There are many system integration types that adopt different infrastructures to meet a company’s needs. Some solutions form a powerful database through an interconnected network and others transfer data between specific subsystems. Businesses have to learn about different system integration approaches, and their advantages and disadvantages to decide which option suits a company best.
The role of system integration methods
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Businesses that aim to enable data sharing between their existing software have to consider different types of system integration methods. Every system is programmed with different coding, you can implement the best integration technologies, however without human expertise, it won’t bring you many benefits. Instead of implementing the integration project on your own, you can approach a system integrator that will provide you with bridge scattered computer subsystems and ensures they function in accordance with one another. System integrators are usually responsible for planning, regulating, testing, and maintaining computer operations.
The purposes of system integration are to decrease labor time and costs, increase productivity, simplify data transfer between departments, and process raw data.
Main Ways to Connect System Integration Methods
To fully satisfy their business requirements, some companies implement more than one type of software. Here is a list of well-known system integration methodologies.
- Enterprise resource planning or ERP is an application that can access every aspect of your core company functions.
- Customer relationship management or CRM has sales records and all the customer information merged into one.
- Middleware is the software layer that combines applications, services, distributed systems, and devices. It can be accessed via APIs. An API gateway is a type of middleware between a collection of services and systems using them. Also, it handles various tasks like data management, messaging, API management, or authentication.
- Application programming interfaces offer a clear way to connect two systems. Being between applications and web services enables the transmission of functionality and data in a standardized format. Most online service providers (e.g. social media or travel platforms) develop external APIs so that clients can easily link to their products.
- Electronic data interchange or EDI enables the exchange of business data in a standard electronic format instead of paper documents.
- Point-to-point connection integration connects one system to another for them to function together. Many cloud-based applications offer this method as productized integration modules for most IT systems.
Steps to take to implement system integration
If the company wants to gain full transparency of its business operations, return its investments and conduct effective integration, there are a few steps to take.
The integration process starts with a strategy. Evaluate your current software, and its tech specifications, and describe integration requirements and all possible risks that may occur.
This phase establishes the integration model, methods, and the process itself. It includes creating a custom architecture to meet integration requirements and designing and planning how systems will communicate with other extensive systems.
The implementation stage means developing and launching the integration system. Once the integration is complete, the systems are verified and tested for bugs and errors. If any are detected they are fixed.
To make sure that everything is functioning flawlessly, modules don’t lose any data during transmission and seamlessly interact with each other, and the integrated system is being tested and maintained.
Types of system integrations
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There are different types of system integration processes available. Each of them has a different purpose. We’ve highlighted a few of them, so let’s proceed.
Webhooks are event-based, which requires programming modules within each subsystem that are triggered by third-party services. Management is only alerted when a specific event occurs, or change is made. It enables access to real-time data at any time. And since information is updated whenever an event happens, you don’t need to schedule data collection times within the integrator.
Application Programming Interface
There are a couple of API subcategories (public, private, and partners) that utilize application integration. By establishing these interconnections using common code language, systems transmit data seamlessly throughout solutions. The API method can handle most data variations and it is available for almost every integration project.
By living on a server to connect with local management tools, Integration Services Components allow the system integrator to access data without importing large files
ISC’s functionality can connect and integrate systems if the business has access to data within the web service.
This method consolidates repeated processes to enhance production and information flow. Orchestrations manage several solutions and allow users to manage all involved systems simultaneously.
Data format integration
This type of integration can be implemented by creating a new data language. It helps eliminate the need to have more than one adapter within a system for every subsystem. The advantage of this type of integration is that all subsystems operate independently and communicate seamlessly.
What Pros and Cons Can Arise When Using These Integration Systems?
Now let’s talk about the advantages of system integration methods.
One of the benefits of system integration methods is the functionality they offer: efficient daily operations, internal and external communication, communication with subcontractors, placing purchase orders, and satisfying customer requests in the most productive and efficient way.
It takes a lot of time and effort to manage the supply chain manually. An integration system can automate this process and cut down on the likelihood of human errors and time spent on data formatting. This allows employees to spend more time on core business operations.
Without a system integrator, companies can spend an extended amount of time running analyses on solutions manually instead of relying on software that has to enhance operational functions within a company. An integrated information system lets users examine software through a common data format, giving management a more precise perspective of the overall performance.
Among other pros of system integration methods is the elimination of the need for repetitive tasks. Thus the core operations are not only performed more efficiently using the same resources. It saves you from spending unnecessary costs.
Working with numerous systems and programs takes lots of time. As system integration allows you to reduce the time you spend on providing services, it leads to better client satisfaction.
There are also some challenges and cons of system integration methods. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
- Given the number of system integration tools available on the market, choosing one can be a challenge for some organizations.
- The process of integrating different systems is time-consuming and requires expertise.
System integration is a costly affair for many businesses as it requires a large investment. However, it will you lots of benefits and an opportunity to save money on maintenance.
As system integration handles a great amount of data, there is a risk of leakage of vital information. Thus, comprehensive security measures must be put in place during software development.
When it comes to upgrading the system, it can be a challenge for software development engineers. This process is complex as integration doesn’t turn several programs into one instead they still need to be upgraded separately.
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There are different system integration types and methods types available on the market. Each of them aims to satisfy unique business needs: to improve data sharing, upgrade internal communication, etc. Contact our experts to choose the best-fit approach with our it system integration services.