5 Things To Know Before Starting Your First Boomi Integration Project

Boomi is a great platform for building and deploying seamless integrations – And you have made the case for upgrading your middleware.  You have bought Boomi, and are ready to start on a Boomi project, Congratulations!  But there a few answers that you need before putting together your project team, and to learn more about how we can help your organization, contact us at Kitepipe.

  1. Do I need a full time Boomi guy on my Cloud project?
  2. Can my guy learn Boomi for this project?
  3. What if there isn’t a connector?
  4. When in the project do I need Boomi expertise?
  5. What happens after the project?

Do I Need A Full-Time Boomi Integration Developer?

That’s easy, the answer is no. Boomi is a highly productive environment, where much can be accomplished in a short amount of time. Yes, you can do a complete two-way integration in 30 to 50 hours, total. If everything is completely specified, and nothing changes, a skilled Boomi Consultant can do a project in two to three weeks.

But, things are never properly specified, and something always changes. So a better model is a Six Sprint model, described below. I’ve done large Boomi services projects that employed four experienced FT consultants for ten months, and projects where I averaged 10 hours/week over three months. The later are by far more common and appropriate. An FT Boomi resource on a bigger integration project spends a good bit of time waiting for other things to happen.

Can A Current Employee / Developer Learn Boomi?

Sure, if it is a simple, one-way data push. A consultant with some cloud experience can attend Boomi Bootcamp, and put together a simple integration. It will look like this:
On the other hand, if you need handshaking, error reporting, performance tuning, filtering of bad data, or error handling for a fussy API, your Process will end up looking like this:
A Boomi Newbie will not be able to produce this.

What Should I Do If There Isn't A Boomi Connector?

Things are much easier if there is a "named" connector available for your integration endpoints. A connector is a Packaged-up API driver that can be easily configured and used in the Boomi integration environment without coding. There are pre-built connectors for many cloud environments, including Salesforce, Netsuite, Zuora and about one hundred more.  There are generic connectors for all the major DMBS – Oracle, SQLServer, MYSQL, even Progress. There are connectors for file I/O, SFTP, EDI, etc.

But, if you need to connect to (for instance) a cloud-based RESTful API, there is a generic HTTP connector that can be configured to do the trick.  Configuration usually does the trick, and coding is usually not required.  Coding might be needed to do custom headers, security, or formatting.  If so,  there are several language choices depending on your run-time configuration.  Lack of a pre-built connector is not a barrier, but will take additional time if the endpoint is a complex, structured API.

When In The Integration Project Should I Hire A Boomi Consultant?

We use a services model for Boomi projects with six sprints, and each may be larger or smaller depending on the project. The Sprints are:

  1. Basic Connectivity: In the first sprint, you develop basic Boomi processes that demonstrate connectivity to the integration endpoints – this helps manage your project risk.
  2. Data Transformation: In the second sprint, you work on the data transformations and lookups– the meat and potatoes of the project.
  3. Business Process Support: In the third sprint, the focus is on supporting the larger business process – Alerts, notifications, post-backs, and migration issues.
  4. Transaction Quality: In the fourth sprint, having achieved data transformation, focus on validation and transaction quality checks within the context of the overall business process.
  5. UAT and Go Live: The fifth sprint is often part of a larger project, and supports overall testing and go live goals.
  6. Clean-up and Tech Transfer: The last sprint is where you clean up, document, and hand-off.

We use an agile model with several iterations, where we start building almost immediately and use the initial development to surface functional and technical issues.  This speeds up the process, as we don't spend several weeks developing and reviewing a requirements document.

So the answer is - you can start building your Boomi integration immediately!

What Should We Pay Attention To After The Boomi Project Concludes?

In most cases the customer IT staff takes over the operations side of running the Boomi integration process. Boomi has great monitoring and error trapping tools, and we always do technology transfer as part of our hand-off.

We offer several levels of support – from by the hour to 7/24 monitoring. Many Boomi integration processes don’t need much maintenance once they are in production a few months – a twice a year checkup is appropriate to update connector versions. In a more dynamic environment where the business processes are being upgraded or refined, a quarterly update cycle makes more sense. Ask us about support and maintenance options.

Hopefully, this answers your questions about how professional services fits into an integration project using the Dell Boomi platform and tools. Feel free to contact me with specific questions about how we can help make your next integration project a success!

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Larry Cone, Lead Solutions Architect, KitePipe


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