Technology

Integrations

by
on
1/5/2022
Integrations

For any given purpose, there could be more than one software required to get the job done, like linking different data storage systems or software solutions for a business. 

Whenever more than one software subsystem is being used, there are different data sources. This will inevitably lead to confusion and misplaced data. That’s where integrations come in. 


What are software integrations?

Software integration is the process of connecting and then unifying different software subsystems or software parts. This basically changes the task of getting data from different sources into an automated one that pulls data from a single system. 

Integration can improve business processes, operations, and productivity, as well as the quality of the final product. It enables IT systems’ communications to be a lot easier and speeds up communication flow as well as reduces operating costs. 


How software integrations work

There are four different ways to integrate software:

  • Vertical – subsystems of a network are merged according to their functionalities.

  • Star – subsystems connect with other subsystems via point-to-point connections.

  • Horizontal – a subsystem can be used as an interface for other subsystems. In this case it’s easy to change one subsystem without affecting others.

  • Common data integration format – sets down the application-independent format with the goal of achieving a single-format system.
    If systems use this technique then applications can be converted into a common application. 


The most common challenges with software integrations

  1. Picking the right integration tool

With the sheer magnitude of choice available, picking the right integration tool is a challenge. Most recently, a software integration tool that supports hybrid integration is the preferred choice. 

This is because hybrid integration will allow a local app to integrate with cloud-based integrations. Developers might want to avoid being completely on the cloud for privacy and security reasons. 


  1. Integrating with monolithic systems

Many businesses have monolithic architecture systems. In systems like these, aspects that are functionally distinct like data input, error handling, and user interface are all interwoven. This can make it difficult to replace these systems.

Beyond this, businesses often rely heavily on these systems, which are often legacy systems, and so moving away from them can truly be a chore for everyone involved. 


  1. Changes in the environment

Most integrated systems are designed to solve a certain problem, but a lot of components and subsystems that get integrated aren’t actually well-prepared or suited for integration. 

If that’s the case, then they might end up obsolete after integration, which creates a whole other set of headaches. 


Software integrations’ most common success factors 

  1. Security

Successful integration requires secure lines like Secure Socket Layer (SSL) or a Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP).
They should also be audit-trailed. This is a record of any documented activities that can show what’s actually happening throughout the integration process. Something else of importance is to have the capability to disable the integration just in case security is compromised. 


  1. Simplicity

The easiest integrations happen when the systems being integrated are simple. Breaking down what is needed and when it’s needed will mean that the integration can happen more easily and step-by-step rather than all at once, which can be overwhelming and overcomplicated. 


  1. Application analysis

Before integration actually starts, it’s a great idea to:

  • Analyze the proposed system integration needs 
  • Collect all of the information that’s going to be necessary and relevant to the process
  • Analyze all of the integration’s success factors and how to achieve them. 


  1. Integration size

Larger and more complex integration systems often create a lot of dependencies. Smaller and more straightforward integrations are not only easier, but far more powerful as well. 


  1. Flexibility

Integrations can be file-based or done via the web. File-based integrations will involve data being shared between two softwares. They are done manually using either File Transfer Protocol or Secure File Transfer Protocol. 

Software integration is best done via web services however, as flexible web service can support SOAP and REST standards. These allow integrations and data flow between platforms. Integration should be able to be shifted from file-based to web services-based. 



Conclusion

In addition to being complex, integrations are one of those non-core tasks that take valuable time away from your team. You can outsource them to us here at NerdCloud, so that your team can focus on doing what only they can do and your project can thrive. 

For more information, get in touch with us today.