Mobile App Development

Integration of Applications: Definition, Importance and Major Concepts

Did you know?

In the past decade, mobile app usage has evolved and grown tremendously all around the world. 

Not only that, according to a recent study, the SaaS industry has progressed from $31.5 billion to an estimated $171.9 billion in 2022 as per the report published by Exploding Topics. That equates to around 5x growth in only seven years.

That’s incredible, isn’t it?

Well, from making your brand visible to learning more about your consumer base, there’s almost no limit to how much utility applications can provide your business. As a result, there is increased demand for mobile apps among the majority of big firms and businesses.

Therefore, applications will certainly continue to play an important role in business operations for the foreseeable future. However, all of these applications also generate and consume data, which can pose significant challenges as well. So, how can businesses cope with such problems efficiently? 

Well, that’s where ‘Integration of Applications’ comes into the picture. Wondering what ‘Integration of Applications’ is? Let’s find out!

What is Integration of Applications?

From cutting-edge mobile apps to ancient computerized systems, today’s businesses are likely dependent on a mixed collection of individual applications that must communicate smoothly. Application integration is the process of connecting discrete enterprise applications to reduce overhead costs while also increasing scalability and overall efficiency.

But why Application Integration?

Well, in a traditional business setting, applications operate independently of one another within separate business units and do not share the data they use. Therefore, this can become problematic as these applications are frequently used to execute a business process or to help in understanding how the business is performing. 

In these cases, humans are required to manually connect the disconnected applications by moving data between them, which takes longer and is prone to a lot of errors.

However, when your applications are integrated, the barriers between them are removed, allowing them to work together seamlessly without the need for manual intervention.

Additionally, numerous applications serve specific needs and roles in businesses. As a result, instead of relying on a single application, organizations must employ multiple applications to meet their needs. However, managing multiple applications and the data contained within them can be difficult. That’s where the integration of applications comes to the rescue.

It assists businesses in maintaining, managing, and updating all of their applications while reducing data repetition and redundancy. Not only that, but it also helps them to build an integrated application network that can automate and perform all of their business and work procedures.

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Major Concepts of Application Integration

When discussing Application Integration, there are a few concepts that must be in place to link to or more applications harmoniously. Some of them are listed below.

APIs

These are basically the sets of ‘rules’ or procedures that define how various pieces of software should interact. APIs are almost ubiquitous at this point because they tap into the specified data structure to allow developers to quickly access the functionality of other applications.

Major Concepts of Application Integration-Antino
Major Concepts of Application Integration

Event-Driven Actions

When an event occurs within a series of connected applications, for example, a data upload, it initiates either a single action or a series of actions, such as invoicing and billing a customer or managing an opportunity to order workflow for sales.

Data mapping

The mapping process is crucial as it defines how data or information is to be swapped, making it easier to export, combine, or analyze later. A simple example is when a customer enters their info in one application’s contact form, then that data is mapped to corresponding fields in other applications as well. Well, that’s what data mapping does.

Now, what is Data Integration?

The process of combining data from various sources into a single, unified view is known as data integration. Integration starts with ingestion and includes steps like cleansing, ETL mapping, and transformation. Finally, data integration enables analytics tools to generate effective, actionable business intelligence.

There is no single method for integrating data. Data integration solutions, on the other hand, typically include a network of data sources, a master server, and clients accessing data from the master server.

However, the terms ‘application integration’ and ‘data integration’ are often used interchangeably. The concepts and use cases underlying each of these processes are vastly different. How?

Read on to know.

Application v/s Data Integration

Data IntegrationApplication Integration
Efficacy Vs EfficiencyData integration is a batch-oriented or batch-mode process, also known as a scheduled procedure, that deals with data at rest.Application integration is the real-time communication of live operational data between applications allowing organizations to create dynamic and highly adaptable applications and services.
Transactional Vs TransformationalApplication integration is the facilitation of a business process that spans multiple independent applications and provides a level of abstraction from the underlying applications and related business processes.Data integration creates an abstraction layer between the underlying data sources and it is not limited to intrinsic databases; it can also include extrinsic data within the sphere.
Point-to-Point Vs CompilationApplication Integration operates in a point-to-point architecture framework, intending to synchronize the associated applications in real time and maintain this integration until the event process is completed.When needed, data integration forces through the entire composition of clustered data and publishes only the relevant data to the user. 
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Why Application Integration is Important?

Collaboration

Teams and departments must be able to communicate easily with one another to work efficiently.  However, it becomes difficult if your applications don’t ‘talk’ to one another. An application integration solution greatly enhances transparency and ensures that all of your employees have quick access to data and compiled information. This eliminates the need for duplicated data processing and instead employs a single, streamlined interface to manage multiple business operations.

Automation

You’ll realize how slow and frustrating it can be if you have to use multiple processes and operations to service your clients by handling client data and making decisions manually. However, application integration paves the way for process automation: creating workflows that make decisions automatically using aggregated datasets and can be monitored and controlled in a single location.

Benefits of Integration of Applications-Antino
Benefits of Integration of Applications

Uncomplicated IT Structures

Running different applications individually can result in complicated IT frameworks, making them inoperable to a less tech-savvy workforce. In addition to slowing responsiveness, it leads to an overreliance on your IT team, who must therefore spend time simply keeping applications running rather than proactively managing and optimizing the overall IT infrastructure.

Improvement

When all of the client data is merged and readily available via a single interface, it is easier to spot new patterns and shifts in demand. With application integration, visitors can instantly identify new opportunities (or impending challenges) to seize or solve them.

Cost-Effective

Maintaining and servicing a plethora of widely varying applications significantly raises the cost of doing business. However, in addition to the general efficiency gains, businesses can see in their day-to-day work, application integration how it saves finances on usage and maintenance.

Used Cases of Application Integration

As more businesses focus on deploying agile integration strategies, modernizing legacy processes has become a top priority. Here are a few examples of industry-specific examples.

Healthcare

Capture and share data from IoT wearable devices to improve health monitoring. Data updates from the device to the platform are consistent and real-time, allowing for easy sharing and monitoring. 

LegalTech

By digitizing the approval and compliance process, companies can eliminate paperwork and physical signatures. Any documents or agreements that require such inputs can be completed online, providing the user with a better digital experience.

Real Estate

Allows leads and inquiries regarding property listings to be stored on a real-time basis in the CRM system for immediate allotment and feedback.

Edutech

NLP-enabled chatbots enable real conversation with users, more efficient operations, and higher customer satisfaction.

Unite your Applications with Antino

Fully integrating and orchestrating all software solutions across your business’s operations can result in enormous time and cost savings, making it easier for your people to do great work and make better decisions.

As a result, we at Antino Labs, provide an integration layer through which companies can integrate existing corporate systems using our low-code automation platform. 

An alumnus of IIT Kharagpur and CEO at Antino, with experience in working across various industries like Information Technology, Automobile, Education, E-Commerce, Travel, etc. Well-versed in leading software development teams focused primarily on iOS & Backend development.