Businesses in every industry rely on an array of tools and applications to help their company function optimally. Each will have to approach the discussion of buying vs. building, and for many, they will determine it impractical and unnecessary to dedicate staff to building in house. In the end you have 5, 10 or 20 different applications that will need to work together seamlessly. So how do we make this happen?
The solution: software integration. Software integration is defined as a process of merging two or more software systems together, allowing data or functionality flows between the systems.
4 main types of Software integrations
Application program interface (API) is a set of clearly defined methods of communication between various software components and it is by far the most popular type of software integration. API integration refers to two or more applications can be connected to each other via their API’s to perform a joint function. Although there are several different types of API’s, REST APIs are the most commonly used.
Pros: Highly flexible. Commonly used.
Cons: Dependent on vendor. Code intensive.
Similar to an API, webhooks are a tool used to link web applications. The difference being that webhooks are often not code-based. Using instead modules within a web application. Instead of being request based, webhooks are event- based. Only triggering when a specific even has occurred within a third-party service.
Pros: Real time data. Supports automation efforts.
Cons: Limits data manipulation.
Integration Services Component (ISC) lives within a local server. Creating a bridge with on-premise tools such as directories, asset management tools and BI tools without the need for file imports.
Pros: Out of the box type solution. Wider range of functionality.
Cons: Knowledge of database architecture needed. Require access to backend of application
The process of automating multiple systems and services together. Software configuration management tools offer various methods such as snap-ins or hosting APIs to connect with applications to manage the automation workflow.
Pros: Full automation. Multiple system interaction
Cons: Code intensive. Labor intensive
If you’re not sure if your company could benefit from software integrations, here are some scenarios that may warrant a further look.
- You have multiple data entries into multiple systems
- You spend a lot of time maintaining data entries
- Your data flow is too slow
- You have to duplicate work into more than one application.
- Your applications are from different vendors
- You have customers that would like to integrate with your system.
- You’re looking for ways to enhance your current system.
If you are looking out for more knowledge on implementing new solutions Excel SoftSources is ready to hit the ground running. Our augmented staff can help you achieve your goals in less time at an affordable rate. Contact us today!