5 Things You Didn’t Know Boomi Could Do (But You Should)
Many enterprises invest in the Boomi platform to get their integration strategy moving in the right direction.When a company is just getting started with integrations, that’s the lens that they view their integration platform through.
Integrations, however, are just a stepping stone, and one of the strengths of choosing Boomi as your integration platform is that it can be much, much more than just a way to facilitate integrations. Boomi talks about the “Data Journey”, outlining the path to a more mature connected organization:
- Discovery: understanding the data you have and where it is
- Prepare: taking the data that’s been found and managing it
- Integrate: what we anticipate we’ll be able to do with the data
- Enable: enrich the data, expose it for use by a multitude of applications
- Engage: supporting the enterprise’s direct use of the data
The journey evolves from the initial push toward integration and is frequently driven by customer demand for integrated experiences. It’s no longer acceptable to place the burden of data exploration and management on the user. End-users now expect the ability to access data in a user-friendly way easily. Satisfying that need requires more than just the mechanics of integration. Achieving a connected enterprise requires tools that allow for process integration, better UI, knowledge of the data, access control, and standardization of integration delivery, including templates and segmentation.
Boomi offers functionality that answers the needs across the data journey. Some functionality is included with the platform. Others are add-ons. Having an expandable platform that supports an organization’s growth from integrations to integrated makes the investment in Boomi a smart one. But to take advantage of these features, first, you need to know they exist.
The 5 Things You Need to Know That Boomi Can Do
Master Data with MDH
When you first start building integrations, they are processes used to sync data in a single direction. As time goes on, though, there may be multiple systems that also need that data.Importantly, they may also have additional data that enriches what exists.
Multi-sync and centralization of business nouns is not a problem that pure integration can solve on its own.Master Data Management (MDM) can alleviate the issue, but can be complex to implement and scale. To solve this problem, Boomi offers the Master Data Hub or MDH. With MDH, you can scale data governance processes and model, synchronize, cleanse, and enrich the data you have.
As an example, imagine you’ve adopted Boomi and use it to sync data from your CRM to your e-commerce platform. Over time, however, multiple systems want access to that data. Reusing that one-way sync integration would create a large number of back and forth connections. With MDH, you have a hub-and-spoke data-sharing model.
There are many benefits to using Boomi’s MDH, including reducing the cost of development and maintenance, promoting consistency, standardizing data meaning and usage, and better managing data quality.
Data Catalog and Preparation with DCP
In the early days of building out integrations, you’ll find it easy to find what you’re looking for and keep tabs on what’s available. Once you’ve built dozens of integrations, however, maintaining metadata about them becomes critical.
For instance, fully half of an ERP implementation project can be taken up with discovery and analysis of the data without good metadata and cataloging. Which systems are integrated with the legacy system? Where does accounting data originate? Where does it go, and how is it transformed? These questions are just the tip of the iceberg.
Boomi’s solution is Data Catalog and Preparation, or DCP. It significantly accelerates and simplifies data discovery and analysis over a manual process, even allowing for natural language queries.Data quality can be defined and maintained, and attribute additions can be crowdsourced, with users voting to include or leave off attributes.
It can also auto-detect Personally Identifiable Information (PII). This is useful in a pre-breach situation where you want to find all PII and ensure it has the right security protocols applied. But it can also be helpful in the unfortunate case of a post-breach, where forensics of an incident must identify accounts and data that were impacted for notification.
DCP benefits Boomi customers by increasing the quality of effort. It also reduces time and costs in various scenarios, like data discovery for system implementations.
Business Process Monitoring and Custom App Development
If your organization has ever tried to solve a business process problem by purchasing a single-purpose software package, you’ll understand why extending your integrations is a critical ability in your platform.
Take the purchase of an HRIS system, for instance. HR may now have an application to help organize and manage hiring and provide information into things like benefits. Still, there is a whole slew of functionality that could enhance its usefulness. An employee’s tenure can be extensive and encompass a lot more information than what’s gathered during the hiring process. The ability to manage the entire on boarding process from hire to retire is enhanced with integrations.
Integrations are only the starting point, however. That entire process can be streamlined, with quality and consistency baked in, if various actions could be kicked off throughout the process. For example, once an employee is hired, things like ordering a laptop, tagging assets, setting up benefits, and scheduling training could be automated. An integration alone can’t manage that process. But Boomi Flow can.
Flow combines business process monitoring with custom app development to build out both orchestration events, and a user interface for the processes. With Flow, not only could you kick off provisioning a laptop for the new hire, you could include an interface for manual approvals of a more powerful laptop for, say, a developer or a small, lightweight laptop for a salesperson.
The use cases go beyond onboarding and off boarding, of course. A custom app could be created to manage your integration infrastructure, automating deployments in CI/CD, and incorporating approvals. Boomi cites the example of a mobile app used to collect patient data for COVID-19 drive in testing - patient data is collected through a tablet car-side, and a series of functions are kicked off, from insurance submissions to ordering lab tests.
The benefits include things like quality and standardization of process. They also include insights into the status of the process, without needing to be in the middle of it to gain that visibility.
As a company’s API usage grows, things like the need for security policies, versioning, cataloging, workflow approvals, and more can become quickly overwhelmed by things like the need for security policies. It’s easy to make a case for API management, which is why Boomi offers it as part of the platform.
API management gives you the ability to easily manage:
- Discovery: Reuse is an important element to successful API adoption. API management makes publishing a catalog easier, promoting reuse, and limiting duplication.
- Security: Defining policies is one thing, but with API management, you have access to API configuration. This promotes the implementation and adherence to security policies because they become quick and easy to add, making their application consistent.
- Monetization: This relies on your ability to offer services that are performant and meet SLAs. API management provides built-in dashboards to see trends quickly in performance and usage and can also manage onboarding tasks for new clients to the APIs.
Integration Features You May Have Overlooked
In your rush to being implementing integrations, it’s easy to miss some of the platform's features that you don’t immediately need. However, some useful elements are worth digging into as your integration adoption evolves.
Everything you can do within the Boomi platform is backed with an API. This means you don’t need to reinvent the wheel all of the time. Common tasks can adopt existing system APIs. A few good examples include creating automated CI/CD deployments and kicking off batch jobs, as well as automated onboarding and off boarding of users.
Sub-accounts are a capability that exists with the Boomi platform that can be highly useful for large organizations and white labeling. Sub-accounts are just what they sound like -a set of accounts with different property sets or access than the master accounts would. An example might be a large company that acquires another business with different integration needs than the parent company.
The process library can be a significant asset as your APIs and integrations grow. With it, you’re able to package up integrations as a set and distribute them, even providing them as reusable templates for future integrations. Integration
Get to Most From Your Boomi Investment
Getting started with integration development can be overwhelming. As you progress in your development and usage, your needs from your integration platform will evolve. If you’ve invested in Boomi, you’ll have a wide array of additional features and functionality already associated with your platform.
Big Compass can help if you have questions about how to get the most from your Boomi integration platform.Contact us. We’d be happy to help you understand everything your Boomi platform can do for you.