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The real reason why Dell wants to go private: To fondle big Boomis

Cloud integrator waggles its new API tool

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Dell has added an API management tool to its Boomi platform, which connects up clouds and in-house applications.

The new component - which monitors and controls software interfaces used to hook together various services within an enterprise - is included in an upgrade that also adds new integration and process management features to Boomi's AtomSphere service, the PC slinger announced today.

"Cloud integration allows our customers to connect and integrate any two endpoints that they want to have communicating with each other," Boomi product manager Chris McNabb told The Register.

A classic Boomi use case would be merging the HR data from one recently acquired company into that of the main organisation, McNabb said.

With the upgrades, Dell has broadened the remit of Boomi so that along with migrating and integrating app data, the cloud can also be used by organizations to manage the various APIs consumed by their software.

This feature follows a tumultuous few months in the typically quiet API management sector, in which Intel grabbed API manager Mashery, CA acquired Layer 7, and Mulesoft raised $37m in funding to broaden the remit of its own API business.

"The reason why all these companies are getting snapped up is because of the proliferation of endpoints in an enterprise - it's scaling faster than people can manage them," McNabb said. "You need to provide CIOs and directors of IT the ability to secure and throttle and scale and measure and monitor all these endpoints that are popping up all over the place."

Boomi API Management lets administrators filter access by IP address, apply rate limiting to protect against DDoS attacks, and has an option for super-charging web-based app performance by booting the app in-memory, though this also disables logging.

Besides API management, the release also sees Dell expand the capabilities of Boomi integration packs, which are pre-built scripts to help migrate data from one app to another: such as from fringe finance apps into Salesforce and vice versa. Along with this, the company added "process libraries", which are recipes for app integration and migration that frequent Boomi users can brew up and store. These make it easy to manage the same app when deployed across disparate hardware stacks.

Dell acquired Boomi in November 2010 as the company sought to create a cloud-based software business almost from scratch. Michael Dell has put such importance on software that one of the reasons he wants to take Dell private is to give him the privacy needed to perform strategic-reassignment surgery on the company, to swing it around from being a box-slinger to software-server.

The Boomi updates show that for all the confusion at the top of the company, there's still incremental software work being done at the bottom. ®

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