Integration is nothing but an act of bringing many different components together into a single system that functions as one. In an IT context, we can refer “web integration” as a process that involves the connection of all the outputs of all activities and components essential for carrying out the web project as a whole.
The activities involved in website integration can include very simple processes, like importing an excel spreadsheet of products into your website or highly complex ones like system e-commerce integration.
We have listed the 4 major forms of integration that most companies will employ.
- Manual data transfer
- Server data transfer
- Direct server access
- Web Interfaces
Manual Data Transfer
Compared to other, manual data transfer is considered one of the simplest forms of integration and requires human interaction. A manual transfer can be done by exporting your data from one system or application to another.
Server Data Transfer
Server data transfer is a server-side delivery method for transferring user data from the server into your system. The process of server data transfer is very much similar to manual data transfer, but it has a rudimentary level of automation. The standard process is to move System A into System B and then placing a file on System B. Now, the system B acts on that file, like importing into your order tracking database. This entire system tends to be inflexible but it can be a quick solution for integration.
Direct Server Access
Direct server access is also called Unified Remote Access. Direct server access allows one system to have access to another system’s resources, it is a VPN-like technology that provides intranet connectivity to client computers when they are connected to the Internet. It is designed in a way that it connects automatically as soon as the computer connects to the internet.
Web interfaces or APIs are a modern way in which systems interact. Instead of programming rigid structures that repeat, now, you can interact in real-time where your website can ask for customer information from another system as the user interacts with the site. With web interfaces, systems don’t just trade information, they are also able to interact. Unlike any other systems, Web Interfaces are portable.
The web interface is not only a way for your website to interact with it, but it also allows anything that is connected to the web to interact with the interface. Using the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the best option when using an interface. It is a widely accepted authority on web standards. By using a web interface that follows World Wide Web Consortium standards you ensure that all parties involved with your integration are speaking the same language. You can ask your software vendor for W3C compliant systems.
Custom Interfaces can cause a problem, but many times there are limiting factors that prevent the use of a standardized web interface. These limiting factors could be anything- hardware, software limitations, limits of programmer skills or time, or sometimes the web interface you have just doesn’t do everything you need. Custom integration needs to be done often and should not discourage you from pursuing a web interface level of integration.
Web Integration Benefits
Web Integration has an entire list of important benefits compared to the other traditional integration approaches:
Some are listed below–
- Lower Cost
- Faster development
- Faster overall integrations
- Lower skill requirements
- Potentially lower risk
As compared with traditional methods, the efforts required for Web Integration is less expensive, also there are many other reasons like lower skills for developers, no change to existing applications, and no infrastructure changes to the network.
Web integration is done non-intrusively. This is a reason behind the low risk and impact of the entire integration project. Web Integration doesn’t require any major architectural changes, hence it is often easier to justify the cross-enterprise projects. This benefit of web integration extends even further to those external applications where the user interface is the only available option for integration.
The browser interface is easy to understand, and hence, application design becomes much easier and less prone to error.
Faster Overall Integrations
Web Integration doesn’t require a large amount of time. Even complex Web Integration projects can be completed just in weeks rather than months. Companies can gain competitive benefits by leveraging their existing enterprise applications before then their competitors.
Lower skill requirements
For traditional integration, a highly skilled person with in-depth knowledge of the application and application integration techniques were required. Whereas, for web integration technologies, a web developer with less programming experience and web application knowledge can do the job. This has reduced the need for expensive high-skilled programmers.
Potentially Lower Risk
Web Integration allows for shorter and more cost-effective implementation cycles and the initial integration can often be up and running quickly. Further, web integration can be accomplished once results from the initial web integrations have been proven.
This helps companies to try out new business opportunities at lower risk than using traditional methods.
Our experienced experts in TandemNZ work as your web integrator, we provide you a guarantee that the project will comply with the agreed specifications. So for any integration projects, you can contact us right now.