In this day and age, almost every company uses a whole set of various information systems to simplify and streamline as many business processes as possible. Due to the high demand and subsequently large proposition, there is no deficiency in business software solutions and apps, instead, the problem lies within the necessity to integrate the systems in use and synchronize the data between them to ensure consistency across the company. Establishing such a connection holds a promise of facilitating information access and reuse through a single data access point.
The issue of data integration has existed for over three decades, yet even now, it is quite difficult to resolve. So how were businesses dealing with the task in the past? Let’s take a brief look at the historical development of system integration and trace its path to the modern day.
Data Integration Basics
In general terms, data integration deals with synchronizing the information from different sources and providing the users with a unified way to view and interact with it.
Because each tool is separately built and has its own peculiarities, data integration is a pretty complex issue. There are a few factors necessary to consider before pursuing the task in question:
- Data format - the data can be either stored in a standard format or converted during the integration process;
- Networking - the way different applications communicate between each other, for example, SOAP, REST, etc.;
- Security - the system is as safe as its weakest link, so all integrated applications should have similar security regulations;
- Performance - it is necessary to align such indicators as speed and response time to ensure performance compatibility;
Once the factors mentioned above are analyzed and carefully thought through, it is possible to proceed to choosing an integration approach. According to Dittrich and Jonscher, there are six integration approaches depending on the system layer where integration is performed.
- Manual Integration, where all integration tasks are performed manually and the user has to be familiar with the location, logical data representation, and data semantics of the integrated applications.
- Common User Interface, that provides a user with a consistent look and feel, yet the data is still presented separately and has to be homogenized by the user.
- Integration by Applications relies on using specialized integration tools and services, that access various data sources and return integrated results to the user.
- Integration by Middleware supplies certain reusable functionality that that is designed to deal with the dedicated aspects of the integration process.
- Uniform Data Access provides a logical integration of data that is accomplished at the data access level.
- Common Data Storage implies the physical data transfer to a common storage for a faster data access.
The Historical Development
The problem of data integration has appeared shortly after the introduction of the database technology as the result of the rapid growth in number of various data repositories and applications. Around 1980 the first integration approaches, such as multidatabase systems, were developed. MULTIBASE is one of the earliest examples in an impressive history of data integration development.
Further on the road of data integration evolution are such methods as integration over mediators and agent systems, ontology-based and peer-to-peer solutions, finally concluding with the recent web service-based integration approaches.
Overall, the early integration mechanisms were based on a relational or functional data model and could deal strictly with well-structured data form the tightly-coupled solutions. The onset of the web-based technologies allowed to overcome many of the integration limitations and focus on incorporating semi- and unstructured data. Evidently, there has been a huge leap forward in the complexity of integration tools during the past three decades, yet it is still important to choose a suitable tool for the task to maximize the efficiency and minimize the cost of integration.
Data2CRM.API - a Modern Integration Solution
Data2CRM.API is an advanced solution specifically designed to allow users to perform a simultaneous integration of various business soft solutions with 12+ CRM platforms. By eliminating the need to develop multiple integration modules, Data2CRM.API saves users a significant amount of time and money. It is possible to perform an integration with such apps as business dashboards, marketing automation, project management, accounting, etc. The list of supported CRM platforms includes Salesforce, Zoho, SugarCRM, Highrise, Insightly and others.
Some of the other advantages of Data2CRM.API include, robust documentation with code samples, strong integration security, personalized service, full technical support, and mainly over 40 API methods to work with.
Surely, as the history shows, data integration may come with many challenges, but a properly chosen solution, such as Data2CRM.API will help you overcome them all. So dispel all doubts and improve your business with the help of Data2CRM.API.Schedule a Consultation
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