How to Manage Application Integration on an Enterprise Scale
As your business or enterprise begins to scale, the workflow that you establish becomes even more important to your success. After all, if employees are spending too much time performing unnecessary or redundant tasks, it’s hard for them to focus on their jobs. Data integration can be especially crucial in today’s fast-paced environment. After all, how many business processes rely on the customer data found on platforms like Salesforce or other CRM solutions, as well as different applications deployed via the cloud or on an individual’s computer? The answer, especially if you’re a major enterprise, is likely ‘a lot.’
Scalability has more to do than just ensuring that you aren’t relying on one single application, however. If some solutions or software platforms you rely on are built on a legacy system, it can be difficult to fully accomplish data integration between a more outdated platform and your existing cloud applications. What you need is a connector between individual applications and various data formats. This is where an API, or application programming interface comes in. Read on to learn more about enterprise application integration and how it can transform your business process.
What is application integration?
In its simplest terms, an application programming interface, also known as an API, is all about having different systems or data sets ‘talk’ to each other. This means that they communicate seamlessly without having to export data sets from one application and import them into another platform. As an application integration solution, application integration is ideal because it eliminates the need for middleware. Instead, using web services, you have an integration platform that allows you to easily gain insight from a variety of data silos by connecting them all together instead of keeping them in their data silos. Whether you work on mobile applications, are dealing with enterprise resource planning, or are looking for business data to help inform supply chain management, you’ll be impressed with how easy it is to reduce complexity and get the relevant information you need with application integration.
How does enterprise application integration differ from small-scale data integration?
Is there a difference between what application integration looks like on a small scale versus what it looks like as enterprise application integration? The answer is both yes and no. After all, the major concept of APIs serving as a connector and avoiding the need for middleware remains the same, regardless of how many applications or systems you’re connecting. That being said, when it comes to business process integration on enterprise architecture, you’re likely to run into more microservices, a need for new applications to be deployed more quickly, and an even greater level of attention paid to reducing redundancy in your data sources.
Depending on the enterprise application integrations, it will likely be a much larger endeavor for a large enterprise than for a small business. APIs at the enterprise level do offer the same kind of agility as other business process integration solutions, but it’s important to note that application integration needs much more care and planning when it’s being done between a higher number of vendors, connected applications, and endpoints.
As such, when you’re looking into using APIs and iPaaS to handle data transformation for your enterprise, it’s important to really think clearly about your application integration strategy. Especially if you work with different analytics platforms or a complicated enterprise architecture, it may make sense to batch out different integrations in order to ensure that they’re functioning according to the business rules you’ve set forth. That being said, even if that results in a service timeout for a short period of time, the automation and agility you’ll get after completing such implementations will quickly make up for any lost time.
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