Application integration creates connectors between two or more applications so that they can communicate and exchange information. Unifying application workflows and merging data in real time eliminates data silos while increasing workplace efficiency. Application integration allows business users to quickly and efficiently share information. It’s the easiest way for organizations to connect cloud-based and SaaS applications to on-premises and legacy systems so that new innovative tools and technologies can be used with existing systems.
The Benefits of Application Integration
There are several benefits of application integration. The automation of business processes through integration allows employees to focus their attention on adding value to other business functions. Eliminating the need for manual intervention means workers don’t have to spend much time moving data. An API-led and event-driven approach to application integration allows for the quick connection and reconnection of the digital landscape without the need for special skills and manual intervention.
APP integration creates a more engaging user experience. An API-led and event-driven approach allows organizations to easily connect systems across functions. Several different applications can be integrated within a unified view for a more productive user experience. Application integration makes it easier to transition to new technologies. Exploiting new technologies like microservices and looking beyond the cloud to edge devices for deployment increase an organization’s agility and speed. It’s easier for business users to access business data without the need for technology-specific skills on integrated platforms. Business applications can be more easily accessed whether deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or at the edge.
Approaches to Application Integration
There’s more than one approach to application integration. Point-to-point application integration is customized integrations between specific applications using connections to solve a specific problem. The more applications that require integration there are, the more difficult it becomes to manage and maintain the number of point-to-point connections. Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) uses a hub-and-spoke approach to connect to other applications. EAI allows for the automation of business processes through real-time communication between applications. The most common solution for EAI is the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), which routes messages between producers and consumers. EAI is ideal for integrating on-premises applications.
Another approach to application integration is an integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS). This cloud-based service integrates data, applications, and business processes through the automation of integration activities. As SaaS applications become widely available, the need for a self-service way to connect and manage the data from these applications has increased. iPaaS makes it possible to build and deploy integrations between cloud and on-premises applications and data using an API-led and event-driven approach. There’s no need to utilize any middleware or hardware.
Choosing the Right Tool
There are several factors to consider when choosing the right integration tool. It’s important to find an integration solution that accommodates a range of integration skills. Every user of all skill levels should be able to access an interface that’s tailored to their needs. A great application integration solution features a vast amount of connectors to popular applications and platforms. An integration tool that comes with connectors included means employees don’t have to spend so much time writing low-level connectivity code.
It’s important to find an integration solution with a high degree of flexibility and choice. Today’s modern integration technologies across hybrid environments include on-premise, cloud, SaaS, serverless, and edge devices. It’s a good idea to choose an integration tool that goes beyond the cloud and on-premises. Find a solution that includes the Internet of Things (IoT) and instrumented devices.
There are several use cases for application integration. It can collect data from IoT devices that will be used for analytics, sync legacy on-premises ERP systems to customer relationship management (CRM), and build automation between applications for more efficient workflows.