Integration Definition

Most separate software systems need to be integrated or connected to interact with one another. This is especially true when it comes to cloud-based and SaaS (Software as a Service) platforms, which offer businesses specialized services. Integrating two software systems requires manual coding by developers to ensure data can be shared seamlessly by both software systems.

Integration is usually achieved using an API, or application programming interface.

You’ll often see software systems publicizing that they offer integration with another service. This simply means that the two platforms have been successfully connected to allow cross-functionality.

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Software integration is the process of combining different software applications or services in order to create a unified and seamless experience for users. This can involve integrating different systems within a single organization, or connecting different organizations' systems in order to facilitate collaboration and data sharing. The goal of software integration is to improve efficiency and productivity by enabling different software systems to work together seamlessly.

API-based integration

By far the most common and effective way to integrate two separate pieces of software is via an API (Application Programming Interface). An API is a software component that allows separate applications to communicate with one another. It does this by defining which data the two applications can exchange in order for them to understand each other.

The steps to integrate software via API typically include:

  • Identify the specific API(s) that you want to integrate with your software.

  • Review the API documentation to understand the requirements, input and output parameters, and any limitations or restrictions of the API.

  • Create an account with the API provider and obtain the necessary authentication credentials, such as an API key or token.

  • Set up a development environment and install any necessary dependencies or libraries.

  • Write code to make API requests and handle the response data, following the API provider's guidelines and specifications.

  • Test the integration to ensure that it is functioning properly and returning the expected results.

  • Deploy the integration to your production environment, and monitor it to ensure that it continues to work as expected.

  • Make any necessary updates or changes to the integration as needed.

Third party integrations

Third party software integration connects a platform or piece of software with a separate software program or service. In this case, ‘third party’ signifies that the other software was developed by a separate business or developer. As a result, third party integrations often require input from developers from both businesses.

Companies often do third-party software integrations to improve the functionality and efficiency of their existing software systems. By integrating with other software, companies can access new features and capabilities that can help them better serve their customers and streamline their internal processes. This can save time and money, and allow for a more seamless and efficient workflow. In addition, third-party software integrations can help companies to improve their data management and analysis capabilities, and can facilitate better collaboration and communication within the organization.

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