS solutions are very different from one another, but they both deliver value in connecting software built in disparate technology stacks. iPaaS offers potential productivity gains by providing pre-built "connectors" for SaaS solutions like Salesforce, etc., but also most iPaaS systems cost thousands per month. I can't imagine that iPaaS solutions can offer throughput speeds possible with message brokers, but that's an assumption I'd like to check with anyone that can speak to throughout over an iPaaS solution.

This is a pretty broad question, but I would appreciate any insight from folks who have experience with iPaaS solutions like those mentioned, particularly around throughput/speed in connecting multiple on-prem micro services and/or third-party SaaS solutions. Seems to me that moving to an iPaaS requires more of a hub-and-spoke architecture vs. a message bus/message broker architecture, but perhaps they can coexist?

  • Perhaps this is a false dichotomy; there are other ways to integrate microservices, like using RESTful APIs stitched together with a reverse proxy. I welcome any thoughts on how folks are integrating their microservices. – Andy Aug 8 '18 at 14:25
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    Seems to me kind of like the difference between building your own house and buying a cookie-cutter model. In that case, the benefit is cost savings and the drawback is a one-size-fits-all solution that may not meet your needs. What is the benefit here? It sounds like you'd be spending more to get the cookie-cutter approach. – rmayer06 Sep 21 '18 at 15:46
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You're right in general about throughput that you would get with a low-level message broker solution vs an iPaas - however you should consider whether you really need that throughput. Some iPaas solutions are quite fast and may be 'fast enough' for your use case.

We deployed an integration platform successfully to connect real-time systems (IoT/control systems) with enterprise applications. It uses a message bus that lets the devices publish messages which can trigger an orchestration to pull data out of other sources and make decisions related to incident management.

Having a higher level design tool (as opposed to writing raw low-level code) aids in reducing time to iterate over your solution and reduces time to make changes and deploy.

Let me know if you want more details on the solution we used.

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