Blockchain, Flow enhancements and security highlight new Dell Boomi platform release

Other features that expand the release theme of enhancing the platform’s usability for developers include the addition of additional open capabilities, and newly announced free certifications.

Some of the apps with new or improved Boomi connectors

Cloud integration and workflow automation software provider Dell Boomi has announced the Fall 2018 release of their platform, with the major themes being the expansion of Blockchain support, new security features, usability and security enhancements to Boomi Flow, further opening of the platform, and some new free online certifications.

Boomi has an agile development process and so does considerably more than two releases a year. The ‘Fall Platform release’ is more of a public announcement of recent updates to the platform, which is why attendees at Boomi World in Las Vegas last month already are familiar with much of what is here.

“We do 11 releases a year, and every six months or so bring them all together and make an announcement to tell that story, and this is what we have done here,” said Ranjana Haridas, Senior Product Manager at Dell Boomi. “These are the features that we released in the second half of the year after listening to customers and partners throughout the Boomi community.

Boomi’s enhanced support for Blockchain, which was featured prominently at Boomi World, is being publicly announced now. While there are multiple Blockchain platforms out there, Boomi has announced its support for the two they consider to be the strongest – Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric.

“What we were seeing with the Internet of Things about three years back is what we are now seeing with Blockchain in terms of customer adoption,” Haridas said. “IoT customers and partners then were in the education phase, trying to figure it out, and now of course we have many more people adopting it. With Blockchain, we are still at that early stage, but we have customers, especially in Europe, and we have a large global systems integrator in Italy running test cases. We expect it to go down the same stage of adoption as IoT.”

Several enhancements have also been made to the platform’s security.

“All our global deployments are increasing the requirements around security, so we have made some significant improvements in functionality there,” Haridas said. “We have added new two-factor authentication, and we also now provide a lot more control over privileges with stricter concurrent session controls.” These include session lock and termination features.

Boomi Flow, their low-code platform that allows workflow apps to be built with little or no code, has received several improvements.

“Flow now gives users complete control of where run-time data is stored and access to that data,” Haridas said. “It lets you ensure that you can keep data in region, if that’s what you want to do.” This functionality also permits runtime data to be stored in one region, while the apps built in Flow could be available in a completely different region.

“We have also made Flow much easier to manage, with improved dashboards and other capabilities,” Haridas added. This includes the ability to get a 360-degree view of workflows and their runtime status.

“The drag and drop UI makes it as easy possible in very specific use cases where the developer is building something very custom, and makes it more in line with what developers expect,” Haridas said. “It ensures a one-stop link to create Flows much more effectively.”

Specific enhancements for developers include Scripting Component support for JavaScript and Groovy scripts when deployed as part of an integration process. IDE improvements include a new code editor for JavaScript, Groovy, and SQL Scripts. In addition, Access Execution Properties now allow sending messages about the state of an execution or for making decisions in a process, to reduce the need for scripting.

Platform capabilities have also been expanded with broader open features, to ensure tasks can be completed both in Boomi and outside of Boomi,

“We are also expanding more use cases, and adding more connectors, but in addition to supporting more use cases, this is about keeping the platform open,” Haridas said. New and enhanced connectors include Workday Prism Analytics, QuickBooks Online, Amazon SQS, Google Big Query, Box, Shopify, OData ,and IMAP.

A little over a year ago, Boomi made all its online training free, and it continues to grow the number of free on-demand certifications available to customers and partners.

“These include both updates from before the certifications became free, as well as new ones,” Haridas indicated.

The latest certifications are Flow Professional API Design and Management Certification, which became available in June, the Professional Linux Operational Administrator Certification, which became available in November, and the Boomi Flow Associate Certification, which is available now.

Haridas also provided a glimpse at the roadmap ahead.

“Many partners also want to create on top of the platform, and we will be opening up the platform more to allow them to do so,” she said. “We had a very strong partner response at Boomi World to the new Connector SDK, which will be available in the new year, and which will make it easier for them to build connectors. We also have much stronger features coming next year.”