It wasn’t so long ago when application to application integration was still a major obstacle for businesses needing to send and receive data to one another. These days, though, it’s more than doable (though inconvenient and expensive); there are a handful of products out there that transform data and provide app-to-app data exchange within a particular set of business requirements.
But I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: application integration should be as easy as using Facebook. With the current heterogeneous application landscape and the requirements of real-time business needs, finding a simple yet comprehensive app-to-app integration solution isn’t as easy as it should be. Here are two major application-to-application integration issues that have yet to be fully addressed by an integration vendor:
Application to Application integration may be solved, but it's almost entirely solved by IT, and it’s almost entirely meant to be used by IT. As an IT-driven strategy from start to finish, it doesn’t necessarily adjust well to dynamic business environments when connection and integration needs change and require a faster, easier way to get to data.
Business teams depending on IT for connections is simply not a scalable strategy. Business users are the ones who understand the data, so it’s logical they should be the ones handling the exchange in order to speed up the process of delivering to their customers. An integration strategy that empowers business users to get to the data wherever and whenever they need to is crucial, yet still lacking.
What is needed is an out-of-the-box architecture that allows business users to be the leaders in connecting and consuming data. IT should still govern the functions that business users perform, but IT needs to be released from their current bottleneck when it comes to providing solutions to business users and customers. The most progressive and necessary app-to-app integration solution is one in which business users are empowered to perform it on their own.
Just because a business has app-to-app integration capabilities doesn’t mean that their trading partners will. If a company wants to connect their HR system to a payroll service provider, for example, they better hope that their payroll service provider has the technology necessary to consume the APIs that their integration solution is going to require.
API strategy involves custom architecture that is also not built for scalability, and many companies don’t have the ability to consume APIs to begin with.
In addition to defining APIs, companies must also take into account a handful of other challenges. They need to find an integration solution which addresses authorization policies based on metadata content and supports versions of APIs as revisions are made over time. Also, it is necessary for the solution to easily handle the issuing and managing of API keys as well as the renewing of Oauth tokens. The next-generation application-to-application integration solution also guarantees request and delivery notifications and provides a custom building self-signup and enrollment portal for partners to register and consume the APIs.
With the wide variety of trading partner capabilities out there, the much better alternative to complex API architecture is a Cloud-based integration hub with a pre-built library of app-to-app connectors. What is needed is a more social approach to application-to-application integration that uses graphical, wizard-driven software which provides “citizen integrators” — a term coined by Gartner Research, Inc. — with connectivity options including self sign-up, discovery, approvals, and a published lists of data connections. With software like this, connecting with trading partners can be straightforward and easy for all parties involved.
For more articles on Application Integration, check out:
Adeptia Connect 2.0 Shortens Customer Onboarding From Months To Minutes
Application Integration Definition: What Is An Enterprise Service Bus?
Anatomy Of An Application Integration Chicken
See how Adeptia compares in this Application Integration Software comparison.