Staging Data: The Right Approach for Cloud Integration?

Last week I wrote a post about the differences between direct and staging of data from SaaS/cloud applications. I received a very thorough comment on the Informatica Perspectives blog about the benefits of staging data that I think is worth summarizing here:

The main reasons I opt for the staging are:
  • It enables better business control before the data is pushed from one system to the other. E.g. in SFDC you can have a prospect that you want to become a customer in SAP, you may need to control the data (match existing customer) or enrich it before you push it to SAP. The staging becomes a fire wall so no corrupted data in propagated into your information systems.
  • It enables tracking and reconciliation of a business process. The staging area can also be used as a logging area, each time a data is manipulated, it is logged enabling the audit of any action and the visibility on any reconciliation process.
  • It enables the addition of new sources or targets with reuse instead of building the spaghetti plate of point to point direct interfaces. It responds to the SOA paradigm.
  • It breaks the dependencies between the two systems enabling asynchronous synchronization or synchronous with different size of data set (single message or bulk). And if one or the other system is down or in maintenance for a period of time, it does not affect the synchronization process because the data can be replayed (or compensated) from the staging area.

You can read the full comment here. Any other experiences or best practices to share? Do you agree / disagree? And what if you don’t have the IT resources for this type of architecture? Is direct for SMB and short-term tactical requirements only?

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