Introducing Cloud Elements 3.0: Taking API Integration to the Next Level

By Ross Garrett in Product Updates Posted May 16, 2019

I don’t have enough developers to keep up. I can’t rely on IT for all the needs our business has. Sure, every little bit helps. But it’s not enough. Plus, Google, SAP, Microsoft - they all just announced cool new apps that our department heads want to use. And there will be more soon from Salesforce, Workday. It never stops. Fact is, we’ll never catch up.

I do a lot of traveling for my job - and I talk to a lot of customers and prospective customers out on the front lines of API integration. I hear some version of the above over and over and over again. After all, the sheer numbers are staggering. The average enterprise uses more than 1,500 cloud applications and services. And whether you are a SaaS player creating those apps or an enterprise trying to make sense of them, that’s a problem that gets exponentially harder with each new slew of product releases.
We get it. And we’re begging you to stop beating yourselves up. Let us help.

Today, we officially announced Cloud Elements 3.0. This one is special, which I know all product leaders say. But in this case, it’s really special. Because we not only heard all the problems you shared... we heard them, and then we did something about it. We tried to answer every major API integration problem you told us about.

Our CEO, Mark Geene, founded Cloud Elements in 2012 because he had the same problems at his previous company. He wants your company to “Own Its Ecosystem.” My team’s goal with Cloud Elements 3.0 is to make it as simple as possible for your software team to be the heroes who make “owning your ecosystem” a reality.

Here are the questions we answered to make that so.

Apps are multiplying like rabbits! How do we keep up?
Cloud Elements 3.0 allows APIs to work in uniform ways across multiple applications while sharing common data models. Instead of requiring developers to build point-to-point connections using inconsistent APIs, our product starts by unifying APIs with enhanced capabilities for authentication, discovery, search, error handling and API maintenance.

These “Elements” can then be combined into workflows (or Formulas) that automate business processes across applications. Elements and Formulas can be easily modified, shared and re-used, significantly improving developer productivity. Elements also shield developers from underlying API changes, significantly reducing maintenance costs.

How?
The first step was bringing virtualization to API integration with something we call Virtual Data Hubs, which we built into Cloud Elements 3.0.

Right now, software teams are forced to map their data point-to-point to every new application on every platform. HR, CRM, finance, ERP. It’s maddening. With Virtual Data Hubs, we’ve eliminated that issue. Developers, for example, can use or modify templates for “leads” that work seamlessly across multiple CRM systems, rather than having to create a new a connection for each individual platform. The time savings are massive.

Ok. That’ll save time. But not all of my development team members are actually developers. What about them?
These are true heroes, folks Gartner calls “ad hoc integrators.” They’re willing to pitch in, even though building integrations isn’t their day job. Cloud Elements 3.0 makes their lives a lot easier. Conductor, our new visual integration builder, allows these folks to build and manage workflows without code. We purposely created a UI so intuitive that it can be used by all skills levels without sacrificing functionality. This capability is particularly useful for software teams that need to customize Elements or build Formulas that meet specific customer needs.

Cloud Elements 3.0 API Integration Platform

How many platforms are you covering? My employees and customers want us to integrate a new app from another platform just about every day.
We’ve built deep with Cloud Elements 3.0. It includes more than 200 pre-built integrations for applications that handle ERP, CRM, human capital, finance, e-commerce, field service, payments, marketing, messaging, database, storage, and social applications. The latest platform includes new Elements for popular cloud-based ERP (Workday, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics) and HCM applications (Workday, Oracle, Ultimate Software, Kronos, ADP Payroll). And, as we announced last week at SAPPHIRE in Orlando, we also expanded our partnership with SAP.

Great. Given all that, someone you worked with must have solved the same problems I had already. Can you share how they tackled them?
Just go to our new developer community. Folks there can share Elements and Formulas via a public GitHub repository. Just be a good partner and share your best practices, too.

If you’ve got more questions, ping me at ross@cloud-elements.com. Meantime, we’re very confident we’ve changed the very nature of API integration with Cloud Elements 3.0. Please, stop worrying about making API integration a native job. Externalize it so you can simplify it. You’ll get the job done easier. You’ll do more of things that make you a truly innovative company. You’ll be the heroes that help your company own its ecosystem. Learn more about our platform in our latest announcement below. 

Read the Announcement