by Christopher Lindquist

MIT Works on Super-Simple Integration

Jun 15, 20052 mins
Enterprise Applications

The siren call of “dead simple integration” has lured legions of software vendors, venture capitalists and CIOs into the icy depths in the last couple decades, but past failure hasn’t stopped adventurous souls from dreaming of future success.

One of the latest attempts is an MIT technology project called DOME, which has been licensed to startup software company Tambora. Tambora plans to commercialize the integration platform, which it has renamed BreadnButter, in hopes of bringing super-simple integration to the masses. The project started when MIT began working with Ford to create a way to ease data sharing and collaboration among employees who were designing new doors and windows for automobiles. Ultimately, they wanted a technology that would allow the collaborators themselves to quickly and easily integrate data that included some 3,000 parameters, rather than involving the IT department.

After seven years and $4 million, a rollout is now happening inside Ford. But Bruce Anderson, acting CEO at Tambora, says that the technology is far more generally applicable and could be used to integrate many different types of data and applications. As proof, Tambora has already launched a demo site ( in which users can quickly integrate Excel spreadsheets that update in real-time whenever someone edits cells. The company announced plans to launch a hosted spreadsheet linking service in May, with additional features—such as the capability to run a Tambora integration server behind a corporate firewall, and removal of the need to upload spreadsheets to the server—coming later this year. Tambora will also offer a number of prepackaged, preintegrated spreadsheets that will be available free of charge on the site, with customization available for a fee. Anderson also says that spreadsheets are only the tip of the iceberg for Tambora; the company has plans to introduce other BreadnButter-based integration options at some point in the future.