Application integration: The comprehensive guide you need to know application integration

Application integration allows disparately developed applications and systems to operate together instead of using individually one by one. Simply speaking, if you establish this integration well, it will strengthen your business’s infrastructure. As a result, your business can drive operational efficiencies and overall business value. With this reason, in this article, ArrowHiTech will deliver you the comprehensive guide of Application integration you should know. So, explore with us right now!

What does Application integration mean? 

Application integration refers to the process of different apps working with one another, in which, each with its own purpose. For instance, these apps could be cloud-based, like Salesforce CRM, or on-premises behind a firewall, like SAP. Plus, in a hybrid environment, like cloud apps housed on a company’s own servers.

Organizations may achieve integrations that modernize their infrastructures and enable agile business operations by combining and streamlining data and workflows between diverse software applications.

Besides, the key goal of app integration is to establish a more modern and unified architecture. It will streamline the use of these apps rather than the clumsy and fragmented experience if they were used separately. 

Application integration

Moreover, with businesses seeking to link their on-premises systems and cloud-based enterprise applications, application integration is becoming increasingly important. Best of all, successful integration provides interconnected data flow and processes. At the same time, offering businesses with a broader range of tools to deal with their applications and correlated data. 

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Major Application integration concepts

When it comes to Enterprise Application Integration (known as EAI), it requires several components to successfully orchestrate processes between two or more applications. Let’s refer to them below:

#1. Application Programming Interface (APIs)

APIs are collections of rules or processes that specify how different pieces of software should communicate. Besides, they are almost universal at this point since they tap into a certain data format to allow developers to quickly access the functionality of other programs. 

Application integration concepts

#2. Event-driven actions

When an event occurs in a group of connected applications, such as a piece of data being uploaded, it triggers one or more actions. For example, invoicing and billing a client or managing an opportunity-to-order workflow from NetSuite ERP to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales. 

#3. The mapping of data

The mapping process is quite crucial because it will determine how to transmit data or information. As a result, exporting, grouping as well as analyzing will become easier afterwards. A simple example is when a customer fills out a contact form in one application, and that information is then mapped to comparable fields in other apps.

Prime examples of Application Integration

When coming to the Application integration technology, it can be defined differently by each firm. It mainly depends on the use case, data pattern, and application integration tools available, all of which have a part in how these apps are combined. While, some companies may build point-to-point integration from the ground up. Others may use an open-source approach that relies on developer communities for best practices. Moreover, even many people will also use an application’s APIs or Web Services if they have the necessary internal resources. 

An enterprise application integration strategy integrates technology and services. It will transport important information among the software applications and IT systems to power your business. Following are a few examples of EAI strategies you should know:  

Integration of on-premise applications

An on-premise application might be a self-developed ERP or a purchased proprietary solution that is installed behind your own firewall or in your own “private cloud”. Plus, traditional techniques to internal application integration include specialized coding. However, an enterprise service bus, a middleware platform that uses a rules engine to convert and route messages and enable communication across applications, is also a viable option.  

SaaS application integration

Nowadays, lots of companies use dozens of SaaS applications across their whole organization. For instance, a common data management solution is a SaaS CRM like Salesforce or the cloud-based NetSuite ERP. But, they must be integrated into your corporate architecture to avoid data silos and black boxes. Additionally, a pure-play iPaaS solution is a common cloud integration strategy. What’s more, these applications which rely on one-time API integrations are frequently developer-centric and expensive.

App – to – app integration

Application-to-application integration is a goal for businesses seeking end-to-end processing and complete insight into important business operations. If you’re a newbie and wish to use Magento or Shopify to create a digital store, let’s integrate those e-commerce data workflows with your ERP fulfillment processes. Then, in turn triggering other EDI software integration and B2B data exchange workflows. In fact, this is crucial to guarantee that your company can deliver what it just sold. Besides, it also allows for automation and boosts productivity by removing the need for manual data entry.

What are the key benefits of Application integration? 

#1. Data synchronization

Application integration across several clouds is a crucial step for synchronizing data. However, you will need an advanced technology that lets you deploy integration runtimes across several clouds. This enables you to deploy close to your applications, resulting in decreased latency as processes execute directly in the cloud and lower expenses as data is not moved across platforms.

#2. Access data from anywhere in the world

Data was already on its way to being scattered across many contexts. In particular, in the aftermath of the worldwide epidemic,  this trend has increased, as teams have become more dispersed. What’s more, integrating apps across different contexts has the advantage of allowing teams to access data from any location and sort it in any format. 

Application integration benefits

#3. Level up productivity

Whether it’s the way Salesforce authentication protocols or how NetSuite optimizes efficiency, complicated systems like ERP, CRM, or CPQ tools all have their own distinct features. Modern application integration enables enterprises to swiftly and effectively connect apps in a functional and productive manner. As a result, it helps teams to focus on more value work right now.

#4. Visibility into all aspects of the business in real time 

Full visibility saves time for teams and allows individuals to focus on more rewarding tasks. Besides, data synchronization across the enterprise ensures accuracy while also automating routine activities to streamline corporate operations. 

Challenges

With the development of innovative business software applications, businesses tend to use a lot of apps. These apps range from marketing, HR, messaging and collaboration, accounting and finance, and project management. In fact, they are often critical for helping the business to execute on its goals and provide premium service to customers. And thus, so is application integration. 

When adding more cloud and on-premise applications, the primary business integration data flow becomes more complicated. And, all of these patched-together applications risk causing havoc if they are not successfully integrated inside the IT system. Plus, because there are so many different solutions to integrate, companies are often trapped attempting to find a trustworthy solution that supports agile deployment and integration of best-of-breed corporate application technology 

Without the correct integration platform, businesses can face a custom-coded, unscalable and difficult-to-manage application environment. However, their application investments aren’t providing them with the greatest return on investment. Here are several challenges you can face with Application integration:

#1. App is silo-ed

Data and any possible data-related insights are held hostage in a siloed portion of the organization by applications set up individually and outside an enterprise’s core. When your IT infrastructure can’t enable integration for SaaS solutions and other cloud-based services, these data “stovepipes” occur.

#2. App Integration is time-consuming

One-time integrations lengthen the time it takes to onboard and consume an application. In fact, it requires the maintenance of specific skill sets. Besides, these custom-built interfaces can also cause transaction mistakes, restrict data flows, stymie partner relationships, and stymie business progress. 

Challenges

#3. No process automation

Without proper data transformation and mapping capabilities, organizations are unable to accept and route partner data efficiently.  And, the application runs outside of the automated data orchestration process. This prevents businesses from seeing real-time data, helping them respond quickly to customer and partner demands.

Comparison of Application Integration and Data Integration

In fact, although the terms “data integration” and “application integration” are frequently used interchangeably, there are several essential distinctions to be aware of. Firstly, data integration is the process of gathering data from diverse sources in order to produce a cohesive structure that can be viewed across an organization. Meanwhile, application integration will connect apps at a functional level for them to work together. 

Furthermore, although data integration can be done in real time, it is not required. Its main goal is to assist administrators in moving and analyzing data throughout applications over time. Hence, it can eliminate redundancies and create a more consistent and high-quality data set. Meanwhile, application integration frequently links relevant data in real-time, allowing enterprises to construct more dynamic applications and services. 

Additionally, if enterprise application integration is set up correctly, it will activate efficient workflows when specified events occur in any of the integrated apps. Plus, it encourages organizations to improve their agility and capacity to make crucial business decisions quickly. Because this happens virtually in real-time.

Which industries should use Application integration?

The following are some instances of efficient application integration industry-specific:

Banking

A bank can deliver services via a new digital channel and appeal to new clients. It does that by integrating customer accounts, loan application services, and other back-end processes with their mobile app. 

Healthcare

Anyone who treats a hospital patient has access to the patient’s history, treatments, and records via linking the patient’s record with an electronic health record (EHR) system. Hence, the relevant caregivers can easily get the necessary information to treat the patient efficiently when the patient passes through different regions of the hospital.

Manufacturing

In fact, hundreds of gadgets are used in factories to monitor every part of the production line. Manufacturers can gain insights into production difficulties and better balance quality, cost, and throughput by connecting the devices to other systems.  

What’s more, Application integration allows organizations in any industry to benefit from mission-critical systems such as:

  • Enterprise resource planning system
ERP

It serves as a central center for all business activities within a company. Organizations can streamline and automate mission-critical business activities. For instance, payment processing, supply chain tasks, sales lead tracking, etc by connecting ERP with supporting apps and services.

  • CRM platforms

When working with other tools and services, CRM platforms can increase productivity and efficiency by automating a variety of sales, marketing, customer service, and product development processes.

Working with ArrowHiTech for your successful project

Are you looking for a reliable company for consulting and developing your own application integration project? ArrowHiTech will definitely be the best choice for you. There are a huge number of businesses placing their trust on our integrated app expertise to streamline their operations. Because of the ability to build a program to your organization’s specific demands and budget, it’s no surprise that we’re an ideal partner for application integration. In case you want to cooperate with us or wonder about any problem, let’s CONTACT US instantly. Because our awarding Integration And Data Migration service will surely give you the best method.

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