Author: Michel Kox

Jitterbit within Oliver Connect

The level of knowledge within Oliver IT in regard to integration is very high, but also very broad. However, a few years ago, most integration consultants within Oliver were mainly concerned with SAP Integration tools, such as SAP Process Integration / Orchestration and SAP Cloud Platform Integration.

At the same time, various proof of concepts were running to test new tools and functionality and to assess the added value. Knowledge of this was shared internally and presented to customers to trigger a natural development where customers would start thinking about the landscape and upgrading or expanding it.

However, what Oliver regularly encountered in the past is the fact that SAP Integration does not stand alone as a solution. It is often part of a large and complex landscape of various SAP products where the added value of SAP Integration is best highlighted.

To lower the threshold for the use of integration and make it more accessible, Oliver started thinking about an Integration As A Service platform where Oliver takes care of the platform, takes care of any migration of existing interfaces and guarantees the design, development and management of new interfaces. We call this solution Oliver Connect.

Jitterbit

The basis of Oliver Connect is the Jitterbit platform. The choice for Jitterbit is partly underpinned by the fact that Jitterbit is the leader in the iPaas quadrant of Gartner for the fourth year in a row and has received the highest score by the same agency in the field of B2B integrations. Using the Jitterbit API integration platform, Oliver Connect can quickly and easily connect cloud applications and on-premise applications and integrate directly into any business process.

The greatest strength of Jitterbit for the developers of Oliver Connect is the fact that Jitterbit is a low-code development platform. This means that a graphical user environment is used that involves setting the correct parameters instead of traditional computer code. Within Jitterbit there is the possibility to still design certain logic with the help of Jitterbit Script and Javascript that cannot be made completely correct with the graphical tools. Jitterbit emphasizes Jitterbit Script, while wider support for Javascript means even more power can be put into the platform. It must be said that there are still improvements to be made in the field of linting, syntax checks and styling of that code.

Broad platform

With Jitterbit as a basis, it has been possible to develop Oliver Connect into a mature platform. Oliver IT already had Oliver Elements, in which applications can be built quickly using ready-made building blocks. With the help of Oliver Elements we were able to add 2 powerful components to Oliver Connect, namely Queue Management and Value Mappings.

By means of Queue Management it is possible to run an integration process in Jitterbit asynchronously and independently. One of the projects that has become a great success as a result is the realization of a generic link with the Peppol network. We have divided the invoicing process of our customer into 2 parts, whereby the link with Peppol is separate from the customer-specific integration. In this way, it is possible for subsequent customers to re-create a robust link with Peppol with minimal effort and customer-specific settings.

Value Mappings are a powerful part of an integration process, but it is always important not to retain this data within your process. This creates a too heavy process and it is not the task of an integration process to retain company-specific data. We can achieve this by investing the Value Mapping within Oliver Connect's own application.

Another component that we have integrated within Oliver Connect is the ELK-Stack. ELK is an acronym for three open source projects namely Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana. Elasticsearch is a search and analysis engine. Logstash is a server-side data processing pipeline that takes data from multiple sources at once, transforms, and then sends it to a "stash" such as Elasticsearch. Kibana allows users to visualize data with charts and graphs in Elasticsearch.

The strength of Jitterbit in the above applications is the quick and easy connection.

Learning curve

By realizing the automated invoicing process, consisting of a generic link with the Peppol network and an integration with SAP Business ByDesign, I learned a lot from Jitterbit in a short time. This is mainly due to the combination of a low-code platform in combination with my programming experience, whereby I have to say that Jitterbit's graphical development environment gets used very quickly and is enough to get 90% of the integration done.

The pioneering work of my direct colleagues and the enormous knowledge that is present within Oliver have made it possible to make this project a success. In my opinion, Oliver Connect has quickly grown into a mature Integration As A Service platform.

Knowledge sharing is an important asset within Oliver IT and I have therefore enjoyed telling my colleagues about the Jitterbit projects in recent months and also teaching them something through a workshop where they built a working process in one morning.

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Robin Schutten Sales
Robin Schutten