Today, Boomi announced two acquisitions. The first is federated API management startup APIIDA. The other is TIBCO’s Mashery API management. This should come as no surprise to those who follow Boomi. Last year, its CEO made it clear that he wants the company to become a leader in API management. Given its long neglect and lack of investment in its API management product, an acquisition was necessary for Boomi to catch up.

Boomi And APIIDA — A Perfect Match

Boomi’s acquisition of APIIDA is completely unsurprising. There is a growing need for organizations to govern APIs across multiple gateways. In Forrester’s Developer Survey, 2023, Forrester asked about challenges regarding developing, managing, and consuming APIs. The challenge that most respondents struggled with was dealing with API gateways from more than one vendor. Features for discovering, tracking, and managing APIs across multiple gateways elicited the most responses as a feature that respondents would find most valuable to develop more consumable APIs. (Forrester seatholders can read the full report here.) APIIDA provides many of the tools one expects from API management — except a gateway. Instead, it integrates with seven other gateways. Presumably, its architecture will allow more to be quickly added and go beyond to other API sources (Git) and API patterns (async events).

The incumbents in this space, though, mostly offer nothing to address this need. Axway integrates with numerous gateways — a rare exception. Software AG offers an SDK to integrate its control plane with other gateways, and Sensedia has limited native integration with the AWS gateway. Gravitee’s support for the AWS gateway is still in preview release. Beyond those, I’m not aware of enterprise-grade API management that directly addresses this need. APIIDA, though, is incomplete. APIIDA needs a gateway; incumbents need federation. That made it a prime target for acquisition. By acquiring APIIDA, Boomi’s gateway fills APIIDA’s gap, and Boomi achieves a competitive edge that few competitors fill. Given the feature-poor API management that Boomi currently has, a highly unique feature that the market desperately wants is just what Boomi needs.

TIBCO’s Innovation Has Stalled

It is also not surprising that TIBCO sold Mashery. Since being acquired by private equity, TIBCO’s innovation has slowed. It eliminated its professional services, sending nearly 400 employees from that division to HCLTech. Orchestra Networks’ EBX was to be TIBCO’s new data catalog after TIBCO abandoned its prior master data management (MDM) product, but TIBCO gutted Orchestra Networks’ staff. It is no longer viable as enterprise MDM. TIBCO’s dated ESB has been eclipsed as enterprise customers turn to Confluent, Snowflake, Databricks, and open-source options for data integration. iPaaS competitors tell me that they see more and more TIBCO replacement bids. And as for Mashery, a review of its release notes doesn’t show much: Though they added certificate management (a nice addition), many of the new enhancements are underwhelming, like a Helm chart and endpoint utilization reporting. Yawn.

Boomi Must Avoid TIBCO’s Mistakes

While I expected Boomi to acquire APIIDA, I did not expect it to also acquire Mashery. Given that Boomi’s gateway is based on an old version of the open-source Gravitee gateway, I expected it to acquire the Gravitee company instead and upgrade its existing gateway or stop at APIIDA and invest in its engineers filling the remaining product gaps. Acquiring Mashery signals that Boomi wishes to move faster than internal product development would allow. But it also raises questions about its existing product. I don’t expect Boomi to abandon its current API management. Its tight integration with Boomi iPaaS and Master Data Hub has unique appeal for users of those other products. Nonetheless, the fact is that Boomi now has two API gateways, three API developer portals, and other redundancies. Expect Boomi to deprecate some features.

TIBCO’s mistake was cobbling together a bunch of unrelated products and not investing in a cohesive user experience. I’ve called it the “TIBCO Frankenstein” to my clients. TIBCO needed to build a unified user experience across its integration products. But with the sale of Mashery, it appears that ship has sailed.

This isn’t Boomi’s first acquisition. It acquired low-code vendor ManyWho seven years ago. It did a decent job unifying that product with the rest of Boomi. Let’s hope Boomi repeats that and doesn’t let the TIBCO Frankenstein rise from the grave as the Boomi Frankenstein.