The Ultimate Guide to Application Integration

The Ultimate Guide to Application Integration

Daniel Hall 05/08/2021
The Ultimate Guide to Application Integration

Multiple applications...

Plenty of data to deal with...

Different workflows…

Yet, you want to optimize and merge those applications.

But do they come without any cost?

Of course not!

Application integration is a challenge in itself.

And if you’re not careful, you may most probably run into:

  • Complexity as there’s a lot to think about. You want to make the application workable no matter what.
  • The overwhelming number of backlogs.
  • Repetitive tasks, yet no sign of good news.
  • Wasting months for almost nothing.

Plus, you can’t discount the need of integrating applications

  1. Data silos have been eating up organizations. 72% of firms find it hard to manage multiple systems.
  2. Application integration expands the scope of customer and supplier relationships.
  3. Coding new functionalities on the existing system can be time-consuming. App integration gets the fresh functionality quickly.
  4. Integration plays a massive role in company mergers and acquisitions.  

How to integrate applications— 4-steps process!

Check out the steps.

Step 1: Know the plan, process, and scope of integration. 

The key to starting your integration process with the bang is to know 

  • what you’re trying to achieve 
  • what’s the scope of integration
  • and understanding its full capabilities

Your integration team has specific roles to play.

They will

  • learn about the business requirements for the fresh, integrated system you’re planning
  • decide upon the process they want to integrate
  • define data that are needed to be merged and shared
  • evaluate the application that’s to be integrated
  • understand application’s potentials and limitations
  • see if integration infrastructure matches the application’s capabilities and limitations 
  • decode the way to transfer the data and look for the suitable transformation format
  • determine the overall communication protocol required for integration
  • fix on business metrics to calculate if the move to make integration is successful
  • set compliance policies for the newly integrated system

Total time for execution: 3-4 weeks

Step 2: Design the integrated system

Since you want to bring multiple subsystems into one unified functional system— your integration team must design the system to avoid technical hiccups during the process.

In this stage, the merging team will:

  • define the resources needed for integration
  • learn more on resources scalability, flexibility, maintenance, and persistence
  • understand the level of firewall and security the system will need
  • figure out the best-fit approach for integration 

Total time for execution: 3-5 weeks

Step 3: Evaluate and choose the optimal tech stack for integration

Application integration needs manual expertise from the team; it also demands you have the most efficient and optimal tech stack for the process.

What building materials are to your residence, the tech stack is to application integration.

Your business analyst and solution architects have roles to play here.

They’ll 

  1. shortlist a few tech stacks that could meet your requirements
  2. write each of their pros and cons
  3. measure what weighs more and better compared to other options
  4. evaluate their performances of the past
  5. might as well read case studies, merits, and challenges with any tech stack
  6. choose the most relevant stack

Total time for execution: 3-4 weeks

 

Finally, the last step is integration.

The overall time depends on the integration approach you choose.

It may vary between 6 to 12 months, depending on the approach, the complexity of the applications, and the tech stack you have.

Whether you go for mediated or direct integration, you’ll need to have it checked by the QA team.

Testing would ensure if: 

  • different units combine properly
  • all the units interact with each other seamlessly
  • subsystems have united into a shared pool
  • code complies with your needs

QA team has a lot to offer post-integration

They’ll

  • make sure there’s a testing flow between multiple services
  • please verify all the queries within the integrated system (be it uni or bi-directional)
  • look into the changing requirements and apply recovery mechanism should there be issues with integration
  • approve backup operational mode as a part of work failover mechanisms.
  • testing different integrated modules simultaneously
  • carry out security testing as no web architecture is free of security attacks and vulnerability.

Total time for execution: 6 to 12 months

The conclusive argument

As the need for system and application integration continues to steep up — the IT industry is leveraging the energies of self-service integration capabilities.

Earlier, the manual integration seemed like nothing but factory work.

Fortunately, automation and the fundamental shift will change the way we do application integrations.

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Daniel Hall

Business Expert

Daniel Hall is an experienced digital marketer, author and world traveller. He spends a lot of his free time flipping through books and learning about a plethora of topics.

 

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