UPDATED 12:17 EDT / DECEMBER 07 2016

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Jitterbit courts ‘citizen integrators’ in major revamp of core platform

Building on a trend that’s sweeping the data integration industry, Jitterbit Inc. today announced a major new release of its of its Harmony platform that targets novice end-users while giving information technology organizations central tracking and control over the integrations that those users build.

Jitterbit Harmony Winter ’17 gives developers the ability to quickly connect and manage application endpoints with each other and with legacy applications in the data center. Its designer dashboard enables business users to create and expose application program interfaces using a point-and-click approach. It comes with pre-built connectors for popular applications and the ability for users to roll their own with a toolkit.

Jitterbit joins a growing cadre of integration vendors that are eyeing a vast new market driven by the popularity of consumer tools such as IFTTT and Zappier, which lets people stitch together web-based applications in unique and productive ways. Major integration software providers are trying to bring the same capabilities to the enterprise.

For example, Scribe Software Corp. on Tuesday announced an overhauled version of its integration platform aimed at non-technical users and Tibco Software Inc. did the same thing last month, calling its approach “IFTTT for work.”

That was the same term used by Andrew Leigh, Jitterbit’s vice president of marketing and alliances. “We’re providing a service that gives you all of the power of an IFTT with centralized control and governance,” he said.

Rise of the ‘citizen integrator’

Jitterbit, which celebrated its 11th birthday last week, has historically targeted power users or “people who understand how to create macros in Excel,” Leigh said. Users typically had to undergo nine hours of training before becoming productive. The new release is aiming to minimize or eliminate that learning curve in pursuit of a group that Gartner has dubbed “citizen integrators.”

In a September report, the IT research firm wrote that citizen integrators “will have a dramatic effect on business users’ expectations for handling simple integration tasks themselves at work, as they do at home,” but added that they “may also create compliance risks and/or technical debt if employees acquire and use these tools directly, without the knowledge or support of application integration leaders.” Gartner has said that half of all new integration flows will be created by citizen integrators by 2018.

Jitterbit believes its combination of a self-service portal combined with back-end controls is unique. The range of integrations that IT organizations can make available to employees “can be as complex or simple as you want to make them,” Leigh said. “The IT department has absolute control over every integration that’s deployed throughout the organization. They can open up a recipe, change it and lock it down.”

Recipes are pre-built integrations, such as a routine that updates contact information in Salesforce.com automatically from an incoming email. The initial release will ship with 50 recipes, with another 500 to come next year. Jitterbit also expects its partners to contribute at least another 1,000 pre-built integration packages or “jitterpaks.”

Jitterbit Harmony Winter ’17 also includes enhancements in the areas of project management, design, connectivity and performance. Pricing begins at $2,000 per month for three connectors. Details are available on the company’s pricing page.

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