Why does the realization of software and data integration take so long?
You’ve probably heard this question asked before. It’s undoubtedly the most frequently asked question when it comes to integration projects. How hard can it be to exchange something like ‘regular’ NAW data between 2 systems? I have to admit that I’ve previously had similar thoughts about an integration project. The solution seems simple, but it’s not all that easy in practice. Back to the question on why the development of such an integration often still takes so long in practice. Below, you’ll find my explanation and a few personal tips to inspire you (so that you can avoid being disappointed).
Why does it take so long?
- Development itself doesn’t take long, it’s often the specifications that take the most effort and time. Precisely what data do you want to integrate? What is it called in one system, and what should it be called in the other? If you modify the data in one system, should the modification automatically carry over to the other? And once a modification has actually been made… what then? It’s quite obvious that you could spend hours looking for information that simply doesn’t exist. You could compare this to a construction company building a house with just a photograph as a building plan.
- Tools that seem simple in operation often wrongly give you the impression that you’ve got it sorted. Using Zapier, for instance, you can easily integrate various applications – like Gmail, Dropbox, or Magento – without much technical know-how. But is that all you need? I reckon there’s a great chance that precisely the challenge you face that cannot be integrated with this tool. And even if it can, it will again take a lot of time to pinpoint exactly what you want to integrate.
- Products like Jitterbit and MuleSoft represent relatively simple integration software. Fantastic tools in theory, but you’re often left trailing 1-0 without even knowing it. Your client has created sky-high expectations with his or her flashy sales presentation, quickly highlighting simple cases. But how do you actually handle this in practice?
The key question is: How can you speed up the realization of an integration? Below are a few tips from me:
- First of all, check whether standard links can be used. If something that works already exists, i.e. something that has been realized & tested and is easy to install, then use this functionality. If possible, you can adjust your operating process accordingly.
- Do your homework. Be 100% sure in advance of what you want to integrate. What is implied by an address? Is it recorded as a street name and house number together (like in Salesforce), or are the street name and house number recorded separately? This must be 100% clear. And when should the data be sent/synchronized? Yes, at Kodify we never stop asking questions!
- Make sure that participation in the integration is lucrative enough for all involved parties (i.e. make sure that there’s something in it for them too). Create value.
If you want to know more about speeding up data or software integration, click on the following link to do our online integration quickscan: https://www.kodify.nl/kodify-academy/online-integratie-quickscan/. Then you can act and speed up your integration project, with or without the assistance of our expertise.