Simplifying Guidewire Integration with New Cloud Services
Let’s face it – integration is hard.
This is true not only for Guidewire integration and for P&C core systems generally, but also for the delivery of any major enterprise application. For each project, you need to consider the organization, partner ecosystem, and processes involved. These vary considerably, particularly for larger customers, leading to complex requirements for both the applications involved and their integrations.
While integration may be challenging, the technology doesn’t need to be. We aim to make it a strength of our platform to enable InsuranceSuite Cloud solutions. How do we plan to do this? Let’s start by looking at some new services that Guidewire launched with the Banff release: the InsuranceSuite Cloud API and our new fixed-price integration service.
InsuranceSuite Cloud API
The InsuranceSuite Cloud API is a set of RESTful system APIs that client applications can use to request data from or initiate action within an InsuranceSuite application. Built specifically for Guidewire Cloud, the InsuranceSuite Cloud API enables you to connect apps and services from your enterprise to Guidewire without the need to make changes to the code base.
Fixed-Price Integration Service
With the Banff release, Guidewire Professional Services now offers a way for you to implement common integrations even faster through the new fixed-price integration service. For select apps in the Guidewire Marketplace, you can choose to have our services team implement the app for you using proven, standard methods–all at a fixed price that is significantly lower than standard billable rates.
For new integration services beyond our Banff release, we’re doubling down on our API-first strategy, and we’re introducing a new service that is purpose-built for integration apps: simple, open, and flexible.
Let’s take a closer look.
New Integration Services
Taking together our strategic priorities for cloud transformation, our guiding principles for an open platform, and a comprehensive review of common integration patterns for InsuranceSuite, we’ve defined the following new services to enable the strategy:
- Application Events: no-code API for InsuranceSuite business events; the outbound API counterpart to the InsuranceSuite Cloud API launched with Banff
- Integration Gateway: service for low-code integration apps to bridge between InsuranceSuite and external apps
Application Events builds on our API-first strategy with an outbound API, enabling event-driven solutions from InsuranceSuite apps. Today, developers use event messaging with rules and custom plug-ins to send messages from InsuranceSuite to external apps. Application Events will eliminate the need for custom Gosu code.
Application Events is a pub/sub messaging service for InsuranceSuite. You specify subscriptions in metadata for the event, conditions, and data. It publishes messages in a standard JSON format to form a data graph of related integration views (for example, a claim with associated incidents, exposures, and parties involved). Application Events will initially have three consumers: a web API (webhook) to external apps, Integration Gateway, and the workflow service (for example, the forthcoming Claims Autopilot demonstrated at Connections Reimagined).
Integration Gateway is a purpose-built service to run integration apps that is designed to bridge between InsuranceSuite APIs and third-party or custom apps. Today, integrations are typically coded in Gosu. Integration Gateway will simplify the development and management of both customer-specific and Marketplace integration apps, significantly reducing custom code in InsuranceSuite.
Integration Gateway leverages Apache Camel, which is considered the “Swiss Army knife” of open-source integration for its flexibility and comprehensive support for both legacy systems and modern services. It is a mature and proven Java framework with a low-code DSL that makes it easy to build high-quality integration apps. As the most active Apache project, it has risen to become the de facto leading open-source project for integration.
Now that we’ve reviewed the new integration services that we’re delivering to support the integration strategy, let’s look at why we picked this approach.
Open Cloud Platform Strategy
Insurers just want to realize the benefits of the cloud, improving business agility and reducing cost with a platform they can trust. Partners just want it to be easy to play in our ecosystem as customers move to the cloud. Integration needs to be an enabler.
These are not new challenges; we can stand on the shoulders of giants. We can start with an open cloud platform based on proven industry practices and popular frameworks. This will speed Guidewire integration development and reduce costs to deliver customer projects, as well as Guidewire Marketplace apps by Solution partners.
Establishing Common Patterns
To assess integration requirements and potential approaches, we drew from our experience with common InsuranceSuite integrations. We looked at the most common integrations among our hundreds of InsuranceSuite instances globally. A typical core system deployment involves several dozen integrations, over half of which will generally be custom-developed by insurers or SIs—but many of these should be satisfied by integration apps that are readily available in the Marketplace and configurable to your needs.
To enable the use cases, we identified the three most common patterns, each of which can be solved by some combination of API, Application Events, and Integration Gateway. Data enrichment for underwriting, or policy document production, for example, would use all three. We also identified two additional patterns: third-party UI extensions (which we will handle with Jutro) and batch data integration such as financial/regulatory reporting and data warehouse (which will be covered by Guidewire Data Platform).
Going forward, we can use these common patterns to further simplify the development of quality integration apps, creating reusable templates, and even no-code tooling. We’ll be able to create templates to support a particular pattern, such as inbound file processing, or even a specific domain, such as inbound glass claims file to ClaimCenter.
We’ve had very positive early discussions with customers and partners regarding our new integration strategy. In fact, we’re currently targeting Early Adopter access for the Cortina release in the first half of 2021. As our teams progress in building these services, I’ll be sharing more information here as well as in our biannual roadmap webinars.
Senior Director, Product Management
As part of the Cloud Platform team, Chris leads the product strategy for the Guidewire integration capabilities.
The preceding is intended to outline our general product direction and provided for information purposes only. It does not, and shall not, constitute binding agreements or contractual obligations of any sort. It is not a commitment to deliver any software or functionality. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described remains at the sole discretion of Guidewire.