Salesforce.com customers will be able to more easily mirror their data in real time to Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud with a new service announced Wednesday by data-integration vendor Jitterbit.
While Salesforce.com provides data-export tools, customers have found them somewhat cumbersome to work with, said Jitterbit CTO Ilan Sehayek.
The new CloudReplicate service dynamically updates the EC2 database schema as information is changed in Salesforce.com, cutting down on work for customers, he said. This is important because many Salesforce.com customers are constantly making tweaks to their data models, he said.
One early adopter of the CloudReplicate service echoed Sehayek's statements.
AWPRx, a vendor that manages pharmacy programs for workers-compensation insurance providers, had already been using EC2 to store data, said CEO Jay Roy. The added automation being provided by CloudReplicate "is huge," and vastly preferable to the previous "manual, labor-intensive process that didn't work the way we wanted," Roy said.
AWPRx is using the data on EC2 in combination with BI (business intelligence) tools from Pentaho to generate the reports it needs, Roy said. The reports are "way too complicated for Salesforce.com to produce," he said.
The roughly 25-person company represents the growing number of businesses adopting an array of cloud services in lieu of on-premises systems. AWPRx no longer has any servers, moved to Salesforce.com from a homegrown Java-based application, and recently switched to Amazon from a fully managed hosting arrangement on EC2 competitor Rackspace, Roy said.
In turn, Jitterbit competes for such customers' dollars with vendors such as Boomi and Cast Iron Systems, which was recently bought by IBM.
Jitterbit's customers had already been using its tools to synchronise Salesforce.com data with back-end databases and applications, Sehayek said. The new Amazon EC2 service gives them another option, and there's "no culture shock" given that they are already working with on-demand services, he added.
Pricing for CloudReplicate starts at US$899 per month and scales up depending on the amount of data and associated processing involved. The service currently supports MySQL, SQL Server and Oracle databases.
Jitterbit plans to target other popular SaaS applications, with NetSuite a likely one, but no firm plans are set, Sehayek said. There are "no technical reasons" it couldn't also support EC2 competitors such as Rackspace at some point, he added.