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Jitterbit: Web Services Without The Headaches

Integrating various siloed sources of data can be a difficult and expensive proposition.

But a company called Jitterbit is betting that its open source integration suite, combined with Web Services technology, will ease the development process.

Jitterbit came out of its beta development with a 1.0 release of its self-titled integration suite in May of this year, allowing users to integrate data from their CRM, ERP and other data sources together via Web Services.

Version 1.1 is now out offering users the ability to not just consume but to easily create and publish Web Services as well.

Sharam Sasson, president and CEO of Jitterbit, explained to internetnews.com that version 1.1 is the other half of the solution.

"We're providing a very quick way of taking internal data and exposing and sharing it, making it available as a Web Service either to be used internally or over the Internet," Sasson said.

So far, response to Jitterbit 1.1 according to Sasson has been very strong. The company claimed more downloads in the last two weeks than there had been in the entire lifetime of the project.

Data integration is also achieved in Jitterbit via a feature called "Jitterpacks," which are pre-packaged integrations including configuration information to quickly integrate data types and sources.

In version 1.1 encryption has been added to Jitterpacks, which Sasson said came out of partner requests. Those partners wanted the ability to make money out of their Jitterpacks and didn't want them to be freely available to everyone.

"It makes for a complicated world where some want commercial products and want to make money off it and some don't," Sasson said. "We're trying to be able to build our community base whether they are hard core open source or just consultants that want to make money with their expertise. We believe it's not up to us to be judgmental and tell them what they can or cannot do."

According to Sasson, Jitterbit has benefited greatly from its open source model. Jitterbit also offers a paid professional edition version of its software that includes support, training and consulting/development Services.

Sasson was unable to provide a conversion ratio of free to paying customers noting that it was still very early for this company, though he does have a goal.

"If we get just 1 percent of our downloads to become paying customers, that would outstanding for us as. That creates a huge opportunity for a small firm with an open source model," Sasson said.

Jitterbit expects to continue to do one or two major releases a year with the next version of Jitterbit, version 2.0 is expect by the end of this year.