SaaS Integration Best Practices : Aalpha
Enterprise organizations’ growing adoption of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications is fueled by deep dissatisfaction with on-premises applications, requiring organizations to purchase and deploy infrastructure, overstock on licenses, and pay for expensive customizations and upgrades and ongoing maintenance.
Integrating mission-critical systems is an efficient approach to enhancing their capability, removing data silos, and improving accuracy. Additionally, integrated systems improve efficiency and give a more comprehensive picture of processes and outcomes, increasing IT investments’ value. Here are some SaaS integration best practices to follow while creating and managing them.
Best approaches for integration
A program’s ability to succeed depends on its integration, particularly those used in business organizations. It requires a bridge between SaaS apps and data warehouses and authorization, authentication, billing systems, a system of record, and on-premises applications. Customers may access several on-premises applications using the SaaS solution provider’s standard APIs. All data integration occurs via the Internet through these APIs, allowing SaaS solution providers to add functionality without affecting existing integrations constantly.
Considerations in advance
Enterprise enterprises in financial services, healthcare, and life sciences are subject to many government, industry, and internal IT data security rules that make addressing them with SaaS solutions more challenging but may remit early in the process. For instance, some governments’ data privacy rules prohibit storing any information about its inhabitants considered secret outside the nation. If the data centre of the SaaS application solution provider is situated outside of the nation, it cannot be taken advantage of. Financial services firms maintain extensive audit trails to communicate with clients and potential customers. Typically, organizations are obliged to preserve these audit trails for a certain amount of time and unalterable format.
Architecture and design of integration
After establishing the essential integration criteria, designing the integration may begin. Given that SaaS application connections often occur via the Internet, the integration design must consider the network locations of the various on-premises source and destination systems. Recognize the locations, connections, and protocols between these components and the other systems that Internet traffic must travel.
Additionally, identifying performance indicators for each integration in advance is critical to the project’s success and may assist define how the integration is built and executed. While Web service integration and mashups are ubiquitous in the field of SaaS integration, they add aspects over which an organization has limited control, such as the Internet and the varying service levels offered by SaaS solution providers.
There are a few popular integration patterns used in SaaS installations. SaaS applications’ functionality is only available if the data is inside the SaaS application’s data tier. It is critical to match a SaaS solution provider’s integration skill to the integration needs and the advantages and disadvantages of each strategy.
Extension of governance for service-oriented architectures
As businesses add functionality and integrate with SaaS services, they must expand and modify their service-oriented architecture (SOA) governance procedures. Providers of SaaS solutions are constantly expanding their capabilities and developing more complex APIs. Some even enable businesses to develop their unique business services.
Governance expands to ensure that the SaaS solution provider maintains backward compatibility in their APIs and supports any custom-built business services through change management processes and testing. They are validating compliance with IT standards, particularly those relating to auditing and security; and monitoring and tracking the quality of the SaaS services to ensure that integrations do not experience faults or failures. Several tools are available in the SOA sector, and many more are in the developing phase for SaaS applications that may assist with SOA governance.
As more businesses embrace SaaS applications with more interoperability, a burgeoning market for integration-on-demand has developed, necessitating the creation of an integration service that incorporates all the SaaS features and architecture. These services enable non-technical end-users to create and deploy integrations using menu-driven wizards that configure data sources and targets, mappings and transformations, integration procedures, and integration job scheduling. The service supports a natural approach for Cloud-to-Cloud connection, a streamlined model for on-premises-to-Cloud integration, and a traditional style for on-premises-to-on-premises integration.
These services are browser-based and provide administration tools that include pre-built connections to SaaS apps, databases, and on-premises applications. They provide data replication, synchronization, quality testing, and customized integration services. Specific on-premises integrations need the deployment of an agent having access to the source or destination systems inside an organization’s architecture. These agents are self-contained integration servers that include all the components necessary to complete integration activities.
While SaaS has substantially simplified the application lifecycle, it has not significantly simplified the integration process with SaaS applications. Organizations continue to be with vendor-specific APIs and various degrees of integration capability among SaaS solution vendors. Because most corporate firms need back-office connections, many of the same conventional integration difficulties apply. While integration-as-a-service solutions are simplifying integrations, particularly in the Cloud-to-Cloud sector, they do not yet have the same degree of capability as their on-premises equivalents.
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Originally published at https://www.aalpha.net on February 18, 2022.