Methods of software integration

Software integration

As a company grows, there is a need to collect, analyze, and store a large amount of data for decision-making, reporting, and performance analysis. Since different types of metrics are needed at different times, businesses use various tools and approaches to gather, process, and store these metrics. As a result, the metrics are scattered and require additional processing time and resources before they can be used.

There are several ways to address this problem, including transitioning to a unified comprehensive data collection and processing system. If such a transition is not feasible due to organizational and financial reasons, software integration can help.

There are several methods of software integration, including:

1. API (Application Programming Interface) – a set of instructions and rules that allow programs to interact with each other. An API acts as an intermediary that enables one program to:

  • use the functionality of another program;
  • request data without needing to know the technical details of its implementation;
  • transmit information in the required format;
  • activate functions of another system.

For example, a currency exchange rate viewer program can integrate data using the API of a primary source of indicators, to which it sends a request specifying the currency, and the currency service API responds by providing information about exchange rates.

2. Standard protocols and data formats – agreements and rules that define ways of exchanging information between programs and systems.

Protocols determine how data is transmitted and processed on the network, while formats define the structure and types of metrics that can be passed between programs.

Standards and protocols provide a common language for exchanging information, making technology integration easier and ensuring compatibility between systems.

3. Databases and synchronization: Software integration can be achieved by exchanging information through a single database. Different applications can use the same information database for storage and updates. Data synchronization is the process of updating and aligning information between devices or storage locations. When metrics are synchronized, they become consistent and up-to-date wherever they are used.

For example, consider a mobile phone and a computer whose user wants to have access to the same contacts on both devices. When information is changed on the phone, data integration ensures that these changes are transferred to the computer so that both devices contain up-to-date information. This means that the user can update, add, or delete contacts on either device, and the changes will be automatically reflected on the other device.

It is important to note that data synchronization can be two-way or one-way. In two-way synchronization, changes can be transmitted from the device to the server and from the server to the device. In one-way synchronization, changes are only transmitted in one direction, for example, from the server to the device.

4. Middleware: It is software that sits between different systems and facilitates their communication and interaction.
For example, consider a mobile application and a server that stores information. Middleware receives a request from the client application to the server and performs various operations with it, such as:

  • checking and authenticating the account;
  • processing and filtering data;
  • converting metrics into the required format.
    Its main task is to facilitate interaction between different components and simplify the processing of requests and responses.

5. Integration platforms – software that helps bring together and connect different applications or services so they can interact and exchange data with each other.

These systems provide various tools for creating connections between applications. They can:

  • offer ready-made solutions with popular applications;
  • have a set of APIs for interacting with other programs;
  • provide opportunities for creating custom solutions;
  • offer tools for transforming data between different formats and structures, so that different systems can understand and use the data.

For example, consider a CRM and an electronic payment system. An integration platform allows these solutions to be quickly and easily connected, enabling them to exchange information and interact with each other.

Regardless of the chosen method, software integration:

  • reduces the time and costs of data collection and processing;
  • ensures accuracy and timeliness of information;
  • creates a unified ecosystem in which applications interact with minimal effort.

To start a integration project, begin by filling out the checklist at the following link.

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