What is Application Integration?
Modern organizations use multiple applications to fulfill dedicated needs and roles within their business. However, handling several applications and the data within them can be challenging. This is where application integration steps in as a middleware to connect individual applications, so they can work together and share information among themselves, often in real time or near-real time.
Application integration refers to the process of connecting and combining different software applications—each designed for its own specific purpose—to work cohesively with each other.
Application integration enables seamless communication and collaboration between diverse software applications, often within an organization’s technology infrastructure or across multiple organizations. This is achieved by merging and optimizing data and workflows between the applications that are being integrated.
Growth of Global Application Integration Market (2023-2030)
The market for application integration is being driven by the rising need to:
Types of Application Integration
There are five standard levels of application integration.
1. Presentation-Level Integration
A middleware is created to store and process data, and thereafter distribute it to all other business applications.
2. Business Process integration
Employing cloud and automation to enhance business processes and data efficiencies by coordinating tasks across multiple systems, eliminating manual handoffs, and reducing delays.
3. Data Integration
Syncs data from various sources and formats to ensure that data flows accurately and consistently between different applications. Eliminates data silos to provide a unified view of information across the enterprise.
4. Communications-Level Integration
This level of integration ensures that each application receives only the right amount of information it needs to function properly.
5. User Interface Integration
Presents data and functionality from multiple applications through a unified user interface. Simplifies user experience for employees and customers to interact with various applications seamlessly.
Choosing the right type of application integration will largely depend on your challenges as well as business goals and objectives.
How Can Application Integration Help Your Business?
By integrating multiple applications used by your business, you can:
Application Integration Use Cases
Application integration can be applied in almost any domain where multiple software systems must interact and collaborate to achieve organizational goals more efficiently and effectively.
Industry-specific examples of application integration
Integrating electronic health records (EHRs), medical billing & laboratory systems to deliver better patient care, streamline administrative tasks, and comply with regulations.
Integrating educational platforms with student information systems and LMS software to streamline administrative tasks and enhance learning experience.
Integrating banking systems, trading platforms, and risk management tools to enable real-time data sharing, seamless transactions, and enhanced security.
Integrating e-commerce platforms with inventory management, order processing, and payment systems to enable seamless online transactions, real-time inventory updates, and efficient order fulfillment.
Integrating hotel reservation systems, restaurant management apps, customer loyalty programs, and payment gateways to enhance booking processes and customer satisfaction.
In the government and administration domain, integrating systems used by various departments can improve service delivery, data sharing, and citizen engagement.
Integration of common business apps
Integrating CRM systems with marketing automation, customer support, and sales tools enables a comprehensive view of customer interactions, improving customer service and targeted marketing efforts.
Connecting the modules for handling suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, will enable real-time visibility of inventory, demand forecasting, and efficient order processing.
Integrating ERP systems with finance, human resources, manufacturing, procurement, etc. will streamline data flow, automate processes, and improve decision-making across the organization.
Integrating HR and people management tools with payroll, time tracking, compensation, and benefits will streamline employee data management, payroll processing, and compliance.
Integrating marketing automation tools with customer databases, email marketing platforms, and content management systems will enhance lead generation, nurturing, and personalized marketing campaigns.
Integrating social media platforms with customer support and marketing tools helps businesses engage with customers, gather feedback, and analyze trends.
Examples of integrating technology-based applications:
Integrating IoT devices with business data analytics platforms allows organizations to harness the power of real-time data from connected devices for better decision-making and predictive maintenance.
Integrating business mobile applications with backend systems enables seamless data synchronization, user authentication, and personalized user experiences.
Connecting cloud-based enterprise applications and services with on-premise or other cloud platforms enables data synchronization and accessibility from anywhere.
A custom web application designed to facilitate smart lead generation and engagement for moving companies. Such applications are tailored to the unique needs of the moving industry, helping companies identify potential customers efficiently. By leveraging technology and data-driven solutions, these applications streamline the lead generation process, improve customer engagement, and enhance overall operational efficiency. This likely includes features such as online quoting, appointment scheduling, and customer relationship management to help moving companies optimize their services and grow their businesses in a competitive market.
How to Approach Application Integration?
There are several approaches to application integration, each catering to different integration requirements and scenarios.
How It Works?
Individual connections are established between each application pair that needs communication.
Becomes complex and challenging when the number of connections increases.
Hub and Spoke Integration
A central integration hub (middleware or Enterprise Service Bus) is used as an intermediary between applications (the spokes). All communications between applications occur through the hub.
This approach simplifies the integration landscape and reduces the number of direct connections.
Synchronizes and consolidates data across various applications and databases.
Creates a single source of truth for critical information by ensuring that data is consistent and up-to-date across the organization.
APIs are used to expose the functionalities and data of an application in a standardized way, allowing other applications to interact with it.
APIs enable controlled and secure application integration, making it a popular choice for modern integration needs.
Message-Oriented Middleware (MOM)
Applications exchange messages through a messaging system – a middleware- which routes them to their intended recipients.
Asynchronous messaging allows decoupling between applications and supports reliable communication.
Focuses on responding to events and triggers that occur in various applications. Events can notify other applications to take specific actions or update data.
Event-driven integration is helpful for real-time or near real-time data synchronization and system coordination.
Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)
An architectural approach in which applications are designed as a collection of loosely coupled services that can be accessed and combined to perform various tasks.
Services are exposed through standardized interfaces, often using web services or APIs, promoting reusability and flexibility in integration.
Leverages cloud platforms and services to facilitate data exchange and communication between on-premises and cloud-based applications.
Cloud-based integration solutions often provide pre-built connectors and APIs to streamline integration.
Combines on-premises and cloud-based integration approaches to connect applications and systems in diverse environments.
Allows organizations to utilize the cloud’s scalability and flexibility while integrating with their existing on-premises infrastructure.
Data virtualization tools create a virtual layer over disparate data sources, enabling applications to access and use data as if coming from a single source.
This approach abstracts the physical location and format of data from the applications.
Each integration approach has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the choice depends on factors such as the complexity of integration, budget, scalability requirements, existing infrastructure, and future business needs.
How to Choose The Right Application Integration Solution?
Selecting the right application integration solution is important for ensuring seamless data flow and functionality across your organization’s software systems. It’s important to identify an integration solution that aligns with your organization’s requirements and goals, and supports future growth and innovation.
Consider the following factors when evaluating different application integration solutions:
Scalability of the integration solution to accommodate your organization’s future growth and increasing data volumes.
Anticipate your future integration requirements and ensure the selected solution can accommodate new technologies, data sources, and evolving business needs.
Customization and flexibility to meet your unique business needs by supporting various integration patterns and adapting to different data formats and protocols.
Ease of use with an intuitive interface that enables developers and business users to set up integrations without extensive coding or technical expertise.
Check whether the solution supports different integration types you require, such as data integration, application integration, cloud integration, or mobile app integration.
Look for an integration solution that offers robust security, authentication, encryption, and access controls to protect your sensitive data during transit and at rest.
Built-in mechanisms for handling errors and ensuring fault tolerance. Ability to retry failed integrations and recover gracefully from errors.
Comprehensive monitoring and logging capabilities to track the performance and health of integrations. This helps with troubleshooting and performance optimization.
Ensure that the integration solution can easily connect with your established business systems and extend their capabilities.
If your organization relies on third-party applications or services, ensure that the integration solution can seamlessly integrate with the external systems.
Choose a reputable vendor with a proven track record in application integration. Consider their level of support, reliability, and responsiveness to customer needs.
Evaluate the total cost of ownership for the integration solution, including upfront costs, ongoing maintenance, and any additional fees for usage or scaling.
Check if the integration solution has an active user community and a wealth of online resources, documentation, and tutorials. This can be valuable for learning and troubleshooting.
Integrated private jet charter management solutions streamline and enhance the operations of private jet charter companies. They typically include features like booking and reservation management, flight scheduling, crew and passenger management, and financial tracking. These solutions aim to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance the overall customer experience in the luxury jet charter industry. By integrating various aspects of charter operations into a single, cohesive platform, private jet companies can better manage their resources and provide a seamless and top-notch service to their clientele.
How Can Fingent Help Your Business with Application Integration?
Application integration is a powerful tech strategy that can positively impact your business across multiple dimensions. It optimizes processes, workflows, data management, and decision-making to improve your team’s productivity, customer satisfaction, and competitive advantage. By choosing the right application integration services provider and the right integration solution, your business can attain success, growth, and profitability in today’s interconnected digital landscape.
Being a top custom software development company, Fingent’s application integration services offer numerous benefits to your organization, including and not limited to the following:
The growing demand for enhanced customer experiences and the rising number of applications in business and IT operations are making application integration a crucial aspect of your enterprise’s transformation journey. Working with Fingent will enable your organization to act on all information—no matter where it’s located—with a complete, flexible approach to integration.