Software Tools Integration Platform: Build or Buy?

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tools integration

Not able to decide whether to Create or Acquire an Integration Solution?
This blog will help you make the decision quickly
.

 

Preface

The first and the foremost question that comes to our mind while choosing an integration solution is whether we need to build the integration solution or use a solution that is already available. Integration is still a relatively new space, and organizations have recently started to realize its importance. There should be thorough research and discussion about what an organization should gain from a good integration platform.

This article will give an insight into creating an Integration solution as well as the features that should be available in a good integration platform so that organizations can easily decide whether they need to build it or buy it.

A holistic picture of an Integration Solution

The primary requirements of an integration solution should be productive and collaborative. Data integrity, error-free transactions and several other factors are involved in the process of defining a good integration solution. Tool functional knowledge and thorough API details are required to implement the integration platform. More than the decision to build or buy an integration, it is important to keep in mind that the solution should be reliable, scalable and easy to use. The reliability of the integration platform is dependent on multiple factors:

Software IT Integration Solution

Build or buy?

Before selecting between building an integration solution from scratch or buying an out-of-box integration platform available in the market, some important factors need to be taken into consideration. The following points are very important and help decide between off the self-solution from the market or building a new one in-house.

1. Available out-of-box Enterprise Platform

The first thing an organization should check is whether any Integration platform is available that meets their requirements and increases productivity. A wrong selection may cause huge time and productivity loss.  A good integration solution should have the following features.

Software IT Integration Solution

Before buying the integration solution, the organization needs to validate whether the product has a rich portfolio of clients and whether it has proven use cases.

2. Challenges faced while building the “In-house” integration platform

Building an in-house integration solution takes a great deal of time. Therefore, if organizations need an integration solution urgently, building one from scratch may not be the best idea. Even if organizations put a lot of time and money into building the integration solution, until the team is an expert in the domain with extensive experience, there is no guarantee that the solution will be successful. Doing extensive research and creating an error-free integration platform is extremely time and effort-consuming and may distract an organization from its main business focus..

3. The common question that needs to be asked before building an in-house solution

Though it looks easy initially to build an integration between two tools as it is a matter of connecting two APIs between source and target tool, in reality, a lot of complexities are involved before creating a reliable output.

tool integration

4. Common issues for an Integration solution

There are multiple causes and common risks are involved in the integration ecosystem. Some risks are involved in the integration ecosystem like tool API limitations, API throttling, synching multiple data types, user access issues, huge transactions by uploading bulk data in the source tool, etc. all these factors can break premature integration solutions. Hence, the platform architect should work thoroughly to accommodate these issues. It is very difficult to incorporate all the cases and scenarios in a new product. Some additional points are involved which will provide more insights into it.

  • Scalability to handle huge transactions
  • Sync source and target tool comments and attachments
  • Dynamic data transformation
  • Tool connector upgrade when Tool or API version changes
  • Consistency in data integration
  • Strong and secure encryption logic to access multiple tool API
  • Should have a strong technical team who can understand Tool API and connect them by writing code with supported language.
  • Good UI / UX so that users can configure it easily.

Conclusion

Creating an Integration platform from scratch and channelizing effort to perform regular upgrades and maintenance is not an easy task. An organization should rather acquire a proven solution. The integration platform should be scalable, reliable, secure, and easy to use which helps organization increase their daily productivity. Creating a brand-new solution takes a lot of technical competencies, research work, huge time, and some percentage of failure risk.


Debasish Pradhan is the Senior Project Manager - Software Development at Kovair Software. He is responsible for product design, connector architecture and supervising the development of Omnibus Integration, DevOps and QuickSync Migration products. He has more than 14 years of Product Development experience.

One comment

  1. A very nice summary of considerations for those considering buidling their own integrations or a platform to perform integrations. This is a non trivial task and needs to be approached with some deep thoughts and considerations. If you think you should focus on your main value creation for your business, what I conclude from this blog is that one should leave this to the professionals who do it full time for a living!
    Besides building it the first time, long term maintainability aspects are too involved from a long term perspective.

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