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Hycu uses AI to develop APIs for SaaS application backup

SaaS applications don’t usually come with built-in data protection, but Hycu plans to tackle that gap in the market with AI to generate the connectors needed to backup user data

It’s just a year since backup product maker Hycu announced R-Cloud, and already it can protect 64 software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications. Now, it plans to integrate many more, with AI capable of generating its own connectors from a small amount of information about the SaaS application.

“From the start of R-Cloud, we’ve had R-Graph visualisation that can discover SaaS application resources,” said Subbiah Sundaram, product director for Hycu, at a recent IT Press Tour event.

“These elements, indexed by R-Graph, are what feed the AI,” he said. “All that’s needed is to select some parameters that the programming language will utilise, then our AI generates the code and the script to deploy it.”

R-Cloud addresses a gap in the market, namely that when SaaS applications save data, they don’t actually back it up. So, if a user accidentally deletes a document, or the last version was corrupted, it’s not possible to recover it. That’s the case for the vast majority of SaaS applications.

R-Cloud will backup whatever you want it to backup. Simon Taylor, CEO and founder of Hycu, had envisaged at the launch of the company that SaaS developers would scramble to write modules to connect their applications to R-Cloud. He even prophesied at least 100 such modules by the end of 2023.

But that objective was not achieved. That’s no bad thing, however, because it hasn’t been SaaS developers that created the 64 connectors and APIs.

“In fact, it has been the integrators that sell SaaS solutions to enterprises that wrote the connection modules to R-Cloud,” said Sundaram. “And that makes sense because they can offer it to customers as a value-add to the base SaaS application.”

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Integrators can gain expertise in the details of the SaaS applications they sell, even if that’s just to deploy them in the cloud of their customers’ choosing. But development of code is not a core expertise for them, so to help deployment of R-Cloud, Hycu tackled the problem of generating code for the application programming interface (APIs).

In recent months, Hycu has worked on building AI – a customised version of Claude, from Anthropic, a rival of OpenAI – into its APIs and software development kit.

“We think we’ve taken a leap into the future in the data protection market,” said Taylor, who explained that Hycu’s AI had reduced connector development time from several weeks to a few hours.

The use of AI to help automate backup connectivity for SaaS applications marks an innovative use of AI in cloud data protection. Elsewhere, Hycu’s competitors, such as Cohesity and Rubrik, have applied AI to help with proactive technical support.

Hycu’s R-Cloud offering works by means of partnership between the SaaS application and Hycu, with backup functionality implemented in the application and the user’s backup copy stored in the R-Cloud service.

The R-Graph service is connected to authentication portals such as Azure Active Directory and Okta to allow customers to identify services used.

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