At Google's Cloud Next event in San Francisco, partners are announcing third-party data services on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) that offer impressive integration with Google's own offerings. Confluent, the company founded by the creators of Apache Kafka, is one such partner. Fivetran, which delivers data from a variety of databases and Software as a Services (SaaS) applications into major data warehouse platforms, is another.
Confluence of events
For Confluent, the story is pretty straightforward: Confluent Cloud, the company's managed service based on Apache Kafka, had been already been available for almost a year on GCP. But now, rather than simply running on GCP infrastructure, Confluent Cloud on GCP will integrate tightly with the first-party experience. This includes integrated billing and support, as well as the ability to manage Confluent Cloud from the GCP console. Confluent announced its news yesterday.
It seems that GCP customers will now will have a first-class streaming data service beyond Google's own Cloud Dataflow. While Google had already offered a Kafka connector for Dataflow (as well as for BigQuery and Pub/Sub), an integrated, native Kafka service on GCP, backed by the main commercial entity behind the technology, will bring a different experience altogether.
The wide world of SaaS
Fivetran's announcement, breaking today, also entails an interesting and non-trivial integration. The company's data warehouse pipeline connectors will integrate with BigQuery Data Transfer Service (DTS), a Google offering that pipes data from Google data sources into its BigQuery data warehouse service.
DTS is cool on its own: it allows data from services including Google Ads, Campaign Manager, Google Ad Manager and YouTube to be moved right into BigQuery. But with the on-boarding of Fivetran onto the platform, DTS users will have access to over 100 connectors that will provide similar connectivity to third-party SaaS applications, including Salesforce, Marketo and Oracle NetSuite.
Automated setup and product integration between Google Cloud and Fivetran will be provided, and Fivetran says BigQuery customers can use its service for free during a 14-day trial period. Other BigQuery partners on the front-end, like Tableau and Looker, will be downstream beneficiaries of the Fivetran DTS integration.
Get your (third) party on
Between these two integrations on GCP and the first-party integration of Databricks on Azure, there is now critical mass for a new category of cloud data services. Analytics ecosystem products baked into public cloud platforms offer an impressive level of support and endorsement. This goes well beyond what is offered in the public cloud providers' partner marketplaces, and is far more integrated than cloud services offered and billed directly by the third-party vendors.
We'll probably see more offerings in this new category. For now, we're off to a good start.