Like so many these days, we’re trying something new.
First though, our thoughts go out to everyone affected by this virus and a heartfelt thanks to all our frontline medical professionals. And to the rest, we hope you’re staying productive through the (self) quarantine (if productivity is top of mind, see the note about virtual training below).
To our ‘something new’ - those of you who have been partners for a while now know that we’ve been dedicated to getting new functionality in your hands as soon as possible to make your lives easier. In this new decade (you forgot already, didn’t you…), we are shifting to three releases per year: March, July, and November, to give you all more predictability in when new functionality will be available and to streamline how we communicate with you all.
As with everything we do as a Product team here at Cloud Elements, especially something new, we want your feedback on how it’s working. What’s more, we have an increasing list of opportunities for you to participate in research and help shape the direction of new features - email us to get involved (bonus, you’ll get to know this guy):
Streamlined communication also means more direct access to the Product team. Did you miss our release webinar last Thursday? Check your email or reach out to us for a link to the recording.
Before we dive into features, in that webinar we also covered some of the guiding principles that inform what we build. In a nutshell they are:
- Help Developers get more done, faster. 'Nuff said.
- Advance data virtualization for ever-simpler one-to-many integrations.
- Offer top-of-the-line API security & permissions to simplify the integration experience for your users.
- Manage the unique integration challenges that arise at scale, whether scale means 10,000 instances of one integration or 1,000 unique integrations.
- Support ad hoc & bespoke integration needs with no-code tooling.
Highlights of the March 2020 Release
Updated Home Page: Dive Back In!
You may have noticed that the home screen looks a little different. We’ve refocused our home page based on your feedback and one of our core values: getting customers successful faster. All artifacts are now organized by type and sorted by most recent modification so that you can jump back into your work quickly. We have big plans around this theme, so stay tuned for what’s next!
VDRs: Tracelogging, Sharing, and v2 Engine
Virtual data resources (VDRs) are the keystone in your one-to-many integration strategy. VDRs let you save time and avoid the pain when doing the necessary mapping and transforming for each integration. Because that mapping and transformation work can be tedious and complex, we’re introducing a host of features to make that work more efficient.
Debugging is a critical step in integration development. And we’ve heard that you, our users, want more transparency into what was happening in the engine behind the scenes in order to make debugging easier. Enter tracelogging: visibility into end-to-end steps in transformations so that you can dive into the details and identify corner cases and tweaks faster.
Cloud Elements is designed to turn every custom Element, VDR, or Formula resource you create into a reusable, API-accessible resource that you and your teams can build on. But we’ve heard from users that there’s also a need to share VDRs as a template and let others customize and extend that VDR, creating a new API-accessible resource. Now you can share Org level transformations with sub-organizations and/or sub-accounts.
VDR v2 Engine
Why bother to let you know what goes on under the hood? As usage and load have increased we’ve identified more reliable and more intuitive ways to call VDRs. We’re not deprecating the old APIs anytime soon, hence we need to let you know it’s a new engine and a new set of APIs (backwards compatible, of course). Importantly, VDR tracelogging and sharing require v2. There is a new data structure to go along with v2 as well as an API you can call to upgrade existing VDRs; reach out to your account manager for more details.
Oh, and get ready for automapping! Coming soon.
Bulk Gets Better and Better
We spend a lot of time with APIs and our team estimates that something like 5%-10% of APIs natively support bulk data operations. And even those that do often impose odd limits. Last fall, Cloud Elements began offering a universal bulk framework and APIs across every Element in the Catalog for downloads. Now that same universal framework supports upload.
Again, why v3? Because we’re not deprecating the existing bulk APIs immediately to give you time to evaluate the pros of using the new framework for your specific use cases. Note: this is API-accessible only right now for GET resources with a UI coming shortly (see the documentation for details).
New Elements - Ariba, Azure, BigQuery, and more...
In case you haven’t checked out the full Catalog lately, we’ve recently added Elements for Ariba Networks, Azure Blob, and Google BigQuery. Every Element is a first-class connection resource that standardizes auth, offers normalized methods, and offers functionality like webhooks and bulk whether or not the native API supports that functionality.
Other recent additions you might have missed include Coupa, ADP WorkforceNow, and Snowflake. Also, as we grow, we have partners and others helping accelerate new Elements; don’t forget to check out the Community tab under Elements in the platform and reach out if you need to integrate with Kronos or Ultipro.
Let Your CS & PS Teams Know - Conductor + Bespoke Needs = Phew!
You may recall that we released Conductor in beta last fall. Since then we’ve made incredible progress and want to thank everyone who provided feedback and offered time to test out new concepts and functionality along the way.
But that work continues and there are several additions to Conductor that you’ll see over the coming months (ok, we said regular releases but we not going to hold this goodness back until July). These include expanded events and triggers, exception logs and event replay for faster debugging, and an authentication interface so that your customers can enter their credentials without passing them to you.
With a graphical interface and intuitive integration flow templates pre-built, Conductor makes it much easier for your CS and PS teams to deliver for customers and meet long-tail integration needs that you choose not to productize. Reach out to learn more.
Virtual Training, Did You Say?
Like so many of the other universities, Cloud Elements University is moving our training online. In the second half of April we’ll host Developer Basics virtual training sessions covering new features in this release and offering new certifications for North America and EMEA. What’s more, special rates are available. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
As a parting note, not only do we want to hear from you (email@example.com), we also have several exciting user research opportunities upcoming. Email us to get involved.