The growing adoption of SaaS solutions in the enterprise raises the question of the interconnection between these solutions. Truly efficient SaaS solutions need to share data. How do you ensure software interoperability in SaaS without having to intervene manually and spend astronomical amounts of money? And how can you successfully integrate external solutions with your IT?
There are many ways to connect multiple SaaS solutions, from APIs to web services, from connectors to iPaaS platforms, with varying degrees of benefit. Let’s take a look at them.
Software integration via API: a tailor-made method
The most direct and configurable way to connect two software programs is through the API, application programming interface. Each software has an API that allows these two applications to communicate with the same standards. A connection needs to be developed, and its role is tailor-made to make these two SaaS applications communicate with each other.
This approach has the advantage of being flexible. A custom solution will connect software and adapt to the organization’s formats and methods. It also has the advantage of being versatile since customization makes connecting any software and controlling the input and output possible.However, as connections multiply, this solution becomes less viable. APIs accumulate and the time spent maintaining each one grows exponentially. Each API needs to be secured to avoid opening a back door to the organization’s databases and information system.
Finally, some software packages still offer little or no API, which limits interaction with other solutions.
Interconnection of software via web services: a simple method
Another way to link two SaaS is using web services. For example Zapier, a web service that connects many web applications, usually for personal productivity.
This type of solution also exists at the professional level. A web service takes care of the interconnection of an organization’s software. It is a solution quite similar to the internal development of APIs but with some differences:
- API management is outsourced
- Connections are faster and more straightforward, but potentially more limited
- The level of configuration and customization is lower than with APIs
- Data security depends on the quality of the web service used
Web services save time in implementation and maintenance, with potential costs being loss of agility and outsourced security.
Connecting SaaS solutions with a connector: a false good idea
If we take another step towards simplicity, we find connectors integrated into the software. Most SaaS solutions offer connectors directly on their interface, which can connect to one or more types of applications, like Salesforce, and send specific data.
These connectors make it possible to link several solutions together very quickly. They are a ready to use solution and will requireminimal implementation. However, this approach has its limits.
Use the basic connectors offered by the software
If these solutions are the simplest because the software developer already provides them, they have some critical drawbacks. First, you have no control over the possible connections. These depend on the editor’s goodwill. A connection can become outdated or buggy without you being able to do anything about it.
Connections will generally be limited to a small number of other applications, and the proper functioning of the connector will depend on the cooperation between the two entities. Again, you have no control over the durability of the solution, not to mention its design and its adaptation to your use. Limited, they will be unable to respond to the problems encountered in the information system.
Should we therefore completely abandon the connectors provided in the software? Not necessarily. From a testing and learning perspective, these connectors can be very useful. They can show the system architect the way and guide his work.
But as you can see, relying on this type of solution is risky. Especially when your organization interacts with a number of web applications. The basic software connectors allow you to ensure the implementation time but do not secure the robustness and quality part.
Connecting SaaS solutions through an iPaaS platform:
The agile, continuously iterating solution
Which solution can combine simplicity and agility without compromising the security and versatility of your information system? An iPaaS platform brings together the best of the solutions we’ve discussed in this article:
- The level of customization of an in-house API
- The interface and efficiency of a web service
- The ease of use of the basic connectors
An iPaaS allows you to take control of your system architectures without compromising their operation or security.
Marjory allows you to interconnect all the applications of your organization. Through an intuitive graphical interface, connections are established with a simple drag & drop where the user chooses the applications to be connected in low-code, in a straightforward and fast way. Thanks to Marjory’s low-code technology, these connections can be fully customized to the needs of the information system and the users. Data orchestration is then simple to set up and easy to manage over time. The integration of applications is done without constraints and in a short time.
Marjory speeds up and facilitates the work of your teams. No more tinkering with unsustainable and complex solutions: Marjory gives you the agility to create the synergy you need to keep your software fleet running smoothly. Your connectors are continuously updated, minimizing the need for maintenance.
Once your entire architecture is in place, a glance at the graphical interface allows you to see all the connections established in your organization. Each link is customizable, and adding and removing new applications is a piece of cake. All this in a short amount of time and without compromising your company’s security.
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